In zone 8 where I live, will the sweet pea plant be able to survive as a perennial? We get light frosts in winter. Even if it does survive, will it bloom the following year?
The only way your sweet peas can survive more than one season is for the fallen seed to germinate for the next season. Al
A lot depends on how hot your summers are. If you have very cool summers--say, right on the beach in the Pacific Northwest, or high elevations in Hawaii--Sweet Peas might become perennial. Most other areas of zone 8, they are almost certain to die in summer. There is a perennial species of Sweet Pea, Lathyrus latifolius, but it's really not the same.
Kevin : )
Our much loved sweet peas can never 'become' perennial. As they stop flowering and begin to make seed, they'll also begin to die off. In cool climates, if they are regularly deadheaded (kept juvenile, rather than allowed to mature), they can continue to flower until the days begin to really shorten.
Even if one were to go to all extremes to keep one of these plants alive, it would still not be a perennial, but an annual coaxed into a long term juvenile growth stage. And it wouldn't be very happy, I'll bet, lol!
I haven't grown Sweet Peas in ages, having gotten out of the habit when I lived for many years in coastal 8 SC. I can still remember that wonderful fragrance, though.
Mams, it depends on which "sweet peas" you are talking about. If you mean the fragrant sweet peas (lathyrus odoratus), they are annuals no matter where you plant them.
The perennial sweet peas (lathyrus latifolius, also known as everlasting peas) are perennials and are hardy down to zone 4, so yes, it will come back next year in your zone. Perennial sweet peas are not fragrant, however.
Thanks a lot!! This information has been most useful!
The fragrance is why I want it to become a perennial :) But I guess its worth it to go through the trouble of planting it from seed every year just for that very same reason!