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Dianthus, Sweet William 'Heart Attack'

Dianthus barbatus

Family: Caryophyllaceae (kar-ree-oh-fil-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Dianthus (dy-AN-thus) (Info)
Species: barbatus (bar-BAY-tus) (Info)
Cultivar: Heart Attack




Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)


9-12 in. (22-30 cm)


USDA Zone 2a: to -45.5 C (-50 F)

USDA Zone 2b: to -42.7 C (-45 F)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone

Can be grown as an annual


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:

Scarlet (dark red)

Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are good for cutting

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Flowers are fragrant

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Plainfield, Illinois

Greenville, Indiana

South Amana, Iowa

Norton, Massachusetts

Saint Paul, Minnesota

Munsonville, New Hampshire

Windsor, New York

Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Elizabeth City, North Carolina

Morehead City, North Carolina

Raleigh, North Carolina (2 reports)

Macedonia, Ohio

Knoxville, Tennessee

Marinette, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 14, 2013, KittyWittyKat from Saint Paul, MN (Zone 4b) wrote:

Divide plants for best true colors. Perennial habit (versus biennial) introduced by Plant's Delight Nursery.

Personally, I have grown to enjoy the blood dark velvet red blooms. I am growing Pearl yarrow behind it to help accentuate the color and texture even more. Partial Sun will shorten the bloom period/size.


On Jul 28, 2008, crockny from Kerhonkson, NY (Zone 5a) wrote:

Darker and taller than expected ... it flopped near the end of its bloom period but I liked it anyway -- a big statement!


On Jul 12, 2008, Fairy1004 from (bestest fairy)Temperance, MI (Zone 5b) wrote:

It is much darker in person-a chocolaty, velvety sort of deep blood red....


On Jun 28, 2007, Candyce from The Monadnock Region, NH (Zone 5a) wrote:

This is a plant that was given to us this year by a generous neighbor. All he told us was that it was a 'Sweet William'. After looking closely at both the 'Heart Attack' and the 'Moon' photos, I am inclined to think that we are in possession of the former.

It seems to be doing well after its transplant to a sunny location in the main garden. Updates will be offered through my Journal.