Growing Sweet Peas
How to Grow Sweet Peas
Growing Sweet Peas From Seed
Sweet Peas are easy to germinate and buying seed gives a wider choice of fragrance and colour, but it is more time consuming. Many of the garden centres sell Sweet Peas seeds in mixed colours which is good, but it is also nice to have some single colours, as above, to contrast and compliment other summer flowering plants. This type of sweet pea is an annual.
Commonly Sweet Peas are seeded in Feb/March. Sweet Peas need heat to germinate and place on warm windowsill or heated propagator, about 15C/ 59F. When growing Sweet Peas, the choice of container is important; Sweet Peas have long roots which means it's important to plant them into a deep
Sweet Peas can also be sucessfully germinated in the Autumn in a warm conservatory and the moved into an unheated greenhouse for the winter. Provided the Sweet Peas are protected from frost under glass they will do well over the winter and produce sturdy plants for the Spring. Autumn sown Sweet peas tend to flower earlier and by sowing in Autumn and Spring the flowering season is exteneded.
With immature Sweet Peas plants it is best to pinch out the growing tips to make the seedling bush and produce more growing tips which will in the summer make more flowers.
Tips on growing sweet peas
When growing Sweet peas the young plants need to be tied in regularly as they grow up the support. Don't make the mistake of letting the tendrils support the plants. This is really important when growing sweet peas, to pay attention to the Tendrils. The photo opposite illustrates tendrills, they are the thin stems without flowers running off the plant which wind and cling.
The presence of tendrils can suggest the plant is self clinging and so will support itself via tendrils. In one way it can, but if it is left to do this unchecked, as the Sweet Peas mature, the tendrils grab or catch other parts of the Sweet Pea plant, or adjacent plants, which causes the plant to become bunched, which twists the stems so the Sweet Peas don't have those lovely long stems. Towards the end of the season the Sweet Peas can look a mess all bunched up and matted together . If the tendrils are allowed to grow, instead of growing up the obelisk with nice stems, the Sweet Peas will bunch up into a tangled mess. When growing Sweet Peas, every week remove 90% of the tendrils. This may mean in the early days of growing you need to tied in the plants to give them some support, other than the tendrills.
It is also essential when growing sweet peas to pick the flowers regularly and don't allow any seed pods to form. If seed pods form the plants will stop flowering so remove and deadhead to ensure the Sweet Peas continue to flower throughout the Summer . If the weather is dry Sweet Peas require watering. The decision whether to grow sweet peas is really a question of how much you like them and how much time you have. Sweet Peas are definitely colour coded red.