A beautiful mix of colours through reds, rose and whites.
A beautiful mix of colours through reds, rose and whites. Plant in full sun to enjoy rich colour and best garden performance. When climbing, vines can reach 120-150 cm (4-5') tall. Sweet Pea is a rhizomatous, deep-rooted legume that climbs using tendrils on any support living or constructed. Without support the plant forms a thick mat about 30-40 cm (12-16") high. Blooms from mid-June to mid-August. Very good for erosion control and slowing invading shrubs and weedy trees. Once established (which takes two growing seasons), plants need little care. Bumblebees pollinate the flowers and some butterflies get nectar from the flowers. Hardy to Zone 5.
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How To Grow
20 seeds/gram. Seeds are very hard so soak seed for at least a day before sowing. Then sow seed indoors using a plantable container and soil-less mix anytime from March to early April. Germination temperatures near 15 C (60 F) are best. Grow on under lights at the same temperature before hardening off and planting out after the danger of frost has passed. Seed can also be directly sown into the garden in May and again in late fall. A fall sowing allows winter to naturally stratify any seed that might be dormant.
For many native and perennial plants, late fall is the best time to sow seed directly outside. Why you ask? Simply put, many of these plants produce seed that is viable but dormant. This means that while the seed has all the internal structures and nutrients required to germinate, the seed coat is so hard, water cannot pass through it and initiate germination. When seed is in this state, it is known as being dormant. Seed dormancy is a naturally selected for trait that protects the seed of many plants allowing them to safely overwinter and then be ready to sprout in more favourable conditions in spring.
The remedy to naturally breaking seed dormancy is typically the passing of time. In particular, seed overwintering outside and experiencing the natural freeze thaw cycles that occur in late fall, winter and early spring. To artificially break dormancy, sow seed in a soil-less mix, water then place in a refrigerator for a set period of time. This dormancy breaking process is called stratification.