Sweet Pea Flower FAQ
In the language of flowers, the sweet pea has a meaning of delicate or blissful pleasure. But I believe that you can create your own meaning and anyone receiving a bouquet of your home grown sweet peas will smile.
The botanical or Latin name for the sweet pea is Lathyrus Odoratus. Lathyrus refers to the genus and also means 'legume'. L. Odoratus is the species and means 'fragranced or perfumed'. Perfumed legume
Yes and No! Sweet peas are annuals (as opposed to perennials) meaning that they develop from a seed, grow into a plant, set seed and then die all in one year. The seed that the original plant drops may grow back next year in the same area.
Yes! Sweet peas seeds are easy to germinate and all you need is a small space in your garden to grow some up a fence, trellis, or even in a large pot.
They prefer full sun, but if you live in an area that gets very hot, then a little afternoon shade will be fine.
About 2-4 days. However each variety or cultivar of sweet pea will have a different amount of time it takes for a seed to germinate. Remember that factors such as light and temperature will also affect how long it takes for a seed to germinate.
Plant them no more than ¼ inch deep into pots of good potting soil. Check out my directions on growing sweet peas.
There are 2 varieties that claim to be the most strongly scented: High Scent and More Scent. However, I find that measuring the scent of sweet peas is tricky because fragrance can vary on factors such as time of day the flower is picked, how old the bloom is and how sensitive the person smelling the sweet pea flower is to their fragrance.
Yes, all annual sweet peas are fragrant. Perennial sweet peas are not fragrant.
The most commonly grown sweet peas (e.g. Spencer types) will flower when there are around 12 daylight hours. So in the northern hemisphere you can expect to see flowers from late May – August. There are other types of sweet peas that will flower with shorter daylight hours e.g. Winter Sunshine series. Flowering will also be affected by temperature, soil and water.
If you leave your sweet pea flowers on the vine, then you will notice that they start to develop pods. These pods will grow the seeds for the next generation of plants. The seeds will be ready to harvest when they seed inside the pod starts to rattle (sounds like a baby's rattle) inside the pod. At that point, simply cut the pod off the vine and place it in a dry paper bag and fold over the top. Usually the pod will burst open on it's own and you will find your sweet pea seeds in the bottom of the bag. If the pod doesn't pop open by itself, simply tear it open with your fingers and remove the seeds. Pods left on the vine 'spring' open to distribute their seeds onto the ground, so don't wait too long to harvest that seed!
Sweet peas are self-pollinating - they fertilize themselves whilst the flower buds are still young and haven't opened.