The combination of fragrance, colorful clusters, and a climbing habit makes Sweet Peas a favorite among gardeners and non-gardeners, alike. Known for the more perfumed varieties, sweet peas are often described as smelling like a mix of honey and orange blossoms. Sweet peas are either a climbing or a semi-bushy plant.
Sweet peas need cool soil temperatures to germinate. They will begin to sprout when soil temperatures are around 55° to 65°F. In cold climates, sow sweet peas in very early spring, usually about 4-6 weeks before your average last frost or as soon as you can work the soil. In warm climates (like ours!), sow sweet peas August through December for mid-winter and early spring blooms. If you have a warm fall, it might be better to wait until a little later in the season to sow. If you have a lot of rain, or over-water the area, they may rot in the soil and not come up.
Many varieties are in the range of 4-7 feet and vining, making them perfect for arbors and trellises and behave well in both cottage and formal garden settings.
**A trick to planting Sweet peas is to soak them in water for up to 24 hours. Since Sweet Peas have very hard seed coats, soaking them softens the seed coat so they can germinate easier!