Plant Now: Sweet peas

Purple sweetpeas
Bouquet of sweet peassweet peas in vase

If you haven’t already, you should get your sweet peas in now. You don’t have to mollycoddle them – you can sow the seeds directly in the ground. Or sow them in peat pots and plant the whole pot in the soil when the seedlings are 5-8cm (2-3 inches) tall. They are hardy annuals and tolerant of low temperatures. In fact, high light levels in winter combined with cool temperatures are perfect for sweet pea growing. Plant in a spot that gets good sun; low light levels will result in smaller and fewer flowers.

The plants are vines, so they will climb trellises, fences, or even string, and produce more shoots with flowers as they do. When the plants get around 15cm (6 inches) high, tie the shoots to their growing frame.

Watch out for snails and slugs – you may need to use a bait.

When it comes to harvesting, pick your sweat peas when 2-3 flowers start to show some colour.

Image credits: Top photo (which includes sweet peas and stock) via Mod Wedding; middle photo via Love ‘n Fresh Flowers; bottom photo via Sussi’s Sussinghurst.


  1. Que ramos tan bonitos, son todos preciosos, aunque no se porque el tercero me ha enamorado así que lo he visto 😀

  2. Barbara Harris says:

    Hello Jane

    Those Sweet Pea bouquets are so pretty.
    Will the ones I planted last year and flowered all Summer re-seed themselves ?

    • Hi Barbara. Not unless you allowed the plant to develop seed pods and then dug the whole plant, or a few of the pods, into the soil afterwards. After flowering sweet peas develop seed pods, just like ordinary pea plants, and within these are the seeds. You can save a few of these for next season. Just leave a few flowers on the stem and they will turn into seed pods. Let them dry completely (they will turn brown), then pick and store the pods in a cool spot until next season. Remove the seeds when it comes to planting.

Leave a Reply to Barbara Harris Cancel reply