Are you successful with sweet peas?

hoovb zone 9 sunset 23October 12, 2013

Are you successful with Sweet Peas? (The ornamental kind) Any tips? They fail here more often than not. A bad spell of Santa Ana winds and they shrivel and vanish.

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nil13(z21 L.A., CA (Mt. Washington))

I don't grow them any more because of our dog, but I never had a lot of success with sweet peas in the fall and winter. They would grow just fine, but it would get cold before they bloomed and they would just stall out for months. Then in like March they would start growing again and thow off a nice display.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 11:09AM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

Mine get mildew. I don't grow them any longer.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 11:58PM
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calistoga_al

I am not growing them at the moment,but have in the past. For me they grow well if I remember to bait for slugs when I plant them. If I don't they are eaten off as fast as they appear above ground. They should always be planted in place, not transplanted. Once in bloom they should be picked almost daily to prevent them going to seed and stopping the bloom. This is the best month to plant to get the most out of the plant before hot days shuts it down. Al

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 9:39AM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

The seeds are now planted "in place". No slugs or snails here; the rats ate them all, and I'm find with mildew on foliage if there are flowers. I'll see what happens, and should they actually produce any flowers, I'll remember to pick them all.

Thanks!

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 5:58PM
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slogal(CA z10a/Sunset 16)

Not sure how your climate compares to mine in SLO but my sweet peas come back every year on their own. Eight or ten years ago I planted 'Cupani' and a Spencer type (various colors, frilly petals). The Cupani has reseeded all these years, the Spencers disappeared. I'm glad because Cupani is my favorite sweet pea; very fragrant and supposedly more heat tolerant than other varieties.

It only comes as a bicolor -- blue and red-purple -- and no fancy frills. But it smells divine and sets a lot of flowers. Haven't ever had mildew on them even though we're in a coastal valley and other plants (most noticeably squash and zinnias) will mildew. Have never baited for slugs and snails -- they must prefer my lettuce. The Cupani sweet peas are quite carefree. They are about 4-6" tall at this point.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cupani sweet peas

This post was edited by slogal on Wed, Oct 16, 13 at 3:56

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 3:53AM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

thanks slogal, I will see if I can find Cupani, too. Pretty colors!

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 4:13PM
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slogal(CA z10a/Sunset 16)

I think they're beautiful. I prefer the darker, saturated colors to the pastel sweet peas.

I started with seeds from Botanical Interests but Renee's Garden and Baker Creek sell them as well. (The photo on the Baker Creek site looks nothing like my flowers; the color is washed out and inaccurate in the pic.)

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 4:56PM
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kittymoonbeam

I finally learned what these like. A new spot every season and sandy soil for the first 8 inches and then rich composty soil that retains water under that. If you can put down some chicken manure the depth of a spade they love that. Some people say to start them early but I always wait until the dry winds pass. If the spring is mild, mature vines will keep going until the summer comes. You should still be having sweetpeas with the spring flush roses. The lower part of the vines always get ugly so I cut the leaves off then. Any developing seeds will stop the flowering.

I would sow another group just before Thanksgiving. Soak the seeds at least 2 days before planting. If you have the space, the A frame trellises are the best. Mine grow on bamboo teepees or the metal cement reinforcement that is sold on a roll.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2013 at 11:07AM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

Thanks kittymoonbeam, sounds good, I will try that.

slogal, thanks for the email and offer, I was not able to reply because gardenweb setting does not allow for reply. I was able to find some Cupani locally, and will try them at November's end, per kittymoonbeam's suggestion.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2013 at 2:42PM
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slogal(CA z10a/Sunset 16)

Glad you got some seeds. Good luck!

    Bookmark   October 18, 2013 at 3:04PM
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Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)

Mine are up from the seed I used about 2-3 years ago. It helps if you soak the seeds.

I hear if you take hwy 46 from the 101 toward the ocean, the sides of the road had them scattered years ago. A farmer enjoyed them.

I plan on adding some to our veggie garden once it starts raining in the tomato zone (no tomatoes this time of year in that bed)

    Bookmark   October 19, 2013 at 10:07PM
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slogal(CA z10a/Sunset 16)

Yes, there are sweet peas blooming every year on Hwy 46 West. The story is near the bottom of the page I linked.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sweet peas on 46

    Bookmark   October 19, 2013 at 10:25PM
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Mikey(SoCal-Z10-22/23)

My success, or lack there of, has been hit & miss, mostly miss.... sigh....

    Bookmark   October 20, 2013 at 2:08AM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

Neat story, thanks slogal! A family that loves to grow things. It's beautiful...

mikey, we just have to keep trying!

    Bookmark   October 20, 2013 at 4:14PM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance

I used to put the bush type as a border along our front lawn, and they were all blue and looked amazing. They just don't bloom for long! That was in Orange County, CA where most things grow well. I will try them here in Hemet, and they will probably do fine. We have lots of chain link for them to grow on.

Good Luck!

    Bookmark   October 21, 2013 at 8:58AM
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Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)

I have a package soaking overnight. But the self sown ones are up, everywhere I don't want them :)

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 8:49PM
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