With their slender stems and perfumed blooms, sweet peas are a firm favourite for cut flowers.
The best sweet peas for cutting are those with long, straight stems and strong fragrance. The best way to ensure straight stems is to train sweet peas with the cordon method. Regular picking is essential to keeping them productive, too, so you'll never be short of vase or two of scented blooms.
When it comes to cutting them, the best time of day is first thing in the morning, or early evening, when the plants are least likely to be stressed and dehydrated. Pick stems when the lower three flowers are fully open, but the top flower is only just unfurling.
In this short video guide, the experts at Darren Everest Sweet Peas share their top tips for growing sweet peas, including how to grow long stems for cut flowers and how to keep them flowering for longer.
Discover some of the best sweet peas for cut flowers, below.
Descended from the original sweet pea, 'Matucana' is an old variety still considered one of the best.
'White Supreme' is a vigorous variety with long stems and good fragrance. Has been awarded the Royal Horticultural Society's prestigious Award of Garden Merit (AGM).
'King Edward VII'
Sweet pea 'King Edward VII' is a highly fragrant heirloom variety with brilliant magenta flowers. AGM.
'Erewhon' is a striking cultivar with bicolour flowers and a delicious scent. Excellent for cutting.
'Mollie Rilstone' has pretty picotee flowers that are white blushed with pink. It has a delicious fragrance.
'Just Julia' is an excellent mid-blue, bred by Roger Parsons, National Collection holder of sweet peas. It has a strong scent and growing habit. AGM.