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Hi - I decided to start off sweet peas indoors a week or so ago to plant out in the Spring.  I got a propagator, planted one seed to each section and the first seedling appeared four days later!  They're in a mix of seedling compost and vermiculite.  They're now growing so fast I can practically see them grow!  Where there were no  leaves this morning, there were leaves in the afternoon.  I need to know what on earth to do with them at this stage - this is all new to me.  Here's a pic - I'd be so grateful for any advice...




Oh dear, sorry, they look very thin and spindly. Have they had enough light? If they are on the kitchen table that's not light enough. The leaves should be much nearer the bottom, then when they have a few leaves you pinch out the tips to make them bushier. Someone more expert than me will have to tell you what to do now.

Thanks - I don't think they have enough light as they are definitely slanting towards the window - will move them as close as I can get them and see what happens!

I started mine a couple of weeks ago and mine are growing way to fast as well, no where near that level.  Mine are now in a shady/cool place and in root trainers.

I am not sure what to suggest on yours though.


I will be blunt here and say start again. Put seeds outside in deep pots of multi purpose compost. 5 to a 1 litre pot is quite suitable.

Put them in a coldframe, cheap plastic greenhouse or something along those lines.

They should germinate within 2 weeks and grow much stronger than on a windowsill.

They can stay outside all Winter, just make sure to keep them frost free.


Thanks for the advice - unfortunately I don't have a cold frame or anything similar.  But I have been considering starting over


If you have no cold frame, wait until march and then sow outside. They will soon catch up overwintered ones.  They will be better than those if they survive the winter.

 Weak spindly growth like that will succumb to fungal disease easily.


fb has the perfect answer for you. sweet peas sown outside in March make very good plants too!

I learnt my lesson from sowing on windowsills. It just doesnt work :P

I would suggest investing in 1 of those 4 tier plasic greenhouses, probably pretty cheap in some places at this time of the year.

Ok - I'm wary of overwintering them outside as they're likely to be under thee feet of snow and I'm not convinced that a layer of mulch will stop the damage from that.


Sweet peas will withstand cold temperatures but not frost, thats why they need to be undercover.

hollie hock

Hi Tanty, they are very leggy, probably the result of too much warmth and fading light.

Sweet peas have long long roots so best to plant them in deeper containers. I'm trying my hand at sowing them in the autumn for the first time. I've sown mine in largish  pots and they are in my cold frames at the sign yet.

I'm a sucker for giving any seed that's germinated a chance, I would repot them into deep pots and bury their leggy stems as much as you doesn't matter if you bend the stem to get it in the pot ( just don't snap it). They will do so much better outside.

I have a few home made  coldframes that are like the mini greenhouses but a lot more sturdier, I do all my growing in them.

I do start off seeds indoors on the windowsills but they always need somewhere to grow on. If these ones don't make it, don't give up, like others have said you can try again in the spring


I'll send a pic of mine tomorrow which I sowed on the 1st October and left outside in my coldframe

hollie hock

Hi Matt, think I sowed mine a few weeks ago no sign of them yet, mine are outside as well. I live close to you, be good to see how yours are getting on


I put 5 seeds in a pot and they have all come up. I'm very pleased

Just used bog standard wilko compost

hollie hock

Good news,  the seeds I've sown have been collected off a cupani that didn't really come to much this year....not sure if that's going to make any difference?



were they ripe? I bought my seed, purposely made sure I got a variety with a long stem this time as the ones I had this year werent suitable for cutting really :P

hollie hock

Think so, the seed pods were nice and dry and the seeds looked healthy. Good idea about getting the long stem varieties, I do like them as cut flowers and the scent. Just out of interest which type have you sown?


I sowed the Mixed Bouquet variety. Hoping they give lovely flowers all next year


I had a go at growing themfor the first time this year. I harvested some seed from them, and planted them a few weeks ago - some completely black, and some green. Both sown at exactly the same time, in exactly the same conditions (my little experiment). There's not much (if anything) in it to be honest.

hollie hock

Good luck with them Emma, I usually sow them in spring but I like give things a try as well