Sweet Pea (Lathyrus odoratus) - Hardy Annual
Sweet peas have been cultivated since the 17th century and a vast number of cultivars are available. They are grown for their wide range of flower colour (usually in pastel shades of blue, pink, purple and white, including bi-colours), and for their intense, unique fragrance.
When to sow: Under cover in Autumn or late Winter / Early Spring, Outdoors in mid-Spring
When to plant out: Mid-late Spring
Flowering time: Late Spring (if Autumn sown) - Autumn
Pinch out?: Yes, when plants have 4 sets of true leaves
Conditions: Full Sun, Rich soil
Feeding? Yes, add compost or manure to planting holes. Can apply a liquid feed once they are flowering
Height: 1.75m / 6 ft
Support? Yes, grow up a wigwam of canes or up netting
When to pick: When first flower is about to open
Recommended varieties: Heritage varieties have the best scent but smaller flowers, Grandiflora varieties have longer stems and larger flowers and still have a good scent, Spencer varieties have less of a scent but big, ruffled flowers.
Flower meaning: Delicate pleasure and bliss.
Vase life: 3-5 days
Conditioning: Not needed
Good for: Have a wonderful scent and plants are very prolific flowerers if you keep picking them every few days and do not allow seed pods to form