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Sweet Peas (aka Queen of the Annuals)

By Joannabanana
January 22, 2013

Lathyrus odoratus, the annual sweet pea, intrigues gardeners everywhere and the quest for an enchanting display of fragrant walls of colour is one of the most desired displays for many gardeners. Your geographical location will dictate whether sweet peas will be a winter, early spring or late summer and fall bloomer for you. There are a few things to do and consider in preparation for beautiful sweet peas in your garden.

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Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Jan 21, 2013 6:56 PM CST
I was so encouraged by reading this article. I know think I can try growing some of them, especially the fragrant ones.
Thank you Joanne.
Name: Joanne
Calgary, AB Canada (Zone 3a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: Canadian Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Roses
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Annuals Container Gardener Vegetable Grower Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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Joannabanana
Jan 21, 2013 7:18 PM CST
That's GREAT! I have a friend that asked if I would start some early for her. She bought a package of Early Spencer Mix. She was a bit disappointed when we checked and found out that they are not fragrant. Pretty ruffle blooms though. We got a few other varieties that are fragrant, so we will have pretty and smelly mixed. All is good.
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
Image
valleylynn
Jan 21, 2013 7:26 PM CST
Great way to have both fragrance and beauty. I didn't think about that.
I fell in love with the photo of this one.
Sweet Pea (Lathyrus odoratus 'Painted Lady')

Oh, and these two: http://www.swallowtailgardenseeds.com/vines/sweet_pea_vines....
Henry Eckford & Lord Nelson
Name: Joanne
Calgary, AB Canada (Zone 3a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: Canadian Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Roses
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Annuals Container Gardener Vegetable Grower Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Image
Joannabanana
Jan 21, 2013 8:00 PM CST
Those are nice. Pretty choices
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
Image
valleylynn
Jan 21, 2013 8:03 PM CST
I love that orange and purple together. Should work well in the area by my front porch. Want people to be able to catch the scent when they come to the front door.
Name: Joanne
Calgary, AB Canada (Zone 3a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: Canadian Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Roses
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Annuals Container Gardener Vegetable Grower Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Image
Joannabanana
Jan 21, 2013 8:24 PM CST
I hope to see your pictures. Sounds lovely
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
Image
valleylynn
Jan 21, 2013 9:36 PM CST
Will the sweet pea seeds winter sow in milk jugs?
Name: Joanne
Calgary, AB Canada (Zone 3a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: Canadian Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Roses
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Annuals Container Gardener Vegetable Grower Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Image
Joannabanana
Jan 21, 2013 9:52 PM CST
Absolutely!
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
Image
valleylynn
Jan 21, 2013 10:15 PM CST
You just made me a very happy camper. I have my milk jugs ready to go.
Name: Joanne
Calgary, AB Canada (Zone 3a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: Canadian Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Roses
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Annuals Container Gardener Vegetable Grower Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Image
Joannabanana
Jan 21, 2013 11:02 PM CST
I wintersowed sweet peas a few years ago. I plan to wintersow some and start some early indoors this year. I didn't nick for wintersowing, just sowed them in the jug
[Last edited by Joannabanana - Jan 21, 2013 11:03 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #348715 (10)
Name: Arif Masud
Alpha Centauri (Zone 9a)
Native Plants and Wildflowers I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Container Gardener Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Enjoys or suffers hot summers Multi-Region Gardener
KAMasud
Jan 21, 2013 11:21 PM CST
Nice article but I love the old fashioned rambling Sweet Peas. Has more flowers and highly fragrant. These F1's while good for people who have small gardens but they don't hold a candle in front of the old ones.
Regards,
Arif.
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
Image
valleylynn
Jan 22, 2013 12:03 AM CST
6 to 8 feet is plenty tall enough for what I want to do. Big Grin
Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
Sunset Zone 15
Region: California Plant Database Moderator Roses Irises Clematis Garden Photography
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Calif_Sue
Jan 22, 2013 12:18 AM CST

Plants Admin

Nice article!
We have this local lady that specializes in sweet peas, I need to try some of her seeds, she has some marked as super fragrant.
http://www.enchantingsweetpeas.com/
My gardening Blog!
Hand sewn wares and vintage finds in my Etsy store. Summer Song Cottage
Name: Arif Masud
Alpha Centauri (Zone 9a)
Native Plants and Wildflowers I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Container Gardener Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Enjoys or suffers hot summers Multi-Region Gardener
KAMasud
Jan 22, 2013 3:18 AM CST
I have yet to see any taller then 8 feet Sticking tongue out
Regards,
Arif.
Name: Joanne
Calgary, AB Canada (Zone 3a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: Canadian Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Roses
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Annuals Container Gardener Vegetable Grower Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Image
Joannabanana
Jan 22, 2013 8:00 AM CST
So happy you guys liked the article. Green Grin!
Sue, thanks for posting the link. They have some great pictures and info. And nice to see that they are in North America for ordering
Name: Joanne
Calgary, AB Canada (Zone 3a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: Canadian Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Roses
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Annuals Container Gardener Vegetable Grower Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Image
Joannabanana
Jan 22, 2013 9:47 AM CST
Something I meant to mention in the article:

Last year I put a short wire fence when the plants were about 6 inches tall and then later added a strong netting with 6 foot bamboo sticks for them to climb. It worked really well to keep them off the walkway and from whipping in the wind and really helped with a strong base for the vines



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[Last edited by Joannabanana - Jan 22, 2013 10:13 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #348842 (16)
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
Image
valleylynn
Jan 22, 2013 11:37 AM CST
Great idea Joanne. Glad you showed that to us.
Name: Pegi Putnam
Norwalk, Ca. zone 10b
Charter ATP Member Cat Lover Dog Lover Region: California Region: United States of America Plumerias
Container Gardener Garden Art Vegetable Grower
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Samigal
Jan 22, 2013 5:43 PM CST
I love sweet peas. The last 3 years I have planted them by a section of fencing someone gave me. By now mine should be up and growing, but I haven't seen any yet. Wonder if it could be our strange weather. Today it was 83 degrees. I have to look into other colors as they are so beautiful. I usually plant mine around the middle of Sept., but got a later start this year. Thanks for the article.

wakingdream
Jan 26, 2013 7:06 AM CST
I have grown the "Cupani" variety pictured in your informative article. I can personally vouch for its intoxicating fragrance. I am intrigued by the history that goes along with it. There's a story about a Sicilian monk (Father Franciscus Cupani) who discovered it in the wild and sent seeds to Dutch and English botanists. I believe the year of discovery was 1695. Cupani has intense coloration and intense fragrance. Some research I came across indicated it is the most primitive form of sweet pea.

My garden would not be complete without Cupani. I also utilize shorter climbing "helpers" when vines are young, short thin bamboo stakes, aiding the seedlings in getting to the metal tuteur about one foot off the ground. It is easy to save one's own seeds and have the variety the following year. I am growing sweet peas in zone 6, eastern PA. I put seeds into the ground very early, late February, as well as starting some inside the house in late winter. My other favorite sweet pea for intense fragrance is "April in Paris", a creamy white variety sporting a blush of lavender along the edges. Really wonderful aroma, far reaching on a calm summer evening.
Name: Joanne
Calgary, AB Canada (Zone 3a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: Canadian Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Roses
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Annuals Container Gardener Vegetable Grower Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Image
Joannabanana
Jan 26, 2013 9:33 AM CST
I really enjoyed doing the research for the article. I didn't realize that there were some many varieties available. I was also surprised at the mixes that are available and which individual varieties (many Heirloom) are included in the mixes. In the past I just grabbed a pack of "Sweet Peas" and sowed them.

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