July 20


Methods for successfully cultivating sweet peas from seeds in garden borders and containers

How to grow sweet peas from seed – in borders and pots

Sweet peas are a popular choice among gardeners, and it comes as no surprise – with their vibrant color, lots of scent and beautiful flowers, they are a true gem in any garden. Being easy to grow from seed, sweet peas can be a great addition to both borders and pots, and they will reward you with a stunning display throughout the summer.

In a recent article, Monty Don, a well-known gardening expert, has shared his tips on how to grow sweet peas successfully. He recommends starting the seeds in March, in pots indoors. This way, you can get a head start on the growing season and have strong, healthy plants ready for planting out when the weather becomes warmer.

Before planting the sweet peas outdoors, it is important to prepare the soil properly. Monty advises digging in lots of well-rotted manure or compost to improve the soil conditions and provide the plants with the nutrients they need for vigorous growth. Sweet peas prefer rich, well-draining soils, so this step is crucial to their success.

When it comes to planting the sweet peas, you have several options. They can be grown up a wigwam-like structure made of bamboo sticks, or they can be trained to climb up a trellis or netting. Both methods work well, so it’s up to you to choose the one that suits your garden style the best. Monty also suggests planting them in raised beds, as this helps improve drainage and prevents waterlogged soil, which can be harmful to the plants.

Once the sweet peas start to flower, it’s important to care for them properly. Monty advises regularly deadheading the flowers to encourage more blooms and prevent the plants from going to seed too soon. Sweet peas are annuals, and they will only flower for a short period, so making the most out of their display is crucial.

If you’re looking to bring sweet peas indoors, Leigh Clapp, the editor of a gardening magazine, suggests adding them to a vase with other colorful favorites, such as cosmos or sunflowers. The scent of sweet peas combined with the vibrant colors of these flowers can really make a living space come alive.

Whether you plant sweet peas in borders or pots, give them a climbing structure to grow on, and make sure to remove the spent flowers regularly for continuous blooming, these beautiful plants will brighten up your garden and fill your home with their scent. Follow these expert tips, and you will be rewarded with a stunning display of sweet peas in no time.

“Sweet peas are a true gem in any garden, with their vibrant color, lots of scent and beautiful flowers. Being easy to grow from seed, sweet peas can be a great addition to both borders and pots.” – Monty Don

How to grow sweet peas

When it comes to gardening, few flowers are as beloved as sweet peas. These delicate and fragrant flowers have been a favorite among gardeners for generations, and it’s easy to see why. They come in a wide range of colors, from soft pastels to vibrant hues, and their scrambling stems can reach up to six feet in height, creating a beautiful display in any garden.

If you want to grow sweet peas from seed, it’s important to start early. Sweet pea seedlings are usually planted in late winter or early spring, around 4-6 weeks before the last frost. You can start them indoors in pots or trays, and once they have developed strong roots, they can be transplanted outside.

Before planting, make sure to prepare the soil. Sweet peas prefer well-drained soil that has been enriched with compost or well-rotted manure. They also need a sunny spot in the garden, although they can tolerate some shade.

When planting your sweet pea seedlings, be sure to give them plenty of space. They are vigorous growers and need room to spread out. A spacing of about 5-6 inches between each plant is recommended. You can also support their growth by providing them with a trellis or some twine to cling to.

Sweet peas require regular watering, especially in dry conditions. They also benefit from regular feeding with a balanced fertilizer. Deadheading, or picking off faded flowers, will help to extend the blooming period. If you want to have sweet peas all summer long, it’s important to keep up with this task.

Care should also be taken to watch for pests and diseases. Sweet peas can be susceptible to aphids, so keep an eye out for any signs of infestation. Powdery mildew can also be a problem, especially in humid conditions or when plants are overcrowded. If you notice any signs of disease, treat them as soon as possible.

One of the best things about sweet peas is that they make great cut flowers. Their long stems and beautiful colors look stunning in a vase. To pick sweet peas for a bouquet, cut the stems early in the morning when the flowers are at their freshest. Just be sure to leave some flowers on the plant to keep it blooming.

In terms of favorites, celebrity gardener Monty Don says that his all-time favorite sweet pea is ‘Matucana’. This variety has stunning deep purple flowers and a strong fragrance. However, there are many other beautiful varieties to choose from, so don’t be afraid to experiment and find your own favorites.

In conclusion, growing sweet peas from seed can be a rewarding experience. With proper care, you can enjoy their beautiful colors and fragrance all summer long. Whether you plant them in borders or pots, these charming flowers are sure to be a standout in your garden.

Growing sweet peas from seed

Growing sweet peas from seed is a rewarding and enjoyable task for many gardeners. These beautiful and fragrant flowers are a favorite among many, and with a little care and attention, you can enjoy a colorful display of sweet peas in your garden.

Here are some tips and steps to help you grow sweet peas from seed:

1. Planting the seeds

Start by sowing the seeds in pots or modules in early spring, around March or April. Fill the containers with a good quality seed compost and lightly press the seeds into the compost, about 1 inch deep. Water gently and place the pots in a warm and sunny spot.

2. Creating a support structure

As sweet peas are climbers, they will need support to grow and climb. You can create a support structure using bamboo canes or a wigwam made of hazel sticks. This will help the sweet peas to grow upward and prevent them from sprawling on the ground.

3. Regular watering

Sweet peas need regular watering, especially during dry summers. Make sure to water them regularly, keeping the soil moist but not saturated. This will help the plants to grow and flower more vigorously.

4. Deadheading and pruning

4. Deadheading and pruning

Deadheading is the process of removing faded flowers to encourage more blooms. Sweet peas will continue flowering throughout the summer if you regularly remove the spent flowers. Additionally, you can prune the plants by cutting back the main stem by about a third, which will promote bushier growth.

5. Feeding the plants

Sweet peas are hungry plants and require regular feeding. You can use a general-purpose fertilizer or organic manure to feed the plants every couple of weeks. This will help them to grow strong and healthy, producing more flowers.

6. Protecting from pests

Sweet peas are sometimes prone to aphids and other pests. To protect your plants from these pests, you can cover them with netting or use natural pest control methods. Regularly check the leaves for any signs of infestation and take necessary actions.

7. Harvesting and enjoying

Sweet peas are ready to be harvested when the flowers are fully open. Cut them with a pair of clean scissors and place them in a vase filled with water. They will fill your home with their delightful fragrance.

By following these steps, you can successfully grow sweet peas from seed and enjoy their beautiful flowers in your garden or balcony. With their vibrant colors and sweet fragrance, sweet peas are a wonderful addition to any garden.

Where is the best place to plant sweet peas

Where is the best place to plant sweet peas

The best place to plant sweet peas is in a spot that receives full sun. Sweet peas thrive in bright and sunny conditions, allowing them to produce an abundance of flowers. It is important to choose a location that gets at least six hours of direct sunlight each day.

When selecting a spot for planting sweet peas, consider the following factors:

  1. Soil quality: Sweet peas prefer deep, fertile soil that is well-drained. Before planting, amend the soil with compost or well-rotted manure to improve its quality and drainage.
  2. Supporting structure: Sweet peas are climbing plants that require support to grow. It is essential to provide a trellis, fence, or other structure for them to climb. Make sure the structure is sturdy and tall enough to support the vines as they grow.
  3. Avoiding competition: Sweet peas do not perform well when planted in beds with other plants or heavy competition. They prefer their space and may struggle to grow and flower if crowded by other plants. Plant sweet peas in a dedicated bed or in pots where they can have plenty of room to grow.

Sweet peas can be planted directly in the ground or in raised beds. If planting directly in the ground, prepare the soil by removing any weeds or debris and loosening it with a garden fork. Create a trench that is about 15cm deep and sprinkle the seeds along the bottom of the trench, spacing them about 5cm apart.

If planting in raised beds, fill the beds with a mixture of compost and well-drained soil. Create a shallow trench along the length of the bed and plant the seeds in the same manner as described above.

It is important to water the soil regularly after planting to ensure that the seeds and young plants do not dry out. Sweet peas have long tap roots, so it is important to water deeply to encourage strong root growth.

Sweet peas can be sown directly into pots or containers as well, making them suitable for balconies or small gardens. Fill the pots with a quality potting mix and sow the seeds directly into the soil. Place the pots in a sunny spot and provide support for the plants as they grow.

For early flowering, sweet peas can be started indoors in pots or trays in late winter or early spring. Plant the seeds in a well-draining seed compost and keep them indoors until the threat of frost has passed. Harden off the seedlings by gradually exposing them to outdoor conditions before transplanting them to their final position in the garden.

By following these planting tips, you can create the ideal conditions for sweet peas to thrive and produce beautiful blooms throughout the summer months. Whether you have a garden bed or a balcony, there is a spot for sweet peas to add color and fragrance to your outdoor space.

Caring for sweet peas

After you have planted your sweet pea seeds and they have germinated, it’s time to start caring for them. Sweet peas are relatively easy to grow, but they do require some attention and care to ensure a healthy and successful growing season.


Watering is an important part of caring for sweet peas. They need lots of water to grow well, especially during dry periods. It’s best to water them at the base of the plant, using a watering can or a hose with a fine spray nozzle. Avoid getting the foliage wet, as this can lead to fungal diseases.


Sweet peas are climbing plants, so they need support to grow upright. Provide a structure, such as a trellis, fence, or bamboo canes, for them to climb. This encourages them to grow straight and also makes it easier to harvest the flowers.


Sweet peas are hungry plants and will benefit from regular feeding. Use a balanced, slow-release fertilizer when you prepare the soil or add organic matter, such as well-rotted manure or compost, to provide nutrients throughout the growing season.


Deadheading is the process of removing spent flowers to encourage the plant to produce more blooms. This is especially important for sweet peas, as it helps prolong the flowering period. When deadheading, select a stem just above a pair of leaves and snap it off.


Pruning is not necessary for sweet peas, but it can be done to shape the plants or to remove any dead or damaged parts. Use clean and sharp pruning shears or scissors to avoid damaging the healthy parts of the plant.

Pest and disease control

Keep an eye out for any pests or diseases that may affect your sweet peas. Slugs, snails, aphids, and powdery mildew can be common problems. Use organic pest control methods, such as picking off the pests by hand or using a natural insecticide, to prevent damage to your plants.


Once your sweet peas start producing flowers, you can start harvesting them. Pick the flowers when they are in full bloom and have a strong scent. Cut the stems at an angle to encourage water uptake and place them in a bucket of water immediately.


In colder regions, sweet peas are often grown as annuals and do not survive the winter. However, if you have a greenhouse or a protected spot in your garden, you can try overwintering them. Cut back the plants in late autumn, remove any dead leaves or foliage, and provide some insulation to protect them from frost.

Caring for sweet peas requires regular attention and care, but the rewards are well worth it. With proper care, you can enjoy the beautiful flowers and their delightful scent throughout the summer.

What is the best way to grow sweet peas

Sweet peas are beautiful flowering plants that come in a variety of colors and make a lovely addition to any garden. Whether you have a small balcony or a vast garden, sweet peas can be grown in borders or pots, adding a touch of elegance and fragrance to your outdoor space.

There are a few steps you should follow when growing sweet peas from seed to ensure they thrive:

  1. Prepare the soil: Sweet peas thrive in rich, well-draining soil. Before planting, loosen the soil and add organic matter like compost or aged manure to improve its fertility.
  2. Plant the seeds: Sweet peas can be sown directly into the garden or started indoors and transplanted once they have developed a few leaves. Sow the seeds in autumn or early spring for best results.
  3. Provide support: Sweet peas are climbing plants that need support to grow. You can provide a structure for them to climb on, such as a trellis or bamboo canes tied together in a teepee shape.
  4. Water regularly: Sweet peas like to be kept moist but not waterlogged. Water them regularly, especially during dry spells, and avoid getting the foliage wet to prevent diseases.
  5. Protect from pests: Sweet peas can be prone to pests like slugs and snails. Use organic pest control methods or physical barriers, such as copper tape or crushed eggshells, to protect your plants.
  6. Deadhead spent blooms: To encourage more flowering, remove faded flowers by pinching them off at the base. This will also prevent the formation of seed pods and keep your sweet peas looking tidy.

If you’re growing sweet peas in containers, make sure the pots are deep enough to accommodate their long roots. You can also use planters with trellises attached to provide both support and beauty.

Once your sweet peas start flowering, be sure to cut some of the blooms and bring them indoors to enjoy their sweet fragrance. Sweet peas make stunning cut flowers and can be arranged in a vase with other summer blooms.

In conclusion, sweet peas are an excellent choice for gardeners who want to add beauty and fragrance to their gardens. With proper care and attention, these lovely flowers will reward you with an abundance of blooms throughout the summer months.

Do sweet peas need to climb

Sweet peas are climbing plants that naturally grow upwards, reaching for support to climb and flourish. So, the short answer is yes — sweet peas do need to climb.

These beautiful flowers require a structure to grow on, as they can reach heights of up to 6 feet (1.8 meters). Without proper support, their growth will be limited, and they may not flower as abundantly as they could.

There are several options for providing sweet peas with the climbing support they need:

Trellises and obelisks

Trellises and obelisks are popular choices for sweet peas. They provide a sturdy framework for the plants to grow on, allowing them to reach their full potential. Make sure to select a trellis or obelisk that is tall enough to accommodate the height of the sweet peas.

Wigwams and arches

Wigwams and arches are another option for supporting sweet peas. These structures create an attractive focal point in the garden and provide a sturdy support system for the plants.

Netting or mesh

Netting or mesh

If you don’t have access to a trellis or obelisk, you can also use netting or mesh to create a climbing structure for your sweet peas. Attach the netting or mesh to sturdy posts or poles to provide support for the plants as they grow.

It’s important to provide sweet peas with something to climb, as they have tendrils that are specially adapted for clinging onto supports. This allows them to climb upwards and reach for the sun, which is essential for their growth and flowering.

If you’re growing sweet peas in containers, make sure to place a trellis or other climbing structure in the pot before planting the seeds. This will encourage the sweet peas to climb and prevent them from sprawling across the ground.

Once the sweet peas have been planted and begin to grow, you may need to help guide their tendrils onto the climbing structure. Gently wind the tendrils around the support, being careful not to damage the delicate shoots.

Additionally, regularly check for any deadheading or spent flowers on the sweet peas. Removing these old flowers will encourage new growth and prolong the flowering period.

Providing sweet peas with a climbing structure not only helps them reach their full potential but also adds height and interest to the garden. So, if you want to enjoy the beauty and scent of these flowers, make sure to give them something to climb on.

How much sun do sweet peas need

How much sun do sweet peas need

Sweet peas are beautiful flower plants known for their vibrant colors and delightful scent. If you’re planning to grow sweet peas in your garden or containers, it’s important to know how much sun they need to thrive.

Generally, sweet peas love sunny locations. They require at least 6 hours of direct sunlight each day to grow and flower effectively. If you have a sunny spot in your garden or on your balcony, it’s a great place to grow sweet peas.

When preparing the soil for sweet peas, it’s important to choose a location that gets lots of sunlight. Sweet peas can tolerate partial shade, but their growth and flowering will be significantly diminished if they don’t receive enough sun.

If you’re planting sweet pea seeds directly in the garden, find a spot with full sun exposure. Make sure the soil is well-drained, rich, and fertile. Sweet peas prefer loamy soils that retain moisture but drain well.

On the other hand, if you’re growing sweet peas in containers, make sure to place them in a sunny area. Containers can dry out quickly and tend to heat up in the sun, so it’s important to monitor the moisture levels and provide regular watering to keep the soil moist.

For those living in areas with hot summers, providing some shade during the hottest part of the day can be beneficial. This helps prevent the sweet peas from wilting and drying out too quickly.

Sweet peas are climbing plants and require support as they grow. They can reach a height of 6-8 feet, so using a trellis, bamboo sticks, or even a netting structure for them to climb on is recommended.

Remember to regularly remove any side shoots to focus the plant’s energy on growing and flowering. This will result in more robust and beautiful blooms.

In summary, sweet peas need a sunny location to thrive. Aim for at least 6 hours of direct sunlight each day. Choose well-drained, rich soil for planting and make sure to provide support for the climbing plants. Regularly remove side shoots to encourage flowering and always keep an eye on moisture levels, especially in containers.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to enjoy the vibrant colors and sweet scent of sweet peas in your garden all summer long.

Can sweet peas be grown in pots

Yes, sweet peas can be successfully grown in pots. In fact, growing sweet peas in pots is a popular choice for many gardeners as it allows for greater control over the growing conditions and offers a convenient way to add a burst of color and fragrance to small spaces.

When deciding to grow sweet peas in pots, there are a few essential points to keep in mind:

Choosing the right pot and soil

  • Use a deep pot with at least 12 inches in depth to accommodate the long roots of sweet peas.
  • Ensure the pot has drainage holes to prevent waterlogging.
  • Use a well-draining potting mix that is rich in organic matter.

Sowing and caring for sweet peas in pots

  • Sow sweet pea seeds directly into the pot in early spring or late winter.
  • Place the pots in a sunny location where they will receive at least 6 hours of sunlight per day.
  • Water regularly, keeping the soil evenly moist but not waterlogged.
  • As the sweet peas grow, provide support such as bamboo canes or a trellis for them to climb.
  • During hot summer days, make sure to supply plenty of water to prevent plants from wilting.
  • Remove spent flowers, or deadhead regularly, to promote more blooms.

Styling your potted sweet peas

Sweet peas in pots can be styled in various ways to create a beautiful and eye-catching display:

  • Plant them with other colorful annuals and perennials like delphiniums, pansies, or geraniums.
  • For a cascading effect, plant sweet peas in hanging baskets and let them scramble down.
  • Try mixing different sweet pea varieties to create a stunning color combination.
  • Consider placing the pots near a seating area or entrance where their fragrance can be enjoyed.

Growing sweet peas in pots is a fantastic way to enjoy their beauty and fragrance, even if you have limited garden space. Follow the above advises and tips, and you will be rewarded with an abundance of stunning flowers that can be cut for gorgeous arrangements or enjoyed in the garden.

How often should you water sweet peas

Sweet peas, like many annuals, prefer regular watering. The frequency of watering will depend on the conditions they are growing in. In containers, especially during hot summers, they may need watering daily. In the early stages of growth, when they are establishing themselves, it’s important to keep the soil consistently moist. You can stick your finger into the soil to check the moisture level – if the top inch feels dry, it’s time to water.

In the garden, sweet peas generally don’t require as much water. They have deep roots and can tolerate drought conditions, but they will grow better and produce more flowers if they receive regular watering. Aim to water deeply, soaking the soil down to the root zone, rather than surface watering. This encourages the roots to grow deep and helps with overall plant growth.

Sweet peas are vigorous climbers and will benefit from regular feeding and watering. To encourage growth, follow a regular watering schedule and feed them with a balanced liquid fertilizer every couple of weeks. Monty Don, a popular gardener and TV presenter, advises keeping sweet peas well-watered at all times.

When to water:

When growing sweet peas from seed, it’s important to keep the soil evenly moist until the seedlings emerge. After they emerge, you can decrease the frequency of watering but still keep the soil consistently moist. Watering in the morning is generally better than watering in the evening, as it allows the leaves to dry off quickly, which reduces the risk of fungal diseases.

Watering tips:

  • Water the plants at the base, avoiding wetting the leaves. This helps prevent fungal diseases.
  • Use a watering can or a gentle hose attachment to water the plants. A strong jet of water can damage the delicate leaves and stems.
  • Water deeply and thoroughly, ensuring the water reaches the root zone.
  • If the weather is hot and dry, consider providing some shade or mulching around the plants to help conserve moisture.

Remember, sweet peas are one of the gardener’s favorites due to their beautiful flowers and delightful fragrance. Taking care of their watering needs will ensure healthy growth and abundant blooms.


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