Today, sweet peas remind one of a Victrola in the parlor. Considered very romantic, some antique strains can be wonderful if chosen carefully; others can be duds. We've selected only the best for you. All have a slight honey or orangey aroma and make excellent spring cut flowers. Henry Eckford, the father of modern sweet peas and the leading developer in the late 1800s, produced over 100 varieties. This mix of his best has an incredible color range: shell pink, maroon, violet, cream, blue and crimson striped with white.
Sow in average soil in full sun in early spring. In frost free areas, Sow from fall to early spring. Sow seeds about 3" apart and cover with 2" of fine soil. Firm lightly and keep evenly moist.
How to Grow
Seedlings emerge in 10-14 days. Thin to stand about 6" apart when seedlings are 1-2" high. Climbers need some sort of support around which they can wrap their tendrils. In a greenhouse, they climb nicely on strings or wire strung from floor to ceiling. Outside, they can climb a fence, trellis, or tall tripod. Dwarf cultivars need no support.
In the cool weather of spring, sweet peas add a wonderful old-fashioned feel to flower beds, trellises, and containers. Grow some in a cutting garden for indoor enjoyemnt. Sweet peas make excellent cool greenhouse plants for winter cut flowers.