Sweet peas

Look forward to lovely flowers with beautiful scent in summer

Sweet peas
Sow seeds in spring

Lathyrus odoratus

Common Name
Sweet peas

Sweet peas not only look pretty but they smell amazing too.

Growing Tips

Growing conditions

Sweet peas like a sunny home in the garden in fertile, well-drained soil.

When to grow

Sow the seeds in spring and you will have lovely flowers in the summer.

What you need

  • Packet of sweet pea seeds – there are lots of different colours to choose from
  • Seed compost
  • 9cm plant pots
  • Plant label
  • A clear polythene bag

How to grow

  1. Fill the pot with seed compost almost to the top. Make a hole with your finger and place six seeds in each pot.
  2. Cover the seeds with 1cm of compost.
  3. Water the seeds in (give them a drink of water) and cover them with the polythene bag.
  4. Keep the seeds at a temperature of about 15°C (59°F). After they have germinated, remove the covering.
  5. Transfer the seedlings to a cold frame. Over the winter, keep the frame open as much as possible but pro
  6. Plant the seedlings out in a sunny spot in the garden after the last spring frosts about 20-30 cm apart. Remember that slugs like to eat sweet peas!


  • As they grow, support the plants using garden canes, pea sticks or a trellis.
  • When the plants are about 10cm high, pinch out the tips, this helps to make a stronger bushier plant.
  • Sweet peas will keep flowering if you pick the flowers regularly - a good excuse to have some beautiful flowers in your home.Remember- sweet pea seed pods look similar to edible pea pods but they are poisonous and must not be eaten.

Get involved

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.