Starting and taking care of your garden is an easy task. What’s difficult is to choose what to plant in it. There are always roses or sunflowers to choose from. Lillies or peonies are not that bad as well – but the best choice you and your garden could go for are sweet peas.
The Lathryrus odoratus will shower your garden with a sweet and fragrant aroma of honey, all the while bursting you with its distinct and vivid colors of red, pink, blue, white, and lavender. Indeed, these fast-growing blossoms will give your home the new edge it deserves. And although these may look delicate and fragile, sweet peas are tough to withstand temperature changes.
By adding this to your garden, you create an Eden-like ambiance, perhaps even one that surpasses it! Thus, learn about the history of sweet peas, how to grow, maintain and take care of them as you read it below:
History of Sweet Peas
In 1696, the sweet pea was first discovered in Sicily’s hillsides by Father Cupani. The vividly-colored flower and its lovely, pungent aroma entranced him so much that he collected its seeds and planted them in his monastery garden. Because of its deep blue petals, Father Cupani sent the seeds to a few plant collectors and botanical organizations worldwide.
However, Henry Eckford, a Scottish nurseryman, gets credit for cultivating, developing, and hybridizing the plants, turning it into an unknown wildflower into one of today’s most popular flowers. Nowadays, the sweet pea can be seen in areas where there is sufficient support, some of which you can discover in Gardener’s Path if you want.
Cultivating the sweet pea flower may be regarded as old-fashioned because of its long past, but it remains as elegant and beautiful as ever. Thus, learn about the ways to grow them from seed and the maintenance it needs:
Growing Your Sweet Peas From Seed
- To have the best germination, submerge the seeds in room temperature water for 8 to 12 hours before planting. Since sweet pea seeds love a good pot with lots of nutrients, your potting soil should have plenty of fertilizer and as well as good drainage.
- The best method to plant the germinated seeds is to start them outdoors. However, if you’ve begun yours indoors, begin to harden them off by moving them to a location outside where they receive direct sunlight and afternoon shade.
- After 3 or 4 days, move them to another location where they get direct sun all day. Always remember that this process will increase your flower’s durability and resistance to changing environmental conditions.
- Before transferring your plant to its permanent location, prepare the soil by adding compost and mixing this with the soil. Such a process will allow the roots to grow better as it feeds on rich soil.
- Although most sweet pea flowers are vines, you could permanently alter that through pinching. In the circumstance you are planting a climber, you can place your plants near a railing, wall, or in an area where they receive support as they grow, or you can leave them to form a ground cover.
Maintaining Your Sweet Peas
Just planting and transferring your plant to its permanent spot is not the only thing you must do, but you should also see to it that your sweet pea’s needs are met. With this, learn about the dos and don’ts of its maintenance below:
Maintaining your sweet pea is no easy task – but it is something worthwhile. Sweet peas bloom the best in full sun. But if you’re in an area with warmer climates, it’s better placed in a room with partial sun. Additionally, if you’re in areas to the South, sweet peas are best planted in the fall for them to grow in the winter. Since these plants first originated in the Mediterranean with cool winters, they can handle the cold. But too much may be lethal to these aromatic creatures.
Soil and Water
Well-drained soil and a good water source are what this plant needs during the growing season. With slightly alkaline soil and weekly watering, this plant will bloom at its best, especially during the spring.
During the growing period, sweet peas need regular fertilizer feeding (one that is high in phosphorus). By adding food in the soil regularly for two weeks, you help keep the roots full, the stems long, and the flowers vibrant.
As stated, pinching can aid the sweet pea to bloom better. To do this, though, you will need to wait until they are 4 to 8 inches high. With the growing tip between your thumb and forefinger, snip the top off with your nail as the blade. Thus, with this fun activity, the more you cut, the more bouquets you make!
Pruning and Vase life
In the late spring or early summer, your flowers will begin to bloom. With this, don’t be afraid to cut the flowers – as with it, you get more blooms. Once you do, you get to experience the fruit of your hard work: harvesting the flowers.
Maximum Vase Life
- The sweet peas are best harvested when one or two blooms are open on the stem.
- Once it does, you are to put it in clean water directly. Because it has a strong sweet aroma, you could always spray bleach on your flowers to lessen it.
- With a sanitized vase, regular water changes, and stem cutting every other day, your flowers will be suitable for even up to 5 days of vase life.
- If you are also interested in the vines’ greenery, you could also include them as it increases your flowers’ vase life even more.
Your long season of spring will be unlike any other as these excellent cut flowers cover your garden. These old-fashioned creatures lend a cottage-like feel to your garden with their butterfly-like petals and their sturdy stems.
Although starting and planting one on your own may seem like a tiring task, it is a lifelong investment, one where you reap the rewards. Likewise, such investment grows as you take care, maintain, and follow-up on it time after time, giving you peace of mind and an Eden-like getaway just outside your door.