Growing Sweet Pea

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March 7, 2006
Growing: Sweet Pea
Botanical Name: Lathyrus odoratus
Life Cycle: annual
Planting Time: spring
Height: dwarf types 8" to 20 "; climbing vines 6' to 9'
Exposure: full sun
Soil: nutrient-rich, well-drained soil
Hardiness: n/a
Bloom Time: late spring to early summer
Flower: variety of colors
Foliage: green
Propagation: seeds, self-sowing
Suggested Use: beds, borders, and wildflower plantings
Growing Hints: Sow seeds directly where they are to grow. Place them 6 inches apart and 1 to 1 _ inches deep. Soak seeds for 24 hours prior to planting to speed germination. Purchased seedlings should be spaced from 3 to 4 inches apart. Deadhead spent flowers for continuous blooming until leaving some for self-seeding the end of summer.

If soil is high in nutrients, fertilizer should not be necessary. Over fertilization will result in poor flowering. Climbing varieties grow rapidly when given support.
Interesting Facts: Sweet Peas can survive frost and snow. So can their relatives the "Snow Peas", which is how they got their name. Sweet Peas are also popular with birds and a variety of insects, including butterflies.
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