How to get straight stems on sweet peas

 Sweet peas lovely maroon colour  Sweet Pea tendrill hooked onto a sweet pea flower

 How to get straight stems on Sweet Peas

Sweet peas are lovely with their powerful scent and range of colours.  We grow them both for their beauty in the garden but also to pick and bring indoors. For Sweet peas to look good on the plant, and in the vase, Sweet Peas need to have straight stems. This is easy to do.  Firstly if you want long straight stems the variety you buy will make a difference.  The old fashioned Spencer varieties are good and it is worth checking the seed packet to see how the varieties is described. The variety 'cupani' is very pretty but tends to have shorter stems although they will still be straight.

The  most important tip to have straight stems on sweet peas is to remove the tendrils. When you look at a Sweet pea, you will see the tendrils, which cling onto the plant support and look as if they are helping the plant along; they are not.

Firstly, the tendrils will cling onto the support but also onto other parts of the plant, which causes the plant to become twisted and bent and this in turn mis shapes the stems. As the summer goes on the plant produces more and more tendrils, which wind and cling to all parts of the plant which are adjacent and so will bend and distort the stems more and more untill not only are there not many straight stems on the plant, but the whole plant has become all bunched up and looks a mess.

The answer is to remove the tendrils, every few days or at least once a week.  Doing this many mean that the plant may flop and need some support to keep it growing upwards. It also means that you will have lovely straight stems on the flowers you pick and a plant which keeps growing upwards and covered in lots of lovely straight stemmed blooms. 

The images show what the tendrils look like so you can be confident in the part of the plant you are removing, and just how many there are. If you grow a lot of sweet peas you will end up with a big pile of tendrils which is one of the reasons they are a red wheelbarrow  time consuming to grow red wheelbarrow plant as it is time consuming to remove these. 

Sweet pea plant and tendril Sweet Pea tendril Sweet Pea tendrils removed

 

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