Last Updated on January 11, 2022 by Real Men Sow
Sweet peas can be grown from sweet pea plugs in pots, or directly in the ground. For a stunning display, you can train them up in a frame. Sweet peas can be planted near seating areas so that you can enjoy the sweet smell while you relax in your garden. You can also pick some to put in a vase. Even a tiny amount of sweet peas can add a lot of fragrance to a space, so if you are ready to grow your first sweet pea, keep on reading.
Growing Sweet Pea Plugs at Home
Sweet pea seeds can be planted in spring or autumn. To encourage bushy growth, pinch the tips off sweet pea plugs that are over 10 cm tall. Keep your plugs well-watered and plant in the middle of spring. Many varieties have tendrils that will ‘self-cling’ to support, but some sweetpeas may need to be tied in.
When sweet peas start to show flower buds, you can begin feeding them with a high potash fertilizer. Picking regularly encourages the formation of more flowers, so continue to pick those blooms for your vase.
Where to Grow Sweet Peas
How to Plant Sweet Pea Plugs
Sweet peas can be grown from seeds in autumn or spring. You should sow sweet pea plugs in autumn to ensure that they can be grown in an area without frost until spring.
The sweet pea seeds germinate quickly. You can activate germination by cutting the seed coat with your knife, making sure you avoid the eye area. You can sow the seed in pots measuring 9cm (3 to a container), or in root trainers and trays. Place the seed in a high-quality, peat-free compost and set it in a greenhouse or cold frame.
Planting out Sweet Peas
After the risk of frost has passed, plant your sweet peas in late May. After hardening them, you can put them outside during the day and then return them to their frost-free location at night. To encourage bushy growth, pinch the tips of young sweetpea plants that reach 10 cm in height.
Sweet pea plug plants can be purchased in spring. Place them in fertile soil under a support such as a wigwam made from bamboo canes. Sweet peas can grow up to 2 m tall. Once they have started to grow, water them well. Place sweet pea pots or plugs 20cm apart. Don’t worry about separate plants.
How to Care For Sweet Peas
You will need to train sweet peas with a support person and then they can be grown in cordons.
When the flowers begin to appear, start feeding them with tomato food or a high-potash fertilizer. Regular picking will encourage the growth of more flowers and keep plants from starting to germinate. You can water sweet peas grown in pots and during dry conditions.
Great Sweet Pea Varieties to Grow
Lathyrus vernus “Alboroseus” – A hardy perennial bush-forming sweetpea with tiny pink and white flowers. It grows to 35 cm in height and spread.
Lathyrus latifolius ‘White Pearl” – perennial climber bearing pure-white flowers in June and August. It grows to 2m in height.
Lathyrus odoratus “Matucana” – a hardy annual that is loved and fondly remembered as the sweet pea. It produces fragrant purple flowers with two-tone scent in summer.
Lathyrys Odoratus “Lipstick” (pictured) is a Spencer-type, wavy-edged type with a good smell.
Lathyrus Odoratus “Lord Nelson” – Hardy annual that can be picked. Blue flowers with a high-rated summer scent. Plants can reach 2m
Lathyrus Odoratus “Painted Lady” – a hardy annual that is suitable for picking. Bi-colored blooms in pale and dark pink. The old-fashioned, highly fragrant type. Ideal for early flowers