Sweet Peas - Key Growing Information

A close-up of heirloom sweet pea flowers  their early sowing is the secret to growing success.
DAYS TO GERMINATION: 14-21 days at 55-65°F (13-18°C). Presoak seed for 24 hours in room temperature water prior to planting to aid germination.

SOWING:
Direct seed (recommended): Sow 6 weeks before the last frost, 2-3 seeds 6" apart, 1/4- 1/2" deep. Darkness is required for germination. Thin to 6" apart when true leaves appear.

Transplant: Sow 4-6 weeks before planting out. Sow 2 seeds directly into each cell or 3-4" pot, 1/4- 1/2" deep. Keep soil surface moist until emergence. Thin to one plant when the true leaves appear. Transplant outside as soon as the soil can be worked. Seedlings won't be damaged by a late frost.

GROWING ON:
Mulch to keep the roots cool. Pinch when 6-8" tall to encourage denser branching and more flowers. Cutting flowers increases bloom.

LIGHT PREFERENCE:
Sun.

SOIL REQUIREMENTS:
Rich, deep, loamy, moist, well-drained soil.

PLANT HEIGHT:
Varies. Support is needed.

PLANT SPACING:
6".

HARDINESS ZONES:
Annual.

HARVEST:
Harvest when half the flowers on a stem are open.

STEM LENGTH:
6-16".

VASE LIFE:
4-6 days. Sweet Peas do not store well, but if necessary store at a temperature of 36-39°F (2-4°C), providing at least 12 hours of light per day.

USES:
Cut flower, back of borders, fences, trellises, arbors, and cottage gardens.

SCIENTIFIC NAME:
Lathyrus odoratus