Sweet Pea

Lathyrus odoratus

Vetchling, Sweet-Pea, Queen of The Annuals

profile iconLathyrus odoratus
by A W (CC BY-SA 2.0)
1 of 3
A close up of some colourful Lathyrus odoratus flowers
profile iconLathyrus odoratus
by A W (CC BY-SA 2.0)
1 of 3
Lathyrus odoratus is also known by the names Queen of the Annuals and Sweet Pea. This plant is well known for the enchantingly scented and beautiful flowers in varying colours including white, pink and purple shades. There are several varieties including climbing (which are grown up canes), as well as bush and dwarf. The Sweet Pea gained wide popularity in the Victorian era and it still makes a charming addition to spring and summer gardens. It is also a long-lasting and lovely cut flower.
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Planning

Difficulty

Moderate

Flowering time

Spring, Summer

Harvesting

Pick flowers regularly in spring and summer. This will encourage the plant to produce more blooms.

Propagation

Seed

Sweet peas are best sown in autumn or spring. To help them germinate, soak the seeds overnight to soften their outer coats. It is vital to prepare your soil well. Turn the soil over to a depth of 30cm and add plenty of compost. In the well-prepared soil make holes 2-3cm deep and about 10-15cm apart. Drop seeds in and press down firmly on soil. Keep moist until they start sprouting.

Special features

Attracts useful insects

Bees are attracted to the flowers.

Attractive flowers

Special features

Origin

Southern Italy, Sicily, Aegean Islands

Natural climate

Temperate

Environment

Light

Full Sun, Partial Shade, Partial Sun

Soil moisture

Moist

Soil type

Clay, Loam, Sand

Soil PH preference

Alkaline, Neutral, Acid

Frost hardiness

Tender

Uses

Ornamental

This is a must for any spring garden, beautiful flowers with strong fragrance and long lasting in the vase.

Cut flowers

Varieties have been bred as cut flowers, with longer stem lengths.

Personality

Family

Fabaceae

Flower colour

Purple, Black, Red, Multicoloured, White, Pink, Cream

Scent

Strong

Companion plants

Plant with spring annuals and small shrubs.
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Knowledge and advice

Search our ever-growing knowledge base to find plants and information. Find out about pests and diseases you should be keeping an eye out for. Watch How to videos or follow step by step guides for tasks in the garden. Free download for your phone or tablet.
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