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How to Grow Sweet Peas 23 January 2018

Choosing Your Sweet Pea Seeds

Sweet peas, Lathyrus odoratus, are hardy annual flowers known for their fragrance. As Britains biggest Sweet Pea producer for the home gardener, we have over 150 individual colours in our main catalogue. Choose which flowers you would like from our extensive range. We have single colours, bi-coloured blooms, spencer types, grandiflora types, dwarf types, old fashioned varieties and mixtures and colllections. They are rated on their scent too. The ratings are average scent, well scented, highly scented and very highly scented.

When to Sow Sweet Pea Seeds

Sowing sweet peas can begin in autumn from October through to early April. Peter Miler, Kings expert, finds that the optimum time to sow is early November.

How to Sow Sweet Pea Seeds

Sow 5 seeds into a 7.5cm (3in) pot using a good growing medium. Place the seeds 2cm deep into the soil. We recommend using a good quality seed sowing compost, not multi-purpose compost. This is because multi-purpose can include a lot of greens and weeds which can harm the seedlings and cause poor germination. In Peters experience, he has found that chipping and soaking the seeds is not necessary.

Where to Sow Sweet Pea Seeds

Once the seeds have been sown in pots, keep the seedlings in a cold frame and do not let the soil dry out, but do not overwater. When watering, use tap water rather than butt saved water. Direct sowings during October or March can be planted direct in the flowering site. This can be in a flower border, or if you are choosing to grow a compact, dwarf variety, these can be planted into pots and containers or hanging baskets. Sweet peas enjoy the sun, so plant them in a sunny position.

When to Plant Out Sweet Peas

Harden off, prior to planting out in early April, (weather permitting) and feed foliage or soil dressing at fortnightly intervals. When the plants start to grow tall, we recommend that you support the plants.This could be in the form or trellis, teepees or archways. They can become heavy after rain so supporting the plants is important, as they can grow around 180cm - 200cm.

What to do Next

When the plants have grown 3 pairs of true leaves, pinch out the tops to encourage side shoots for the promotion of greater flower production. Make sure that the plants are kept watered so that they can thrive.


Sweet peas will flower in Summer from June to September. Sweet peas make a beautiful cut flower, so you can cut the stems and place in a vase around the home. Although they do look great in a vase, they are only short lived as a cut flower, and may only last up to a week.


Peter Miller - Kings Sweet Pea Expert!

View our full range of sweet pea seeds available to buy online or via our mail order catalogue!

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