Sweet peas growing | how to grow sweet peas

How To Grow Sweet Peas For Beginners

One of those things I love about early summer is wild sweet peas, but they aren’t as easy to grow as they might seem. Wondering how to grow sweet peas in your yard? So was I, and after some research, I’ve finally figured out how to grow those beautiful, fragrant blooms in my own garden.

Sweet peas have a special place in my heart right next to peonies and roses, so we wanted to help you learn how to grow sweet peas too!

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Sweet peas growing and harvested in basket | How to grow sweet peas for beginners #rosevinecottagegirls

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The Beginner’s Guide To How To Grow Sweet Peas

Sweet peas are one of those flowers that aren’t technically hard to grow but require a bit of knowledge before you are successful at growing sweet peas. Before we talk about just how to grow sweet peas let me answer some frequently asked questions about how to grow sweet peas. 

Is It Easy To Grow Sweet Peas?

Sweet peas are easy to grow. The most important thing: get them in the ground early to take full advantage of your cool spring weather- especially if you live in the south where it turns hot fast.

Do Sweet Peas Need To Climb?

Generally yes, sweet peas are a vine which means they need some sort of trellis to support them as they grow. However, there are varieties that don’t climb such as:

  • Color Palette
  • Cupid Pink
  • Prima Ballerina Tricolor
  • Bijou Mix
  • Little Sweetheart

What Month Do You Plant Sweet Peas?


What Is The Best Way To Grow Sweet Peas?

Now that we answered some commonly asked questions let’s talk about how to grow sweet peas in your own garden:

How To Grow Sweet Peas: Where To Plant

Sweet peas are heavy feeders and require a little extra food to produce abundantly. Prepare your beds with bone meal, a thick layer of well-rotted manure or compost, and a good dose of natural fertilizer. Mix these items into the soil.

Sweet peas require full sun to thrive (if it tends to get hot fast where you live you may want to try planting them where they will be shielded from the hottest part of the day so they last longer). 

How To Grow Sweet Peas: How To Start Seeds

In growing zones 7 (and above) where winter weather is relatively mild, you can plant sweet peas in the fall. Everywhere else, sow your sweet pea seeds in late winter/early spring. Soak the sweet pea seeds in water for 24 hours before planting. This will soften the seed coat and speeds up the sprouting process.

While the seeds are soaking, fill your seed starting pots with good quality potting soil pr compost. Sweet peas produce tons of roots, so use deep pots to plant them in.  

Sow two sweet pea seeds per pot, poking them a half-inch (1.25 cm) into the soil with your finger, and gently smoothing the soil back over them.

Cover the pots with a plastic dome lid to increase humidity and speed up the sweet peas germination. Place them in a cool greenhouse or in a bright window in the house.

How To Grow Sweet Peas: Planting

Plant your sweet pea seedlings out around the last spring frost on each side of the trellis about 8 inches (20 cm) apart down the row. As the vines grow it’s important to keep them tied to their trellises. Once the vines are established, sweet peas can grow more than a foot a week.

How To Grow Sweet Peas: Caring For Sweet Peas

Sweet pea vines grow rapidly and require a strong structure to climb on. Place tall posts roughly 8 feet (2.4 m) apart down the row of sweet peas and attach either Hortonova netting or 6-foot-tall (1.8 m) metal fencing for them to scramble up. You can also use an arbor or obelisk trellis to support them. 

Sweet peas need lots and lots of water- and without consistent moisture, they’ll fail to thrive. Keeping them moist is vital when the weather turns warm. Try to put a soaker hose on them as soon as you plant them to keep their lush growth unchecked. Feed your sweet pea plants weekly with diluted fish and seaweed emulsion, or compost tea. 

Do You Have To Pinch Out Sweet Peas?

You don’t have to, but it helps to encourage the plant to branch out vigorously from the base. Once plants are 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm) tall, pinch out the central growing tip, just above a leaf joint, leaving just two or three leaf nodes. 

Can Sweet Peas Be Grown In Hanging Baskets?

Yes, you can grow dwarf sweet peas in hanging baskets or pots. 

Should You Deadhead Sweet Peas?

Deadheading sweet peas is a while optional does help to keep them producing abundant blooms over and over again. Which means you get to enjoy these beautiful blooms for longer.

How To Grow Sweet Peas: Harvesting

To make them last the longest in your vase, pick your sweet peas when there are at least two unopened flowers at the tip of a stem. Add flower food to the water to extend vase life. To prolong the blooming, it’s important that you keep plants from setting seed, so be sure to harvest and deadhead the flowers frequently.

Do Sweet Peas Bloom All Summer?

As long as your sweet peas have some protection from the hot afternoon sun, sweet peas bloom for as long as the weather remains mild. If summer temperatures begin to arrive, your sweet peas will respond by reducing flower development and begin putting out seed pods. 

Did we answer all of your questions on how to grow sweet peas? If not drop them in the comments and we will do our best to answer them!


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