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December 28th 2019

Success with Sweet Peas

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When I was a little girl, I spent summers in the country and a lot of time with my great-grandparents. One of my jobs was to keep fresh flowers by my Grammy’s bedside table. She had a number of beautiful bloomers growing in her garden, but what I remember most is the tangle of rainbow-colored sweet peas climbing up her carport posts.

When we bought our first house, the very first thing I planted was a huge tunnel of sweet peas right in the center of the garden. That spring, as the first flowers opened, their scent transported me back in time to the summers of my youth and the happy memories of picking flowers in Grammy’s garden.

Sweet pea patch

Sweet peas in vasesOver the years, I have conducted numerous sweet pea trials, growing and testing close to 100 different varieties, including both heirloom and hybrid types. While all have been beautiful, I do have favorites, and there are a handful I just can’t live without.Sweet pea seedlingsSoaking sweet pea seeds

Sweet pea potsIn warmer regions (USDA zone 7 and above) where winter weather is relatively mild, sweet peas can be sown in fall. Everywhere else, sow in late winter or early spring.

Soak the seeds in water for 24 hours before sowing. This softens the seed coat and speeds up the sprouting process. For detailed seed-sowing information, see our resource How to Grow Sweet Peas.Lavender sweet peas in greenhouse

Once the vines begin producing flowers, keeping up with the harvest can be tricky. I comb the rows every other morning so I catch flowers at their prime.

For the longest vase life, pick stems that have at least 2 unopened flowers at the tip. While they can be picked when more open, their vase life won’t be quite as long. Sweet peas are a short-lived cut flower, lasting at best 4 to 5 days in a vase. Adding sugar or flower preservative to the water makes a big difference and will add a few extra days.

Please note that unlike garden peas, sweet pea seeds are poisonous if ingested. Use caution around children and pets.

White sweet peasWhite

One of the most fragrant whites we grow, ‘Memorial Flight’ (pictured above, left) boasts large, ruffled creamy-white flowers with a green undertone. It’s great for wedding work.

A reliable performer and one of the very best whites you can grow, ‘White Frills’ (above, center) has thick, robust foliage and a strong growth habit. Large, clean white flowers are ruffled and especially fragrant. It’s a true garden workhorse!

Winner of numerous awards for good reason, ‘Jilly’ (above, right) is a lovely shade of soft cream and is one of the finest varieties available. Long, strong stems and a wonderful fragrance make it an excellent cut flower.

Blush pink sweet peasBlush pink

Anniversary’ (pictured above, left) has romantic, fragrant white blooms softly edged with blush-pink on tall, strong stems.

High Society’ (above, center) has a lovely feminine quality and is one of the most fragrant varieties we grow. Creamy flowers are edged in a warm candy pink. It’s great for wedding work.

Pearl Anniversary’ (above, right) features creamy white petals with cerise-pink streaking. It’s fantastic for wedding work.

Bright pink sweet peasBright pink

Daily Mail’ (pictured above, left) is a showstopper featuring large, bright cerise-pink blooms that ride atop long, strong stems. It’s great for cutting.

Carlotta’ (above, center) is a beautiful, old-fashioned variety that has stood the test of time. Its saturated carmine-pink blooms stand out in the garden and the vase. Long stems and a strong fragrance make it a real winner.

Dynasty’ (above, right) is a reliable grower and an all-around wonderful cut flower, featuring vivid, hot pink blooms on long, strong stems. Paler top buds have a cream underside, giving them a multidimensional quality. A total winner!

Champagne sweet peasPeach/champagne

Piggy Sue’ (pictured above, left), a new favorite, has spectacular coloring and glows in the garden. Highly scented, cream-colored petals are gently edged in blush, giving it a vintage, romantic feel.

Another new favorite, ‘Castlewellan’ (above, center) is a long-stemmed, sweetly scented beauty that boasts large, glowing peachy-pink blooms with creamy undertones. Its soft appearance makes it great for wedding design. A must-grow!

Marjorie Carrier’ (above, right) boasts the most beautiful large, frilly salmon-pink blooms on long, strong stems. Its spectacular coloring and lovely scent make it a flower arranger’s dream.Peach sweet peas

Bix’ (pictured above, left), a new variety bred by Dr. Keith Hammett, has vintage charm. Blooms are cream colored, brushed with apricot-pink, and it’s one of the earliest varieties to flower. Tall, abundant stems have an average of 5 blooms. It’s a great option for wedding bouquets.

The large, creamy, ruffled blooms of ‘Jill Walton’ (above, center) have the softest peachy-pink blush around the outer edge, giving them an ultra-feminine quality. This is one of our top five favorite varieties.

One of our very favorites on the farm, ‘Mollie Rilstone’ (above, right) is a sure bet. Very fragrant, cream-colored blooms are edged with the softest apricot-pink. Flowers fade to a pure cream, giving this variety an antique, Victorian quality. It is extremely popular for weddings.

Orange sweet peasCoral/orange

Geoff Hughes’ (pictured above, left) is one of our all-time favorite varieties. This large-flowered sweet pea has cream blooms with coral streaking. It flowers abundantly and is great for cutting.

Edith Flanagan’ (above, center) is a stunning new variety raised by Andrew Beane. It boasts large coral blossoms on long, strong stems. Its fantastic scent and eye-catching coloring make it a real winner.

Florencecourt’ (above, right) is a sweetly scented variety featuring large, glowing coral flowers that fade to white in the center, giving them a multidimensional quality.

Coral sweet peasHappy Birthday’ (pictured above, left) is an eye-catching variety featuring striking orange-red petals with a white throat. Flowers ride atop tall, strong stems, making it excellent for cutting.

Raspberry Flake’ (above, center) is a fitting name for this attention-getting variety. Cream-colored flowers are painted with deep, almost metallic raspberry streaking. Flowers have varying levels of saturation, so no two are the same.

The cheerful blooms of ‘Restormel’ (above, right) practically glow in the dark. Warm coral-red flowers almost look artificial and remind us of maraschino cherries. This fragrant variety is one of our all-time favorites. A must-grow!

Purple sweet peasPurple

Enchante’ (pictured above, left) is an amazing tricolor variety, a brilliant blend of cherry pink, white, and lavender bred by Dr. Keith Hammett. It’s lovingly nicknamed the “unicorn sweet pea” at Floret. It is truly exquisite and ranks high on our must-grow list.

An all-time favorite, ‘Erewhon’ (above, center) is a hauntingly beautiful reverse bicolor with dark lavender-blue and soft pink standard petals. Great for cutting, it boasts tall, strong stems. A must-grow!

Blue Shift’ (above, right), bred by Dr. Keith Hammett, is an incredible bloomer that goes from mauve-pink to an iridescent blue-turquoise as it ages. It’s like nothing else on the market.

Purple sweet peasWe’ve trialed hundreds of varieties, and ‘Nimbus’ (pictured above, left) is still a top favorite of mine and the best flake variety available. Inky gray blooms are deeply streaked and rimmed with dark eggplant coloring. It’s a real conversation starter with everyone who visits the farm. If you haven’t grown this gem, you’re in for a treat!

White blooms striped with vivid lilac make ‘Sir Jimmy Shand’ (above, center), a novelty variety, a new favorite. It has tall stems and a wonderful fragrance and makes an excellent cut flower.

Richard & Judy’ (above, right), a long-stemmed, super-fragrant variety, is a must-grow if you love purple. Warm, grape-colored flowers are multidimensional and seem to glow in the garden. This is a standout variety in the sweet pea patch!

Maroon sweet peasMaroon

Suzy Z’ (pictured above, left), a must-grow for the color alone, has a striking metallic gray base with deep maroon veining. This variety is similar in appearance to the ever-popular ‘Nimbus’ but more chocolate-maroon in color.

Chocolate Flake’ (above, center), bred by Dr. Keith Hammett, is a unique brown-red flaked variety that looks as if it has been dusted with cocoa powder.

Stunning in the garden, ‘Windsor’ (above, right) is a richly hued beauty with warm, chocolaty-maroon blooms that make a real statement. Flowers are quite fragrant and ride atop long, strong stems, making it a fantastic variety for cutting.

I would love to hear about your experience with sweet peas. Do you grow them or plan to add them to your garden this coming season? If so, what are your favorite varieties?


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  1. Beverly Steckler on

    I absolutely agree with your statement about how sweet peas remind you of your childhood. I grow them every year I can and remember wonderful days past and present. I grow the packets of seeds that are a mixture of colors…. Love the explosion of colors produced! Happy gardening everyone 🌱

  2. Barb Perry on

    I was wondering if you were selling sweet pea seeds? If you are not where do I purchase seeds from?
    Thanks Barb Perry

  3. Lola Nordstrom on

    Do you sell your sweet pea seeds? If not where do you suggest purchasing the seeds?

  4. Sandy Powell on

    Hi, Where do you buy your mesh fruit bags used for saving the sweet pea seed? Your ones look to be of a good size with a fine mesh.

  5. Pat on

    I do love sweet peas but have little luck growing them! Growing up my mom always had sweet peas planted under my bedroom window and oh, how I did love the sweet smell as I drifted off to sleep. I have always planted them in late spring or early summer because that’s when my mom did it. Foolish me…that was in NE Oregon and now I live in the Columbia River Gorge and our winters are very different from where I grew up! It never occurred to me to plant them in late winter or early spring. It has been two or three years since I last tried so I am definitely going to give it a go this year. With your resource, ‘HOW TO GROW SWEET PEAS’, I’m counting on success!

  6. C McBee on

    I live on the north side of Houston TX. When should I plant sweet peas?

    • BriAnn, Team Floret on

      Sweet peas can be planted in the fall in your climate for early spring blooms.

  7. Leilani Johnson on

    Should I plant my sweet peas in the fall in Seattle or wait until spring?

  8. Cris Walton on

    My sweet peas won’t bloom!! They appear to have little buds but then just shrivel up. Full sun! Any ideas? Planted 5/8/23. Beautiful foliage!

  9. Vicky Perrigan on

    I just wanted to let you know that my Sweet peas bloomed from the end of May until the beginning of July! I shared the blooms with lots of friends and family and everyone felt like they won a prize when they received them! It was also the second or third year from the original purchase as I harvest the seeds every year. Thank you!

  10. Gail Watts on

    I planted 5 different sweetpeas and although the are growing, they are drying up and the leaves are crisp despite adequate watering. Any advice. I was so looking forward to those beautiful blooms. Not giving up on them. Love them too much:)

    • BriAnn, Team Floret on

      It’s likely that your climate is too warm for them right now. You might want to try growing them earlier in the season when it’s cool.

  11. Amy on

    Do you cut off any of the multiple stems that some start out with, or just let them all grow?

  12. Gwen Singh on

    I planted your sweet pea seeds in November now they are 6 feet tall butt after the first week of beautiful blooms they stopped blooming I gave them a low nitrogen fertilizer and added some compost but still have very few blooms. Can’t figure out what to do next??

    • BriAnn, Team Floret on

      Their growth will slow down if the temperatures get too warm or if they start to go to seed. The more you harvest the flowers the more they’ll produce.

  13. Michelle on

    My first season planting sweet peas and Floret seeds did not disappoint! Gorgeous colors, fragrance, I’m thrilled. As my 4 yr old garden partner enjoyed “picking” all the labels I had in my nursery pots, I’m contenting myself with unknown names but beautiful lavender, pink, red and blue fragrant blossoms. Next year I will secure my garden tags!

  14. Carol on

    If my sweet pea starts are a bit leggy when I go to plant them in the ground can I plant them deeper than what they were in their containers or will it rot the stem

  15. Jenna Clark on

    Hi! Thank you for the writing on these beauties. I have both a Janet Scott variety and a perennial mix. I know Janet Scott can be very tall. Can you help with height expected for the perennial mix?

    Thank you!

  16. Ann Ellis on

    I have never planted, sweet peas, but have a very good spot in the sun against a wall . What should I do to plant swetpeas successfully?

    • BriAnn, Team Floret on

      They’ll need a trellis of some sort to climb and planting them while the weather is still cool in the spring is best as they prefer cooler temperatures below 80 degrees. Enjoy your sweet peas this year!

  17. Catherine C on

    I am currently growing your beautiful Blue Shift Sweet peas. The seedlings are approximately 4-6″ tall but there are no leaf joints yet, just a single stalk. Should I still pinch back to encourage growth? Thanks!

    • BriAnn, Team Floret on

      It sounds like they may be a little leggy and need more light. Once they produce true leaves then you can pinch above a leaf node.

  18. Ann Riseley (Singh) on

    Thank you for this article, I will be sure to see if any of these varieties are available in Australia. Sweet peas are one of my favourites too. I grow a variety that I have long lost the name of but keep the seeds every year. I planted two other new ones with it last year but some reason they never grew. I grow sweet peas in Winter here as our Winters are very mild (subtropic). I planted mine in April and by July/august they had peaked. I have found of all my flowers, sweet peas are the ones people love the most. I think it is the strong perfume which I think is the best in the world!

  19. Kathy Webster on

    This is my third try with sweet peas. I soaked, and planted earlier and so I now have growing sweet peas. They look healthy and will see if they do well. So far, so good. Fingers crossed I will get some flowers like you show in your post. I live in a humid summer time area, so if I can get these to bloom before May, I may have some luck!

  20. Andy on

    I read that if you scuff the surface of the seed lightly with a nail file, after soaking them for 24 hours, it encourages them to sprout. I haven’t tried it yet, but I will be. I wish you success with this years trial.

  21. Lisa on

    Have been buying your speeds for past years. The biggest challenge with growing sweet peas is aphids. Do you have aphids problem for your sweet peas? and if you do, what method do you use to keep aphids under control?

    Thank you

  22. Margaret on

    I have never had much luck growing sweet peas, even after trenching the planting area to 1 foot, and filling with compost. Must be some secret I am still not privy to, or my conditions are not right.

  23. Tania on

    Hi all,
    what are your favorite sweet pea color combinations? I love contrasts, like Lord Nelson and reds. Or blue Charlies Angels with soft pink Mollie Rilstone.
    And your favorite pairs?

  24. Vicki Randall on

    I had a stroke at 74 so not able get out in my garden. But, I can remember my Daddy planting them every year a new kind. They smell so good and Mother would cut them for the house. What a great memory of my childhood. Thank you for this article. Love sweet peas!!

  25. Lee Ann on

    Before I soak the seeds in water, I take a piece of sand paper (fine or med grit) and fold it in half. Drop the seeds inside and run my hand over it a few times to roughen up the surface. They seem to germinate better after doing this.

  26. Linda on

    How do you keep cats away from them? Is there some sort of detergent that can be sprinkled around them that cats don’t like?

  27. Anita on

    I used to live in northwest Florida & grew tons of beautiful fragrant sweet peas, planting them in October & harvesting them in March. Now I live in western North Carolina. It seems it is either too hot here or too cold. I’ve tried planting at different times of the year with no success. Any suggestions?

  28. Hema on

    Hello! I bought my first ever sweet pea seeds from Floret and I’m planting it this year. So excited and keeping fingers crossed.

  29. Crystal Ponto on

    I recently bought a lake house in upstate New York and I am planning to plant sweet peas there. I am relatively new to gardening so I am excited to give this a try. Thank you so much for all of this great information!

  30. Dee on

    I have never grown sweet peas but this year I have ordered Enchante and I’m sooo excited to try them on a trellis against our barn!

  31. Camille on

    I live in Tucson and planted my sweet peas at the end of October. They’ve sprouted and are about 2/3 inches high. We’re going down to 29 on Sunday morning so plan on covering them with frost cloth. Hope they’ll make it. Trial and error with the crazy weather swings. Other than that we’re having sunny days in the 60s. My seeds are Floret. Can’t wait to see them blooming on my trellis.

  32. Rebecca McCray on

    Can I start them in little paper cups or egg cartons, in the house by a door screen where sunlight comes in? How often do I water the seeds until I will see growth? What States do they grow best in?

  33. Tania on

    Which sweet peas in your collection are the most fragrant?
    I love the Jimmy Shand.
    Any other highly fragrant sweet peas? Thanks.

  34. Wendy Roberts on

    My sweet peas were amazing this year and I saved pods to plant in the fall (Zone 10). They were done blooming and I pulled them 2 weeks ago, now I have a bare patch in my garden. What do you plant in the summer/ fall interim in that space?

  35. Sara Breeden on

    Any suggestions for increasing the stem length? Some of mine are only 2-3 inches long!

  36. B. layton on

    I’m a designer and had learned that cauterizing the ends extend vase life. This has been my experience . Do you yourself suggest this? I’m not seeing it here I’d “care” notes.

  37. Tracy Carson on

    Hi Guys, I grew sweet peas for the first time this summer in Melbourne they are just finishing.They didn’t produce any seed pods I proberbly got 2 seed pods from 5 massive pots full, can you tell me what I did wrong. They were watered most days we had hot spells. Did I not feed them enough?
    Regards Tracy

  38. Vivian Messbarger on

    Can sweet peas be started with a stem that has a couple of very small pod? The stem it probably 8-9 ” . Thanks ,Vivian

  39. A on

    Hi, How long till they begin to flower?

  40. Roxane on

    Where can I find the right kind on netting trellis for sweet peas?

  41. Stacy on

    Growing sweet peas is a family tradition that I married in to. I started with some free seeds from our local library and each year collected at the end of the season. It is so rewarding to have two trellises of sweet peas each year that always do so well. This year I ordered 4 varieties from you to try so I guess I might need 2 more trellises! Erin, love your and your team’s work! :)

  42. Val on

    Thanks so much Erin,,always love ready your emails,yes I to love to plant Sweet peas in my garden ,you have so many choice all sound beautiful,thanks again for the great I formation on flowers you grow

  43. Ellen O’Donnell on

    Do you collect seeds in the fall? Do they stay that variety or do they get cross fertilized?

  44. Dee on

    We just planted 10 of your varieties in starter pots in our basement with grow lights and heat mats.they are a foot tall.we plan to plant them outside first weekend in march.we have a 10 ft long space all ready for them with 6ft high chicken wire.cant wait.i dont want to pick the flowers.

  45. Barbara on

    I see nothing on how you deal with pests and diseases hitting your sweet peas. Every year I get problems destroying all my hard work. Also I’m not seeing any answers to any of the comments people have posted nor can I attempt to reply as the reply links don’t work. ??

  46. Hannah Flood on

    If fall planting sweet peas, is the goal to get them sprout in the early spring, or late fall and be dormant through out the winter?


  47. Fabulous Foliages and Fillers - Floret Flowers on

    […] Sweet Pea vines: Sweet peas were the flowers that inspired me to begin my flower journey, and they are a favorite at our farm. We offer more varieties of sweet pea than any other plant, including many new introductions for 2020, several developed by renowned breeder Keith Hammett of New Zealand. Check out my recent blog post on new sweet pea varieties. […]

  48. Laura webley on

    This my first year growing cut flowers and early today I had pretty much decided I wasn’t going to grow them next year unless I have extra space to fill. Then tonight I harvested some and have changed my mind. 100ft next year lol. My question is do you grow them in fabric or not? If so do you space them like other vines at 8×12 ?

    Thanks for all the great resources you provide. I hope to be able to take your course this year

  49. Pat on

    Where can seeds be purchased .

  50. Jill Mitchell on

    I’ve grown sweet peas for years in pots with success. I always start them in the greenhouse in Feb-Mar then set out the pots after they are 6″ or so high. This year they looked great and I followed your suggestion for the first time to pinch the tops of them after they were about 6″. They have now been outside for about a month and haven’t really grown since then, only to about 8″ tall and are not the bright green color they were. We’ve had lots of rain and not too warm of weather, and I have fertilized with fish fertilizer and kelp too. Any ideas what is wrong?

  51. Bev on

    I planted the Salmon colored ones this year but the have not done well at all. We had plenty of rain and the are planted in Miracle gro but they are really slow getting started and now our weather is warming up I’m afraid they won’t bloom for long. They were planted in Feb. and are only about 8” high. Don’t know what I did wrong. I have fertilized watered and pampered them. They just sit there.

  52. Kris on

    Can you direct seed sweet peas in early spring (beginning of April) or should they be started in a greenhouse?

    • Angela, Team Floret on

      Hi Kris,
      Yes, you can direct seed them if you don’t have a place to start them indoors. Happy planting!

  53. Monique on

    I planted Piggy Sue Sweet Peas and they are about 12inches tall with only 2 sets of leaves. Do I leave them as is or should I pinch the tops? I’ll be planting them outside in about 2 weeks.

  54. Abby on

    Hi! I just started my sweet pea seeds a few weeks ago. My seedlings look much more wiry and long than the ones shown in the photo. I would estimate mine are already nearing a foot tall and I just planted them 3 weeks ago. It is not time for them to be planted outside yet. Is something wrong or is there something I can do for them? Thanks!


  55. Elma on

    I purchased sweet peas from you and I just put them in water today to start tomorrow..I was wondering what you use for them to grow on??

    • Angela, Team Floret on

      Hi Elma,
      We use Tenax netting secured to t-posts. I hope this helps!

  56. Janine on

    I am new to sweet pea growing. I am pretty excited about the thought of them. Any helpful hints to growing them would be appreciated. I am in zone 6A. Do I do any pinching back etc. Thanks so much!


  57. Nancy Driscoll on

    I purchsed from you last year and reordered this year. I planted like my grandma always did….soaked them overnight, the just pushed them in the soil. Great germination rate, and I had sweet peas until October! Never had them last that long from other suppliers. I am a fan forever!

  58. Scott Trudell on

    Greetings…. in regards to growing Sweet Peas. I have, in the past, grown them cordon style… tying them to a single support pole and removing side shoots and tendrils as they grew. I did get nice long stems and large flowers… but it seemed like a lot of work for a few bunches of flowers. Do you grow yours in any special way… initial pinching to encourage shoots, etc? I can live without super long stems… since I usually end up cutting them short anyway… but would like to encourage as many flowers as possible. Your selection of Sweet Peas is incredible. I did order a few packs this year from you and am looking forward to enjoying their blooms this growing season!

  59. Jeanne Nation on

    I was quite pleased with all of the varieties that I bought from you last year. I started them inside with grow lights and transplanted them out in big barrels on the patio! I found some long supports that they climbed on. I loved sitting out there and breathing in the fragrance! I bought 5 varieties from you again this year, can’t wait to experience them again!

  60. Deborah on

    I grew up in Arizona and had them in my gardens. Love them. Having a hard time growing them in Delaware. Any suggestions would be helpful

  61. Shawne on

    Sweet peas are my favorite they have allways been growing in Arizona I would wake up as a little girl and smell them coming threw the windows best smelling flower ever I live in NJ now which they say are to hard to grow here I sure wish I could if you have info on growing them here would love the info thank you so much

  62. TD on

    I am in southwest Ontario where it gets super hot and humid. We often have spring end of April/ May
    What would you recommend
    I grew up in Alberta with great sweet peas but they are hard to grow here for some reason.
    How should I amend my soil?
    Thank you

  63. Sarah on

    I am also very curious about how to grow these beauties in our hot, humid Virginia zone 7a climate. We have a short spring- often going from winter to summer in a matter of a few weeks. When I visited Washington state I noticed sweet peas growing along the road- they looked as if they were growing wild! This will be our first year trying to grow them and I would love to know which varieties do the best with heat and humidity, or perhaps if I should expect them to simply grow earlier like March/April and finishing by May.

  64. J C Herz on

    There are definitely varieties that do better – and much worse – in hot and humid climates. Floret is blessed with a Pacific Northwest climate where any sweet pea will thrive, but in the South and Mid-Atlantic certain varieties (particularly Spencer) are not a good bet – they’ll croak. It’d be helpful if you could list heat/humidity tolerant varieties that perform reliably in steamy clients.

  65. j on

    When do you start your seeds? Im in central TX (zone 8) and I’ve had luck with starting sweet peas in fall :)
    They like cooler weather and are a hardy annual to zone 7.

  66. Susan Long on

    Please help! I have planted sweet peas for the past two Springs in my garden and although they grew strongly, they did not bloom. They received six-eight hours of sun daily but no direct morning sun. Could this be the problem? I am trying again this year and have ordered from Floret.

  67. LaJuana on

    This will be the third year for me to try sweet peas after two unsuccessful attempts. I live in the Columbia River Gorge where springs are usually cool and wet. Only about 15% of my sweet peas have come up each year, and those have not done well despite plenty of rich organic mulch incorporated into my healthy soil. I’ve ended up with no more than a single handful of flowers all season from 60-70 seeds. All my other Floret flowers have thrived here, so it must be something specifically about sweet peas that’s the problem. I have tried everything I can think of to help them thrive. This year I was lucky enough to find some mushroom compost to incorporate in the bed, so that might help. I’m considering avoiding the super wet ground by sewing them in my greenhouse in 8″ long “root trainer” pots that open like a book, and then transplanting very carefully outside once they have gotten established. I would really appreciate any ideas about what unknown issue might be keeping my sweet peas from flourishing. I am not giving up!

  68. Margaret L. West on

    The sweet pea stems look like they would be curly and all over the place, but in your bouquets the stems are straight. Are they straight when cut, or do you somehow straighten them?

  69. Jacky on

    Hi! Thank you for sharing. I love your book. I have had wonderful success growing your seeds here in Los Angeles in zone 10. I am Moving to zone 7b this year, on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada, elevation 4,100’ and would appreciate anyones tips for growing there. Would I direct sow in seed in Fall? Or Spring? How many weeks before last chance of frost? I am told they get late frosts there. High temperature differences between day and night too, and very intense sunlight. Anyone else growing under a high mounted light shade cloth for longer stems and better color? Thanks!

  70. susan stump on

    I grow sweet peas in my garden in Iowa. I plant as early as the soil can be worked in the spring as they seem to like cool weather best, but often continue to bloom all summer if I keep them watered. My favorites are Old Spice, Cupani’s and King Edward’s because of their intense fragrance. I am excited to try some of your varieties!

  71. Nanette Clare on

    I grew hot pink sweet peas in a SE MI -zone 6 garden
    I got a twisted mass of vines and they did bloom but we wanted them out (I selected a bad place) we had a horrid time digging out the roots 3 years old
    Are your sweet peas herbaceous? Will they create a tangled mess if I plant them? Are they easy to yank out if I need to control them? Did I grow a perennial type?

  72. Cherridah on

    I have two balconies with morning sun and soft light the rest of the day here in San Francisco, zone 10. I’ve had success with herbs, tomatoes, geraniums, impatiens and ferns. Could I cultivate sweet peas in pots

  73. Batb on

    Thanks for the article and the great pictures ! I have a request though, would you consider sometime creating a mixed seed packet of some of those varieties for those of us without a lot of space? That would be awesome!

  74. Michelle Sych on

    How dense can these be planted in raised beds for a lush planting without smothering each other?

  75. Renee on

    Never planted but going to this year Enchante ,Anniversary,Jilly,Memorial flight so excited!

  76. vivian gerard on

    I love sweetpeas I always buy a mixed color variety I don’t think you ship to bc I don’t have much room in my flower beds

  77. Rebecca on

    I am trying sweet peas for the first time this year. I am a vegetable gardener and dipping my toes into the flower world! I am excited and hopeful that flowers will grow for me. I’m hearing over to read your sowing tips next!

  78. Shirley on

    I am also interested in Blayr’s post and your response. I am in central OK. I grew sweet peas in Colorado during a short stay there but have not had luck here. When would be the optimal time to plant here, and could/should they be sown indoors for transplant out? Thank you!

  79. Jonathan on

    Would sweet peas grow well down here in Costa Rica? they seem like a lovely flower. Though, I didn’t really had much success the time I tried to plant them. My seedlings did not get very tall and withered afterwards…
    Well, I love your site and Instagram page. It makes me so happy to see you doing what you love, so well!

  80. Blayr Gourley on

    I tried some last year (not Floret variety, my Floret sweet peas should arrive here today) and I got them to sprout and get about 2′ tall, but they didn’t do anything after that. They didn’t bloom and didn’t thrive. We live in northeast Oklahoma. We get about 20-30″ of rain annually, but we also get really hot summers. I’m not growing them for cuttings, but rather garden appeal. What do sweet peas love? I’ve notice some plants that say “full sun” don’t need full Oklahoma sun. Thoughts?

  81. Megan on

    Thank you so much for your planting guides! My second year ordering from you and I always read your resources about the seeds I buy. Wondering how high you trellis sweet peas?

  82. Beth Timmer on

    Last year was my first encounter with sweet peas. The big box store packets grew wonderfully for me in zone 5b/6a.
    I have been told sweet peas don’t like hot summers. We have hot and humid summers here, temps 80+ and long stretches in the 90s. So my question is: was it just beginners luck or are there certain varieties that do best in hot/humid climates?

  83. Setina on

    I would like to order these but wondered if they would do well in our climate? We live in Austin TX
    zones 8-9.
    I’m new to the area so I’m unfamiliar if these will do well here. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much!

  84. Karen Lethbridge on

    My uncle Joff was a grower of all things sweet peas. He used to plant two long rows of sweet peas in his garden every year. He tried unsucessfully for years to create a black sweet pea. Close but never the right “black” for him. He thought that one day, that sweet peas would come into their own and everybody would want them. I wish he was around to see how popular they are now.

    Sweet Peas are late summer/early fall flowers in Central Alberta (zone 2) We are always so jealous of the zones that can grow them as early spring flowers. Quite often they bloom most after the first frost in September and it’s a race to harvest and use! Happy Planting!

  85. Janet Johnson on

    I live in zone 9 and like you, sweet peas remind me of my grandmother. I am in charge of the garden club at my elementary school. We have 4 big raised beds where we plant a variety of veggies, but my favorite thing to grow is the sweet peas that we plant all along the chain link fence around the garden. We encourage the students to pick the flowers and take them home to their families

  86. Dixie Swanson on

    No discussion of sweet peas would be complete without mentioning the Spencer varieties. Developed by the gardener at Althorp (Princess Diana’s family estate) around 1900, they are quintessential English varieties.
    Garden trivia to be sure …

  87. Rebecca on

    I’ve never grown sweet peas before, so I’m trying one variety – Ethel Grace. Ethel was my maternal grandmother’s name, so I thought I’d have some good luck with that one.

  88. barbara on

    hold a seed in your fingers and use a large nail clipper to nick a little of the brown coating off of the seed being careful not to get into the white takes a little practice but it is quick and easy…the large clipper is easier to use than the traditional small one…..some people us a single razor blade to do this but I find it is too easy to cut too deep…this allows the moisture to get into the seed and speeds up germination….then put the seeds in a wet not soggy paper towel until they tail….hope this helps….barbara

  89. Deborah Schmitz on

    Thank you for the great information! I have received my seeds for spring planting and can’t wait to get them in the ground! My question is- I live in South Texas. If I order sweet pea seeds now and save them to plant in the fall, will the seeds still be good? Also, should I plant poppies in the spring or fall here? Thank you!

  90. Mary's Garden Grows on

    Just found your website and placed my first order. GORGEOUS stuff! Looking forward to exploring your blog more too. Lots of snow and cold here in northern Wisconsin so dreaming of spring.

  91. Laurie on

    I’m reading all your entries, back through the archives. THANK YOU for so much valuable information. Question: Do you use the 3′ or 4′ hoop bender in most of your outdoor tunnels? I appreciate your guidance on this.

  92. Paulette Walker on

    Hello, and Happy New Years. I live in Ontario, zone 5b, right on cold Georgian Bay, we have heavy cold winter with plenty of snow and frozen ground sometimes into May. How warm does my small three season green house have to be to get my sweet pea seeds started? Also can you explain Barb’s reply regarding “nail clipper” the seeds?
    Thank you Paulette

  93. Margie Walls on

    Do you plant new every year if in a hoop house? We live in south central Indiana, zone 5. Here it is New Years Eve 2019. I have not pulled up all of the sweet pea plants as we have had very strange weather this fall. I was just in our hoop house and we have the thermometer set to close up the louvers if the temps get below 70 degrees. I will see them open sometimes in the middle of the day when the sun is out. Then as soon as it drops they close up. But we still have some very green sweet pea vines up there. Should I pull them up and just replant in March or April? We are not watering and haven’t watered since the end of October.

  94. Kaeli Campbell on

    I live in a zone 4b area. How early can I plant sweet peas. With garden peas, I have planted them as early as April 1st, but I don’t know about sweet peas. I would hate to plant them and have them destroyed by cold weather. Thank you! Kaeli Campbell, Worland, Wyoming

  95. barbara on

    I find I have better germination if I knick the seeds with a nail clipper then layer them in wet paper towels and put them in a plastic bag until they tail, about 5 days, then plant them in 2 inch containers and put them on a sunny window sill until the weather settles so they can be planted out. Note: they don’t all tail at the same time so check back daily.

  96. Ragna Shollenberger on

    I have yet another question: do you recomend planting the sweet peas directly into the ground after soaking them in water?
    I have always done it the small pot ways first, but find it difficult to transfer the plants to the ground and keeping their shape..
    One of my favorite is White Frills.

  97. Ragna Shollenberger on

    I love your sweet peas and have a new plan for 2020!
    Our chickens are gone and I am now thinking of tilling the ground filled with chicken manure kindly deposited by our chicken friends.
    Looking for advice as to planting in that type of soil and what additional nourishments I need to add. Thank you kindly. Ragna Shollenberger, Canby, Oregon


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