What to Do With Sweet Peas When Finished Flowering?

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The health and future flower production of sweet peas depends on the care given to them after they bloom. This article provides numerous suggestions for what to do with your sweet peas after they have done blooming.

Your sweet peas will thrive in your yard for years to come if you follow these instructions.

 

What to Do With Sweet Peas When Finished Flowering?

After sweet peas finish flowering, you have a few options for what to do with them.

You can keep the seed pods on the plants as long as you like. This process allows seeds to fully grow and ripen. FYI, different sweet peas nearby can mix pollen, affecting seed color.

To save seed pods, wait until they’re fully developed and nourished. You can cut and save the seed pods for future planting.

If not saving seeds, cut sweet pea plants. You can either compost them or put them in the garden waste bin. Sweet pea plants are great for composting. They’re nitrogen-rich, great for composting.

If you’ve used twine for support, cut the plants at the base and leave the roots in the ground. With this method, roots break down naturally. If you potted sweet peas, remove and compost the plants.

Note: Plastic ties or metal wire cannot be composted.

Reminder: Remove non-compostable items before composting.

If you’ve used crushed welk shells like Shell on Earth to decorate pots, you can easily remove and wash them for reuse next year.

Sweet peas love to eat, so give them nutrient-rich soil. If your pot’s compost is depleted of nutrients, add it to your compost bin. This improves compost texture for next year’s planting.

 

Why Sweet Peas Deserve a Spot in Your Cut Flower Field?

Sweet peas may not be your first choice for a cut flower field. These lovely and fragrant blooms should be in any flower lover’s yard.

Sweet peas are attractive and fragrant. If you’ve never grown sweet peas, you should.

Perfume and Beauty

Sweet peas smell nostalgic and elegant. Sweet peas give beauty to cut flower fields with their delicate petals and brilliant hues. A few of these delicate blossoms in a vase can add elegance and fragrance to your decor.

Profitable and Demanding

Sweet peas are used for plant starts and cut flowers. Despite their limited vase life and poor shipping, they are a novelty product that costs more. Due to their popularity and sentimental value, local cut flower growers can benefit from sweet peas.

Easily Grown

For those with little area, sweet peas grow prolifically. These flowers can generate several blooms throughout the season. Sweet peas are easy to grow for both beginners and experts.

Personal Value

Grandparents’ sweet pea gardens are remembered fondly. Sweet peas elicit strong emotions and fond recollections.

Customers can remember their own sweet pea adventures in your cut flower field.

 

What Should You Do If Your Sweet Peas Aren’t Flowering?

Sometimes sweet peas fail to produce flowers, leaving gardeners frustrated and wondering what went wrong. If you find yourself in this situation, here are some steps you can take to encourage your sweet peas to start blooming.

Evaluate Growing Conditions

The first thing to do if your sweet peas aren’t flowering is to evaluate the growing conditions. Sweet peas thrive in full sun, so make sure they are receiving at least six hours of direct sunlight each day. Lack of sunlight can inhibit flower production.

Additionally, sweet peas prefer well-draining soil, so ensure that the soil is not waterlogged or compacted. Poor soil drainage can prevent the plants from taking up necessary nutrients, which can affect flower production.

Check Watering Practices

Proper watering is crucial for sweet pea plants. Overwatering or underwatering can both negatively impact flower production.

Sweet peas prefer evenly moist soil, so make sure to water them regularly. However, be mindful not to overwater, as this can lead to root rot and other problems. It’s best to water the plants at the base to avoid wetting the foliage, as damp leaves can promote disease.

Consider Nutrient Levels

Sweet peas require adequate nutrients to produce flowers. If your plants are not flowering, it may be due to a nutrient deficiency. Test your soil to determine its nutrient levels, specifically focusing on nitrogen and phosphorus.

Nitrogen promotes leafy growth, while phosphorus supports flower development. If your soil lacks these nutrients, consider applying a balanced fertilizer or organic amendments to help boost flower production.

Provide Support and Pruning

Sweet peas are climbing plants that need support to grow properly. If your plants are not flowering, it could be because they don’t have adequate support to climb. Install trellises, stakes, or a fence for the sweet peas to cling to and grow upward. Additionally, pruning can encourage flowering. Regularly pinch off the tips of the plants to promote branching and the development of more flower buds.

Inspect for Pests and Diseases

Pests and diseases can also hinder flower production in sweet peas. Inspect your plants for any signs of infestation or disease.

Common pests that attack sweet peas include aphids, slugs, and snails. Treat infestations promptly using organic or chemical methods to prevent damage to the plants.

Additionally, keep an eye out for diseases such as powdery mildew or botrytis blight, which can affect flower formation. If detected, take appropriate measures to control and prevent the spread of the disease.

Be Patient

Finally, it’s important to remember that sweet peas are annual plants that have their own growth cycle. It may simply be a matter of time before your sweet peas start flowering. Be patient and continue to provide them with proper care and attention.

With the right conditions and care, your sweet peas should eventually reward you with a beautiful display of blossoms.

 

What Varieties Of Sweet Peas Should You Ideally Grow?

Below we will explore some of the most popular varieties of sweet peas and discuss their features in detail.

  • Elegance Series: The Elegance series is an early flowering variety that thrives under shorter days. These sweet peas produce gorgeous long stems, often with five or more flowers on a single stem. They are best planted in part shade to ensure continuous blooming. The burgundy variety of the Elegance series is exceptionally prolific and continues to shoot long stems even in late June when grown in part shade.
  • Mammoth Series: Another variety that blooms under the shorter days of spring is the Mammoth series. These sweet peas are slightly more heat-tolerant compared to the Elegance series and can be grown in full sun. While they may not have as long stems as the Elegance series, they still produce beautiful flowers.
  • Spencer Varieties: Spencer sweet peas are known for their extra ruffly flower heads and are considered summer-blooming varieties. They require long daylight hours to thrive. These sweet peas are often included in the last two successions, as their stems tend to be shorter due to the onset of summer heat. However, their unique colors make them popular for June weddings.
  • Henry Eckford: This heirloom variety dates back to 1904 and features orange-red salmon flowers. It adds a touch of vintage charm to any garden and is a favorite among sweet pea enthusiasts.
  • Old Spice: For those who value fragrance, the Old Spice mix of colors is a great choice. This variety offers a honey and orange blossom perfume that adds a delightful scent to any garden.
  • Cupani’s Original: While sweet peas generally prefer cooler weather, some varieties can tolerate more heat. Cupani’s Original is one such variety, featuring purple and blue bicolor flowers. It is a resilient and beautiful option for warmer climates.
  • Strawberry Sundae: If you prefer pastel colors, the highly fragrant flowers of the Strawberry Sundae variety will capture your attention. With shades of pink, rose, and white, these sweet peas add a delicate touch to any floral arrangement.
  • Flora Norton: Flora Norton sweet peas are known for their soft blue flowers, making them a popular choice for cutting and arranging. These vines can grow up to six feet, creating a stunning display in the garden.

 

How To Care For Sweet Peas So They Have Higher Chances Of Flowering?

Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a beginner, following these care instructions will help ensure that your sweet peas thrive in your garden.

Light

Sweet peas require full sunlight to thrive. However, in areas with hot and humid summers, it is beneficial to provide them with partial afternoon sunlight. Southern gardeners, in particular, should consider planting sweet peas in an area that offers enough shade in the afternoon to prevent the flowers from wilting.

Soil

Sweet peas prefer well-draining soil that is rich in humus and has a neutral to alkaline pH. If your soil needs improvement, you can amend it with compost. It is best to amend the soil in the fall before planting your sweet peas. Additionally, since sweet peas are climbers, it is important to provide them with support in the form of netting, twine, or anchored trellises to prevent the fast-growing vines from pulling them down.

Water

Regular watering is essential for sweet peas, especially if there is not sufficient rainfall. Keep the soil consistently moist during the growing season. You can check the moisture level of the soil by reaching an inch into the ground or container with your fingers. If it feels dry, it’s time to water.

Temperature and Humidity

Sweet peas thrive when planted after the last frost in the winter. While the seedlings can tolerate a light frost, it is best to avoid extreme temperatures and humidity. Harsh hot and humid conditions, as well as frigid climates, can hinder the growth and development of sweet peas.

Fertilizer

To promote healthy growth and blooming, mulch your sweet peas to help retain moisture in the soil and keep their roots cool. Additionally, fertilize them with a liquid fertilizer every couple of weeks or as directed on the product’s label, especially during the growing season.

Blood meal can also be beneficial in increasing the longevity of sweet peas, allowing you to propagate the plant through cuttings.

 

Common Pests & Plant Diseases That Affect Sweet Pea Flowering

Let’s take a look at what diseases and pests can possibly be affecting your sweet pea flowering and growth below:

Common Pests Affecting Sweet Pea Flowering

Here’s a look at some common garden and backyard pests affecting the growth and flowering rate of sweet peas:

Aphids

Aphids are small insects that feed on the sap of plants, including sweet peas. They can cause distortion of leaves and stems, as well as transmit viruses.

To get rid of aphids, you can try spraying them off with a strong stream of water from a hose. Alternatively, you can use insecticidal soap or neem oil to eliminate them.

Leaf Miners

Leaf miners are the larvae of small flies that tunnel through the leaves of sweet peas, leaving visible tracks or tunnels. These tunnels can reduce the plant’s ability to photosynthesize and weaken its overall health.

To control leaf miners, you can remove and destroy affected leaves. You can also use sticky traps or apply insecticides labeled for leaf miners.

Spider Mites

Spider mites are tiny pests that suck the sap from sweet pea plants, causing yellowing and bronzing of leaves. They are often found on the undersides of leaves and can multiply rapidly in hot and dry conditions.

To control spider mites, you can regularly spray your plants with water to increase humidity. Additionally, you can use insecticidal soap or neem oil as a natural remedy.

Thrips

Thrips are small, slender insects that feed on the leaves and flowers of sweet pea plants. They can cause discoloration, distortion, and stunted growth. To control thrips, you can introduce natural predators like ladybugs or lacewings to your garden. You can also use sticky traps or apply insecticides labeled for thrips.

Slugs and Snails

Slugs and snails are common pests that can chew on the leaves and flowers of sweet peas, leaving irregular holes and slime trails. You can try placing beer traps or copper tape around your plants. You can also handpick them off your plants or use organic slug and snail baits.

 

Common Diseases Affecting Sweet Pea Flowering

Here’s a look at some common diseases affecting the growth and flowering rate of sweet peas:

Downy Mildew

Downy mildew is a fungal disease that can cause yellowing and wilting of leaves, as well as a grayish-purple fuzz on the undersides. To prevent downy mildew, ensure good air circulation around your plants and avoid overwatering.

If the disease appears, remove and destroy the affected plant parts. Fungicides labeled for downy mildew can also be used.

Leaf Spot

Leaf spot is a fungal disease that causes circular or irregular spots on the leaves of sweet peas. Infected leaves may turn yellow or brown and eventually drop.

To control leaf spot, remove and destroy affected leaves and provide proper spacing between plants for better air circulation. Fungicides labeled for leaf spot can also be used.

Rust

Rust is a fungal disease that appears as orange or yellowish-brown spots on the leaves, stems, and flowers of sweet peas. It can cause defoliation and weaken the plant.

Virus Diseases

Sweet peas can be affected by various virus diseases, including mosaic virus and necrotic spot virus. These viruses cause mottling, yellowing, and stunted growth in plants. Unfortunately, there is no cure for viral diseases.

Root and Crown Rot

Root and crown rot is a fungal disease that affects the roots and base of sweet pea plants, causing wilting, yellowing, and plant death. This disease is often caused by overwatering or poorly drained soil. 

 

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