Sweet as anything and utterly delightful, sweet pea flowers have long been loved by gardeners for their charm, fragrance and nostalgia. But despite their delicate look, sweet peas are quite hardy and easy to grow from seed. Here are a few handy tips for growing a bountiful supply of sweet pea flowers in your garden.
Grow sweet pea flowers from seed
Depending on where you live in Australia, sweet pea seeds are best sown in autumn or spring. Before sowing sweet pea seeds, soak them in water for 24 hours; this will soften the seeds and speed up the germination process.
Sweet peas are happiest with their heads in the sun and their roots deep in cool, moist soil. When planting, pick a nice sunny spot in your garden with good drainage. Mix good quality compost or fertiliser into the soil before sowing the seeds. Sweet peas prefer alkaline soil, so if your soil has low pH, balance it by adding lime, dolomite, or poultry manure.
Dig a 3cm deep trench in your soil, sow seeds 5 cm apart and water them. Avoid watering the seeds again until they have germinated, as too much water could cause the seeds to rot. Seeds will begin to germinate in 2 weeks. When the seeds have grown to 10cm, thin them out, placing them 10cm apart. As sweet peas are a climbing plant, you will need to place a trellis near the seedlings as they will use this to climb. Pinch out the central growing tip, just above a leaf joint as the plant grows; this will help grow bushier sweet peas. Use a good quality liquid fertiliser to encourage maximum blooms. Once the flowers bloom, pick them often as the plant will put energy into growing more flowers.
Seeds germinate: 2 weeks
Soil type: Well-drained soil
Sunlight: Full sun
Flowers emerge: 12 to 14 weeks
Want to grow sweet peas in your garden or send someone a Gift of Seeds? Shop sweet pea seeds here.