Lathyrus odoratus (Sweet pea)

Sweet peas (Lathyrus odoratus) are climbing plants similar to the common peas, which can reach up to 2.5 m in height. There are also some small cultivars that reach only 40 or 50 cm in height.

Their flowers have a pleasant fragrance and can be of various colors, from white to red and various shades of pink and purple. Some cultivars have bicolor flowers.

Common name: Sweet pea, Sweet pea
Scientific name: Lathyrus odoratus
Plant type:
Other characteristics:

Despite the name and similarity of sweet pea and common pea plants, the seeds have toxic substances and should not be consumed, at least not frequently or in large quantities.

Lathyrus odoratus (Sweet pea) - flower

How to plant sweet peas

The smallest cultivars can be planted in pots as long as they are at least 20 cm in diameter and depth. Larger cultivars should be planted in the garden next to trellises or net that can support them to grow vertically.


They are easy to grow in mild or cold weather, with average temperatures of up to 20°C.
It does not grow well in hot weather, so it is usually grown in autumn, winter and early spring, and may vary with the region where it is grown.


Plant in a place with direct sunlight for at least a few hours a day.


They prefer a moist but well drained soil. Don’t tolerate periods of drought.


The ideal is a well-drained, deep, fertile soil, rich in organic matter and with a pH between 6 and 7.5.

Lathyrus odoratus (Sweet pea) - sweet peas attracting pollinators

Flowering season

It depends on the planting season and the region. Flowering is stimulated by the increasing length of daylight in the spring, but plants that are sown in early autumn, in regions where the winter is mild, can begin to bloom during the winter.

In regions where the summer is mild and the seeds are sown in late winter or early spring, flowering can occur in late spring and summer.

Cultivation cycle

Sweet peas are annual plants.


Propagation of sweet peas is by seeds. The seeds can be sown in the final place or in sowing containers and then transplanting the seedlings when they reach at least 4 cm in height.

Lathyrus odoratus (Sweet pea) - sweet pea seeds

The seeds should be sown at about 1 cm in depth. Soaking the seeds in water for a day before sowing can make the germination faster, which then takes a week or two.

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