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Thanks Lyn, will make sure it goes on the tp of my to-do list! How low shall I prune it?

You can cut them back very hard indeed.

I prune mine back to about knee height.

I had a buddleia in the garden I'm currently taming, and I cut it back very hard indeed, about a foot above the ground, and it's survived (I wasn't bothered if it did or not, it will need moving when we extend the garage).  Didn't think to save the prunings to make wigwams, it all went into the green bin.  Will have to save them next year.


I use a wigwam of bamboo canes, and then I wind a spiral of garden string around it, going right around each cane working my way to the top, leaving a gap between each spiral of about 8" - this gives the sweet peas something to wrap their tendrils around, as they don't twine like runner beans, and it also holds the wigwam firmly against strong winds.


I like that idea Dovefromabove.  If I grew sweet peas in pots this year, how tall should the wigwam canes be do you think? The pots would be about 12 -15 " across and possibly the same high (it's too dark now to go and measure them!). Do you think they'll be big enough?



When I only had a tiny back yard I grew sweet peas like that - I used bamboo canes of about 6ft, stuck well into the compost around the edge of the pot and strung together as I described.  

The big difficulty of growing sweet peas in a pot is giving them enough water - they are surprisingly thirsty plants and succumb to powdery mildew very quickly if their roots dry out - if you can get hold of any of those water retention granules to mix with the compost that would be good.


don't know whether this is helpful to Emma but may be - if not it may be helpful to others.

I sometimes grow them up a columnar cherry tree, it's a bit of a phaff tying the stems on, but it adds colour and scent when the cherry tree has only leaves. I also grow a wild honeysuckle up the tree for the same reason, and as my garden is tiny it's a good way to pack in a few more plants. As it is against the front garden wall the scent is a nice welcome home after a fraught day!

As mentioned on another thread I plan this year to grow some up rustic poles with an inverted hanging basket fixed to the top in the hope it will create a "tree" effect with flowers and leaves cascading from the top. Might be a disaster but fancied giving it a try...


I grow them in pots about 15" diameter (at the top) with 3 to 4 canes and 2 to 3 plants at each cane with string as Dove describes. 

Last year I also grew one in a smaller pot than that, in with a Clematis.  I kept the pot in the shade of the steps at the back door and then trained them up the handrail. Both performed perfectly well - but plenty of watering helped!

Woodgreen wonderboy

I would go for as big a pot as you can, with 6 ft. canes tied as Dove suggests. They are tall plants and prone to blowing over in wind and a large heavy pot will help. I use double handed pots used to grow trees.

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