Messages posted to thread:

LESLEY04-Mar-03 09:30 AM EST 3b   
marg06-Mar-03 09:12 AM EST   
Vic06-Mar-03 12:01 PM EST 2b   
PatA06-Mar-03 12:22 PM EST 3a   
Susan06-Mar-03 01:38 PM EST 6a   
JoanneS06-Mar-03 02:57 PM EST 3a   

Zone: 3b
Date: 04-Mar-03 09:30 AM EST

I've been asked to grow sweetpeas for bridesmaid bouquets. Does anyone have any suggestions on what type would be best. The wedding is on August 8th when should I start planting?

From: marg
Date: 06-Mar-03 09:12 AM EST

I watched an English gardening show a few years back and I remember seeing a segment on Sweet Peas. They weren't growing them for bouquets but for showing. The method they used produced long flower stalks. The type grown was not mentioned but they did describe how they got the long stems. They put up a trellis type structure with vertical strings--it looked somewhat like the bean trellises. The Sweet Pea vine was fastened to the horizontal slat at the bottom. All the flowers were then fastened to the strings so they would climb upright. I think this would work with just about any variety. I know this doesn't answer your question, but I hope it gives you some ideas. marg

From: Vic
Zone: 2b
Date: 06-Mar-03 12:01 PM EST

I grew sweet peas very successfully many years ago. In my enthusiasm, I selected some flowering stems and brought them into the house for a beautiful display. To my surprise, the blooms gave off a tremendous scent to the point that I soon had to return them to the great outdoors. They were that potent. I don't think I am sensitive to flower scents in general so the sweet pea scent must simply be very strong. Try some out before you commit them to your wedding.

From: PatA
Zone: 3a
Date: 06-Mar-03 12:22 PM EST

Lesley to get a jump on the growing season you can start sweetpeas indoors around the last week of april. Plant two seeds in each space of a 6-pack. Transplant out side at the same time as you would other bedding plants, late May-early June. Make sure you use garden inoculant for peas it really does help. Some great varieties for scent are Royal Family and Cuthbertson. If colour doesn't matter get the jumbo mixed packs because they are a better value. For a good show plant about 4 inches apart and as many as you have space for. Plant more than what you think you need because in my experience Mother Nature can be very stingy when it comes to wedding flowers. Just to be on the safe side ask a neigbour or friend to also plant some. The bonus if you don't need them they get a great show of sweetpeas too!

From: Susan
Zone: 6a
Date: 06-Mar-03 01:38 PM EST

I'm going to grow sweet peas this year for the first time and did a bit of research. Here's what I found:

They don't like heat (timing of the wedding is bad from that point of view...) but some varieties are better than others. I bought Perfume Delight mixture from Dominion Seeds - they're supposed to tolerate heat better than most.

- They like deep, rich, not acid soil. It is usual to plant them in a 1 foot deep trench, filled with compost/composted manure. Lime the top of the soil.

- They can be planted directly in the soil early (in April) or started indoors as Pat says.

- Interestingly, you can tell the color of the flowers from the color of the seeds - except I forget which color seeds = which color flowers...:)

- To get maximum bloom size, pinch off a lot of the tendrils (other than a few left for climbing...) and do not allow any seed pods to form. (Remember also that sweet pea seeds are poisonous, so eliminating the pods is a good idea anyway if you have kids around.)


- I forgot to also say - when you cut the flowering stems, have a jar (or something) of water with you and put the stems immediately into the water. Do not cut them and then bring them into the house to put in water or the stem ends will close up and the flowers die quickly.

From: JoanneS (
Zone: 3a
Date: 06-Mar-03 02:57 PM EST

I too wanted to emphasize the problem with heat and sweet peas. It has been my experience that sweet peas like cool temperatures and mine don't start to do really well until late August, which is when our nights start to get cool.

I wonder if covering the roots to keep the roots cool might help, kind of like you have to do with clematis?

In order to post the forum, you must register to the site.
To register, click here.

If you have already registered, you must log in.
  • New Eden
  • Kids Garden
  • Plant a Row Grow a Row