How To Grow Sweet Peas

If you’re looking to add a touch of class and nostalgia to your flower bed, growing sweet peas is the perfect endeavour for you. This guide will equip you with valuable tips, tricks, and advice to help you grow and nurture these delicate yet resilient blooms. Ensuring a flourishing sweet pea haven that will captivate your senses and add a touch of magic to your garden.

Sweet peas possess an irresistible charm that captivates both through their impressive visual beauty and alluring fragrance reminiscent of spring and romance.

Sweet peas home grown in a floral vintage vase.
sweet peas

These graceful climbers can ascend to impressive heights, showcasing a profusion of exquisitely shaped blossoms in a diverse palette of colours, ranging from delicate pastels to energetic and vibrant hues.

Sweet peas are ideal for creating a stunning floral display. Whether you envision a cottage garden, a fragrant border, or a beautiful archway adorned with cascading blooms.

I adore sweet peas and their addictive scent, so I am excited to share my top tips and tricks to help you grow your sweet peas successfully! 

Selecting the Right Varieties

Sweet peas come in various colours, sizes, and forms, so choose the types that suit your needs. Consider factors like the colour scheme, height, and scent when selecting.

Popular types include ‘Cupani,’ ‘Matucana,’ ‘Spencer Series,’ and ‘Old-Fashioned Grandifloras’. Choosing the right variety of sweet peas is an exciting process. It that allows you to personalize your garden and create a display that aligns with your preferences and garden style. 

Preparing the Soil

Sweet peas thrive in well-drained soil enriched with organic matter. Prepare the soil by taking out weeds, loosening it with a garden fork, and including compost or well-rotted manure. Ensure the soil pH is slightly alkaline, ideally between 7 and 7.5.

How To Sow Sweet Peas?

Sweet peas are usually sown directly in the ground during early spring or autumn. Soak the seeds overnight before planting to improve germination.

Create a shallow trench about an inch deep and sow the seeds, spacing them 2 to 3 inches apart. Backfill the trench, gently firm the soil, and water lightly.

flower bouquet with sweet peas

Providing Support

Sweet peas are climbers that require support to grow upward. When planting, install trellises, stakes, or a wigwam-shaped structure to give the plants something to cling to.

Ensure the support is sturdy enough to hold the weight of the vines and blooms.

Watering and Feeding Your Sweet Peas

Sweet peas need consistent moisture but dislike waterlogged conditions. Water regularly, especially during dry spells, and aim for deep watering to boost root development.

To promote robust growth and ensure an abundance of blossoms, use a well-balanced liquid fertilizer every fortnight.

Pinching and Pruning

To encourage bushier growth, pinch the tips of young sweet pea plants when they reach around 6 inches in height.

Regularly remove faded flowers (deadheading) to prevent seed production and promote continuous blooming. Additionally, trim back any yellowing or diseased foliage.

Mulching Sweet Peas

Surrounding the base of sweet pea plants with mulch serves multiple benefits, including retaining soil moisture, inhibiting weed growth, and stabilizing soil temperature.

Apply a good layer of organic mulch, such as compost or straw, ensuring that the emerging seedlings are not covered or obstructed.

Pest and Disease Management

Sweet peas are relatively resistant to pests and diseases. However, keep an eye out for aphids, slugs, and snails.

Use organic methods like handpicking or soapy water sprays to control these pests. Ensure good air circulation and avoid overcrowding plants to minimize the risk of fungal diseases.

Harvesting and Enjoying Your Sweet Peas

Sweet pea blooms are best enjoyed indoors, so harvest them regularly once they reach their peak. Pick your sweet peas in the early morning when they are fully open and place them in a bucket of water to keep them fresh. Their scent will undoubtedly fill your whole house and brighten up any room!


Saving Seeds

If you wish to save sweet pea seeds for the next season, allow a few flowers to mature fully on the plant.

Once the seed pods turn brown and dry, collect them and store them in a cool, dry place in a paper envelope. Label the envelope with the variety and date for future reference.

Do Sweet Peas Come Back Every Year? 

Sweet peas are usually grown annually, meaning they complete their life cycle in a single year. However, sweet peas may exhibit a perennial tendency in some regions with mild climates and return for a second or even third year with proper care.

However, even with the efforts in this guide to growing sweet peas, it’s essential to recognize that the perennial nature of sweet peas can vary depending on your specific growing conditions. In most cases, it’s best to treat sweet peas as annuals and plan for replanting each year to ensure a consistent and vibrant display of these delightful flowers.

garden, cottage garden

Growing sweet peas is a rewarding experience that adds charm and elegance to any garden. I hope this guide to growing sweet peas helps you on your journey. With the right selection of varieties, proper soil preparation, and adequate care, you can enjoy a bountiful display of fragrant blooms throughout the season.

Remember to provide support, water consistently, and pinch and prune for bushier growth. By following these tips and tricks, you’ll create a sweet pea haven that captivates your senses and brings joy to your gardening endeavours. Happy sweet pea growing!

If you would like to pick up some more garden tips, check out the Cottage Garden Playlist on YouTube, you will find a new video every Sunday! Or click here for more garden posts.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Discover more from Dainty Dress Diaries

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading