6 Top Tips About Growing Sweet Peas

Sweet peas like a long root run

Sow sweet peas in root trainers

Sweet peas like a long root run, which means sowing them into containers with lots of root space. Left are root trainers, and toilet roll holders. The video right explains which are best for sowing sweet peas and how to sow them.

Long roots get your sweet peas off to a good start.

Pinch out the growing points for more blooms

Sow sweet peas in root trainers

Left to their own devices sweet peas would grow one very long stem. Once they germinate and get to the small seedling size, take out the growing point and this forces the seedling to throw out more stems. More stems= more flowers. The video right shows just how to do this or check out Growing sweet peas page.

Plant out into good soil eniched with compost

plant sweet peas in compost enriched soil

Sweet peas need to be planted into good soil, enriched with compost and in a sunny spot, and always water well.

Video right shows how to plant out sweet peas and some growing tips.

RHS Harlow carr arch made for sweet peas

Sweet peas need a frame and to be tied in

When you look at sweet peas, you may think they are self-supporting but they need a framework to grow up and to be securely tied in. 

You do not need to go to the expense of buying a bespoke plant support, you can make a frame or wigwam out of old stems and branches, anything lying around in the garden can be put to use. I spotted the example in the image left at RHS Harlow Carr. It's quite elaborate, but you can see how the offcuts are used and I have made a much more simple archway, and it's free. 

Remove the tendrils

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  • Tendrills
  • sweet pea tendril 310
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  • sweet-pea-plant-and-tendril-310-x-240
  • sweet-pea-tendrill-tied-into-a-sweet-pea-flower-310-x-240

The sweet pea tendrils, at first glance, look like they may be helpful to support the plant. Wrong. If you look through the slide show, you will see how the tendrils attach to anything nearby, another plant, another part of the sweet pea and what they do is prevent the plant growing upwards by anchoring it. Result: a bunch up rather twisted climbing plant.

Finally the more you pick the more you get.

Sweetly scented sweet peas in vase

With sweet peas, the more you pick, the more blooms you get. Don't think you are depleting the plant quite the opposite. If you stop picking the plant will stop flowering prematurely. Ever wondered why you suit peas don't bloom after July, this will be why. I have picked sweet peas until November, honestly.

Sweet pea seed head

The only thing you must do is remove the seed heads throughout the summer and early autumn. Sweet peas are like so many garden plants. Once they set seed, the growing cycle is complete and they will stop producing flowers. On the right is an image of a sweet pea seed,you can see the long light green pod. Remove the whole thing, stem and all. 

Last updated 15.02.2023