The graceful beauty of annual sweet peas with their ruffled blossoms, soft texture and glowing colors makes them one of the most irresistible flowers. Their scent is an exquisite perfume of orange blossoms and honey, surely one of the most seductive of all flower fragrances. Properly planted and tended, they are carefree and easy to grow – especially in mild climate zones. Because so many varieties have been developed, sweet peas come in a symphony of soft colors and bi-colors. A generous handful of their long-stemmed winged blossoms makes a beautiful bouquet that will truly scent an entire room.
When to plant outside
In cold climates, sow in early spring as soon as the soil can be worked. This means St. Patrick’s Day or earlier. In warm climates, sow October through January for early spring bloom. When to start inside: Sow 4-6 weeks before planting outside. Special Germination Instructions: Seed requires scarification, a process that helps to break the hard seed coat. Soak in water for 24 hours before planting or roll on sandpaper to slightly nick the outer surface
Sowing Seeds Directly into the Garden
In mild winter climates, where the ground does not freeze, sweet pea seeds should be fall-sown directly into the garden from September through November to grow strong root systems and then bloom in spring. If you do not get your seeds planted in fall, plant as early as possible in the spring in a well drained spot that offers some afternoon shade.