Planting Instructions for Sweet Pea Flower Seeds

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Sweet Pea Planting and Care Guide

Quick Facts About Sweet Peas

Sweet Peas are the perfect flower to start with for beginning gardeners. The seeds are large, easy to work with, and they grow easily from seed. Annual Sweet Peas smell wonderful, and they can be used for container gardening, hanging baskets, cut flowers for vases, or climbing up a fence or even an evergreen shrub. Their beauty is stunning! Perennial Sweet Peas don't have the lovely fragrance, but they are excellent for cutting, and they come back every year!

Planting Time

Sweet Peas are cool weather lovers, so start the seed directly outdoors in the spring. Light frosts will not harm the plants. Or, start the seeds indoors 6 - 8 weeks prior to transplanting out in mid spring. They do not like to have their roots disturbed, so it is suggested to use peat pots if starting the seeds indoors. For areas that do not have hard frosts, Sweet Peas can be started outdoors in October or November for early spring blooms.

Planting Location

Sweet Peas like full sun in most climates, however, in the hottest climates, sun in the morning and afternoon shade would help the plants last longer. The vines prefer rich, moist soil that drains well. They will need a structure or support to climb.

How to Plant Sweet Peas

  • Sweet Peas can have a hard outer coat, so soak the seeds over night prior to planting
  • Fill peat pots with moistened soil
  • Pres 2 - 3 seeds into each peat pot and cover
  • Keep the pots warm and consistently moist
  • When seedlings emerge, move the pots to a bright, sunny window for growing
  • Once the plants reach about 6 inches in height, pinch out the growing tips to encourage branching and the production of more flowering stems
  • When no more hard frosts are expected, harden off the seedlings for 7 - 10 days prior to transplanting out
  • When transplanting, add compost to the soil to ensure the soil is rich with nutrients and to improve drainage
  • Provide structure for climbing at the time of transplanting
  • Or, in the early spring as soon as the soil can be worked, weed the area and work the soil to a depth of 8 inches or more
  • Add compost to improve the quality of the soil
  • Push the Sweet Pea seeds into the soil and cover with 1/4 to 1/2 inch of soil
  • Keep the seeds moist for germination
  • Provide structure for climbing
  • Pinch tips back as stated earlier
  • Thin to about 6 inches apart

Care And Maintenance

  • Sweet Peas need regular irrigation for their entire growing life - a lack of water will stress the plant
  • Mulch around the base of the plants to suppress weeds and help to keep the roots cool
  • Deadhead the spent blooms OR cut the flowers regularly for flower arrangements
  • Apply a water soluable fertilizer multiple times during the growing season
  • Watch for snails and slugs
  • Cut the flowers in the morning - choose freshly opened flowers on the longest stems for the vase
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Perennial Pea Pearl Pink

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Annual Pea Royal Mix

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Annual Pea BiColor Ripple

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Annual Pea Royal Maroon