How to Grow Sweet Peas in a Pot
Our founder Rosebie Morton and our small dedicated team have been growing Sweet Peas in our specialist Sweet Pea nursery in West Sussex for more than twenty-five years. It is always such a special milestone in our year when we cut the first Sweet Peas ready to include in our bouquets and Sweet Pea stem boxes. Their heady scent fills the workshop as we fulfil the flurry of orders from Sweet Pea fans across the country eagerly awaiting a box of these quintessentially English blooms to arrive on their doorstep.
Rosebie always says that if you have room for a pot then you can grow Sweet Peas. This year for the first time you can order pots of Sweet Pea seedlings from our farm, each of them hand-tended by our team and ready to plant out. We have two collections available:
Our Bouquet Mixture has twenty mixed seedlings developed by the famed Spencer family. Lauded for their heady scent, abundance of flowers and long stems, this collection is recommend for a large pot or sunny flower bed.
For a smaller pot (40cm in diameter and 50cm in height or more), Rosebie recommends our Theresa Maureen Sweet Pea Seedlings, a smaller variety that is perfect for pots and confined spaces. During the summer months these seedlings will bloom to provide you with an abundance of sweetly scented flowers in white with a violet pink blush.
How to Plant Sweet Peas in a Pot
You will need:
- a large pot
- good-quality peat-free potting compost
- something to support your Sweet Peas such as pea sticks and string or an obelisk that fits inside your pot
- a good-quality fertiliser such as Vitax Q4
- sweet pea seedlings
- watering can
Fill your pot with good-quality potting compost and add your support. If you are using pea sticks then place them around the edge of your pot and tie the tops together with twine.
Make a hole in the compost that is about 50 per cent bigger than the pot the seedlings have been grown in and mix in a good handful of fertiliser. Sweet Peas are hungry feeders so this will get them off to a good start.
Remove the seedlings from the pot very gently, being careful not to disturb the roots. Keep each group of seedlings together – do not try to separate them.
Fill in the hole and gently firm down the compost. Water in well.
Water your pot regularly to keep the compost damp (but not soaking). Feed your Sweet Peas every two weeks. Once buds appear, switch to a high-potash feed such as Tomorite.
Dos and Don’ts of Growing Sweet Peas
Do – Choose a sunny patch with a least six hours of sun a day to grow your Sweet Peas, if you can.
Do – Tie the stems to the support just under the blooms.
Do – Trim off side shoots if you want long stems and don’t if you want a more rambling, natural display.
Do – Keep deadheading and picking your Sweet Peas to promote more growth.
Do – If you want to collect the seeds to use next year, allow the flowers to go to seed in September. Let the pods dry out on the plant until they are the colour of a paper bag then harvest the seeds on a dry day.
Don’t – Let slugs eat plants. Try using copper bands, beer trips or the biological control Nemaslug to ward them off.Don’t – Let your Sweet Peas dry out. Keep them well watered, especially if you are growing them in pots.
Don’t – Forget to feed your Sweet Peas.
Don’t – Let you Sweet Peas go to seed during their flowering period.
In the Victorian custom of using flowers to send a message, Sweet Peas symbolised bliss, pleasure and leaving after a positive experience. So a bunch of Sweet Peas hand-picked from your garden is a great way to say thank you. Our Sweet Pea stem boxes also make the perfect thank you gift and our Rose & Sweet Pea Jewel Bouquet is a wonderful choice for birthdays.