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Growing Sweet Peas - The Sweet Pea Flower (Lathyrus Odoratus) | Flower Patch | North American Farmer

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Growing Sweet Peas

Get Captivated By Sweet Peas Fragrant Scent

by Frances Santos

Growing Sweet Peas - The Sweet Pea Flower

You have probably heard about the sweet-scented flower, sweat pea. After all, the sweet pea flower is a popular scent of many signature lotions, shower gels, fragrances, even scented oils. Well, if you’re looking for flowers gifted with a strong, lovely scent, then growing sweet peas may be a great fit for you. There’s no doubt that sweet peas can turn your home garden into an aromatic delight!

Sweet peas (Lathyrus odoratus) were transported to the New World from Europe. These are a hardy annual flowering plants that thrive in cool weather conditions.

In fact, sweet peas can endure frosts and a snow cover. The blooms come in wide range of colors including purple, pink, blue, cream and white. Sweet peas have two varieties, vining and non-vining. The vining varieties can grow over 7 feet, while non-vining varieties can only grow 1-2 feet tall. Take note, however, that a suitable support is necessary. The sweet pea has more than 1,000 varieties which can be grown in your garden or sown as a wildflower.

Propagation

You can buy ready-grown young sweet pea plants. However, think twice before spending as sweet peas are easily grown from seed. The best approach is to plant sweet pea seeds directly into your garden in the spring. But listen here, sweet pea seeds contain a neurotoxin and are poisonous so please take extra precaution. Unlike most peas, sweet pea seeds must not be eaten.

Mild climates – plant sweet pea seeds in the fall for a spring bloom.
Colder climates – plant the seeds a month from the last frost date in your area.
Hot and humid climates – it is necessary to provide the plants some amount of shade.

Scout out a well draining spot with rich and fertile soil. Improve the quality of soil by adding a compost mix before planting. Sow the seeds an inch deep into the ground with 6 inches spacing in between. The vining types need support as they grow higher so prepare this beforehand. Take note that sweet peas can quickly ascend skyward. Finish with a thorough watering.

Prevent any disease by providing proper air circulation between the plants. Thin your sweet peas to five inches apart once they grow in. It is important to give the roots sufficient room to grow and to gather nutrients.

How To Grow Sweet Peas

Sweet peas are easy to cultivate. In fact, they only need little maintenance in order to grow well: rich soil, cold weather and full sun. You must water them once or twice weekly during dry periods. A general purpose fertilizer must be applied once or twice every season. Although, a well-drained spot is best, sweet peas can tolerate wet soil.

So how do you keep the flowers blooming? The trick here is to pinch out withered blooms before the seed begins to form. Once you have established your sweet peas, they typically reseed themselves and spread easily. With this in mind, make sure to control their spread as they can get out of hand and overcrowd your flower garden.

Sweet Pea Diseases

Sweet peas attract a variety of butterflies and birds, creating a nice scenery in any flower garden. However, sweet peas are also popular among insects, hence insect problems such as root borers and aphids may occur. If you encounter this, use repellents and insecticides.

Mildew and fungus invasion is expected during cold weather and/or wet environment. So before the disease gets a foothold, resolve the problem using fungicides as early as possible.

So there you have it! With these simple tips on growing sweet peas, you can stroll through your flower garden while breathing in the sweet smell of your very own sweet pea flowers!