Start a new thread

1 to 20 of 92 replies

David K

As discussed on another thread in the 'Plants' section, I'm starting this for those who may need some help with their sweet peas.

HI David i love sweet peas and usually grow them every year with success.however last year i sowed 2 lots and they both got eaten by pigeons i think. This year i sowed in greenhouse a bit late, planted out about 3 weeks ago so still quite small, i put up a wig wam of canes and put plastic bottles with top and bottom cut off over each cane to plant sweet peas into to protect from the dreaded pigeons i also draped netting round. so no pigeon dammage however half of plants are growing well but half seem to be yellowing and not growing. Any idea what i did wrong?

David K

"Any idea what i did wrong?" Nothing I suggest Aliesh....otherwise they would all be the same.

To be honest,  the weather has been pants (depending where you live) over the past few weeks, hasn't it? Certainly not the full-sun conditions sweet peas thrive on.

You could try giving them a foliar feed of liquid seaweed & pray for some sun.  I use this as tonic, not as a regular feed and is a jolly good tool to have in your locker....not just for sweet peas either.


Thanks David Will try liquid seaweed. It has been rather wet here in North Manchester!

hollie hock

Hi David,

I moved here in Dec 2010, this is my first garden. On clearing up during Jan/Feb 2011, found a leggy thing but decieded to leave it as I didn't know what it was. Turned out it was an everlasting Sweetpea and it flowered great last Summer.

When it died back I just cut it off near to ground, thinking that it would come back of it's own accord. I haven't seen anything of it this year.

Does this mean that it's dead? I've been growing some other everlasting from seed, some have been planted out, others are still in their pots.

Any information/advice whould be great. Thanks


David K

Hi, Hollie-Hock, from what you say I'm afraid it isn't looking too hopeful for your everlasting sweet pea. They should (as you know) be cut right back at the end of the season and they regrow from the base. I'm rather surprised to hear about yours not shooting, they are normally so vigorous.

Apart from covering an ugly fence or wall, I'm not too keen on them, as they have no scent.

hollie hock

Hi David, Thanks for your quick response- that's what I thought sadly.

Very strange though,may be they've been damaged by vine weavils.  They were very useful to provide a bit of a screen and I had planned to grow some of  the annual types with them.These I'm pleased to say are growing well, but no flowers yet.

The other everlasing that I'm growing are going to be used to cover a gap in a hedge, with the annuals growing in between them.

Thanks again


Hi thanks for starting the thread, mine are Spring sown and are about 3 1/2 inches tall should I pinch the tops out, i will take some photos tomorrow and post, thanks.
David K

Pinch out the growing tips when they have three pairs of leaves.

Like so:


 After pinching out

<img alt="" />

 Removed top


That's great thanks for getting back so quick, I'll pinch them out tomorrow.

David, generous thought to start this thread.

Can I ask you about feeding?  Mine at the moment are coming up to 3ft high, stems and leaves only as yet.  Usually they start to bloom when they reach about 5ft and upwards.  In previous years I've fed them liquid tomato feed round about this stage prior to flowering and fed them about every 10 days thereafter. 

BUT - now we're having continual rain and if it continues for another week or so, is it wise to continue feeding.  Last feed was about 10 days ago.

Anything you would suggest?   Thank you.

David K

Hi, Yarrow - Oh yes....this horrible weather, we need a summer. 

I presume these are in the open ground, rather than in containers. In which case, if the ground had been prepared adequately prior to planting out, they shouldn't need feeding again until well into flowering.

Having said that, in view of what you say, I wouldn't feed yours again until they are flowering.

David K
pavery026 wrote (see)
That's great thanks for getting back so quick, I'll pinch them out tomorrow.

Pavery -  I have to say, these plants are very late and you shouldn't expect any flowers until late summer.


That's ok, I think just getting one flower would be an achievement this year ????. I don't know why I struggle with them. I can grow most other things but sp seem to just cause me trouble, thanks again ????.
David K
pavery026 wrote (see)
That's ok, I think just getting one flower would be an achievement this year ????. I don't know why I struggle with them. I can grow most other things but sp seem to just cause me trouble, thanks again ????.

Well next next year will hopefully be different for you!

I started this thread as an interim measure, on the basis that it was too late in the season to make any significant difference to this year's sweet peas.

Hopefully and providing there is still sufficient interest, I'll start another more comprehensive guide in early autumn.


Thanks for photos. I think I was a bit timid when pinching out my winter 2011 sowings,, it was the first year I'd grown sweetpeas and took the advice re pinching out growing 'tips' to heart. As a result my plants are plentiful but spindley. I'll be braver this year!
Well quick update, I've pinched them out like the pictures, and they are looking really good. I've given them a feed, no yellow leaves like last time, all looks promising.
David K

That's good to hear, pavery. I'm always pleased to hear when things are going well.

Shrinking Violet

Mine are doing pretty well, David, considering the awful weather.  They are grown in deep troughs, enriched with "6X" manure, and they seem to like it.  I had too many seedlings, and gave some to my next door neighbour, and hers are nothing like as good, despite being but a few yards away, and having the same aspect.  The only real problem I have is lack of perfume.  It seems to be quite a problem, since I've spoken to many others in the village, and no matter which SPs they are growing, they are all reporting disappointing perfume.  We are all assuming it's to do with the poor weather. 

David K

That's interesting, SV...though I can't say that mine are any less perfumed this year. I think it does rather depend on the varieties you grow.

Interesting too that you mention 6X, I've been using  and recommending it for years; though a bit pricey in small amounts.