Sweet pea plants – more info

Sweet peas are beloved for their sweet scent and delicate blooms. Annual climbers popular in the UK, sweet peas are a common sight on allotments and in back gardens across the country, covering bamboo cane supports. They’re an essential member of any cut-flower garden for their scent to size ratio; just a couple of stems added to a home grown bouquet is enough to fill a room with sweet scent. The more blooms you cut from each plant, the more they grow in replacement!

When to plant out sweet peas

Plant your sweet pea plug plants outdoors after all risk of later frost has passed, usually around late May. Use a heavy bottomed pot and fertile compost on a patio or a balcony to provide a solid base as they climb. Plant your sweet peas into weed-free soil which has a high organic matter content and has been turned over with a fork to make it easier for the roots to establish. Water your sweet peas well after planting out. Gently tie them into their support canes using garden twine.

Which sweet peas have the strongest scent?

The strongest sweet pea scent typically comes from heirloom grandiflora types like the classic sweet pea ‘Matucana’. The blooms produced by ‘Matucana’ are smaller than modern breeding but are an attractive two-toned purple and scarlet colour with an exceptional scent.

More modern sweet peas boast improvements like larger, showier flowers and still have a good fragrance. Sweet pea ‘Scent Infusion’ has a good scent, with longer and stronger stems, which makes picking and displaying easier. The flowers bloom in a gentle palette of white, pink and purple.

When to pinch out sweet peas

Pinch out your sweet pea plants when they are around 10cm tall. Sweet peas are soft enough to nip the leading bud with your first finger and thumb nail. Only remove the very top bud. Pinching out may feel counterproductive but actually encourages your sweet pea plants to grow bushier side growth and bloom more prolifically come summer. Find all the growing tips you need in our article ‘How To Grow Sweet Peas’ at Thompson & Morgan.

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