Sweet peas are a great gardening project because they’re so easy to grow. Set up some sweet peas with your kids to teach them how plants work. The best part is that you get some amazing-smelling flowers at the end.
Here’s everything you need to know about growing and caring for sweet peas on a balcony.
Sweet peas are surprisingly hardy but do best in USDA Hardiness Zone 7 or below. While you can keep them in warmer climates, you’ll need to keep them shaded.
Sweet peas are climbers, so you’ll need to give them some support. It could be a simple trellis, or you could train them along your balcony railing. They can grow more than 6ft. high and wide, giving you plenty of flowers all summer.
While you could grow a single plant in its own pot, they look good with several different colored flowers grown in the same planter.
Sunlight: Full sun or partial shade
Grow in pots: Yes – containers at least 8” in diameter
Grow indoors: Yes
Soil type: Well draining, all-purpose soil
When to plant: Late spring
To grow sweet peas on a balcony, you’ll need:
- A container with drainage (railing planters work fine, too)
- A trellis or bamboo canes
- All-purpose compost
- Watering can
You can grow sweet peas from seed, but seedlings are widely available around the middle of spring. If growing from seed, sow in a seedling container and then transfer to larger pots later.
1. Fill your pots with soil, pressing down lightly but not too hard.
2. If you’ve sown seeds, transfer into larger pots once they’ve sprouted their first set of true leaves.
3. If using bought seedlings, squeeze from their nursery pot and dig a small hole in the new pot.
4. Simply put the seedling in the hole and pat some soil around its base.
5. Either put the pot under a trellis or stick a few bamboo canes into the soil.
6. Water thoroughly and leave them to grow.
Keep the soil moist but not wet. How often you need to water them will depend on your climate, but once a week is probably enough.
You can fertilize sweet peas at half strength, but only do so twice. Too much fertilizer forces the plant to produce foliage at the expense of flowers.
Sweet peas have little tendrils that they use for support. You can direct these towards your trellis, but the plant should do it on its own.
Pinch off spent flowers before they seed, as this’ll force it to produce more. Alternatively, cut the flowers the day they open and put in a small vase. They smell amazing and can last for up to 2 weeks.
You could basically ignore sweet peas and still get a great plant. That said, with a bit of care, you’ll get a whole season of bright flowers and amazing smells from a plant that doesn’t ask for much in return.