Skip to content

How to look after Sweet Pea

Sweet peas (Lathyrus odoratus) are beloved for their fragrant, colourful blossoms and their climbing growth habit. To help you successfully cultivate and care for these charming annual flowers, here's a comprehensive guide:

**1. Planting Time: Plant sweet pea seeds in early spring, as soon as the soil can be worked and the threat of frost has passed. In some regions with milder winters, they can also be sown in the fall.

**2. Site Selection: Choose a sunny location with well-draining soil. Sweet peas thrive in full sun but can tolerate partial shade, especially in hot climates.

**3. Soil Preparation: Prepare the soil by adding organic matter, like compost, to improve fertility and drainage. A slightly alkaline to neutral soil pH is ideal.

**4. Sowing Seeds: Soak the seeds in water for a few hours before sowing to aid germination. Sow seeds about 1 inch deep and 2 to 3 inches apart. You can sow them in rows or near a trellis or support.

**5. Watering: Keep the soil evenly moist, especially during germination and flowering. Water at the base of the plants to avoid wetting the foliage, which can encourage disease.

**6. Support Structures: Sweet peas are climbers and need support to grow vertically. Install trellises, fences, or other support structures before planting to avoid damaging the roots later.

**7. Mulching: Apply a layer of mulch around the base of the plants to conserve moisture, suppress weeds, and keep the soil cool.

**8. Fertilizing: Sweet peas appreciate well-balanced fertilizer applied at planting time. Avoid excessive nitrogen, as it can promote lush foliage at the expense of flowers.

**9. Deadheading: Regularly remove faded flowers to encourage continuous blooming and prevent seed formation. This process, known as deadheading, redirects the plant's energy to producing more flowers.

**10. Pruning: Prune away any yellowing or damaged leaves to promote good air circulation and prevent diseases.

**11. Pest and Disease Control: Keep an eye out for aphids, slugs, and powdery mildew. Use organic pest control methods like insecticidal soap and neem oil to manage issues.

**12. Harvesting Blooms: Sweet peas are renowned for their delightful fragrance. Harvest blooms in the early morning or evening when their scent is strongest. Regularly cutting flowers also encourages more blooms.

**13. Re-Seeding: Sweet peas often self-seed if you allow a few pods to mature and drop their seeds. These volunteer seedlings can be transplanted or thinned as needed.

**14. Overwintering: Sweet peas are generally grown as annuals. However, in mild climates, they can sometimes overwinter and bloom in the following spring.

**15. Variety-Specific Care: Different sweet pea varieties may have specific growth habits, bloom times, and care requirements. Research the specific variety you're growing for best results.

**16. Enjoying the Fragrance: Take time to savor the sweet and delicate fragrance of your sweet peas. They're not just visually appealing but also delightfully aromatic.

Previous article Thriving Gardens in the Heart of the City: Urban Gardening and Essential Tools
Next article Guide to looking after Snowdrops

Our Best Selling Collections

Home Page