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How to Grow Sweet Pea

Lathyrus odoratus Germination Information

Lathyrus odoratus is the botanical name for Sweet Pea
Lathyrus odoratus Seed Germination How to Sow Lathyrus odoratus:
  • Sow indoors 4-6 weeks before last frost, at 55-68°
  • Expect germination in 10-14 days
  • Best sown outdoors when the soil temperature is cool in early spring or, in Zones 8-10, in late fall when the soil temperature has cooled
  • Indoors or out, prior to sowing, soak the seeds in water for 24 hours or file the seed coat
  • Soaking seeds will hasten germination time to 3-5 days
  • If sowing seed outdoors, we recommend a maximum planting depth of 4X the width of the seed

How to Grow Lathyrus odoratus:
Transplanting: Transplant when there are at least two sets of true leaves, taking great care not to disturb the roots

Spacing: Space 6 inches apart in full sun in a slightly alkaline, deeply worked, rich, fertile soil

Location: Site in a sheltered location away from drying winds and provide plenty of water

Temperature: Partial to cool climates, however there are improved types that are more heat tolerant. In warm climates, mulch the roots to keep them cool

Additional Care: Cut plants back to stimulate growth and flowering

Appearance and Use:

The summer-flowering bush types (to 2 feet tall) are useful in planters, borders, and beds. No support is necessary. The winter-flowering vine types (to 6 feet long) must be grown on a support: a trellis, fence, or arbor. The 2 inch, fragrant flowers are borne 1-2 per stem and come in colors of purple, red, white, pink, and blue


About Lathyrus odoratus:
Pronunciation:  lath’-i-rus o-do-ra’tus
Lifecycle:  Annual
Origination: Poaceae, native to the Mediterranean
Common Name: Sweet Pea