Are sweet peas perennial?

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Sweet peas produce beautiful flower displays, so beautiful in fact that you will want them to come back year after year. But will they? Are sweet peas perennial? Let’s find out.

Most sweet peas are annual, not perennial, so will only last a single year. There is one variety of sweet pea “everlasting” that is perennial and will come back year after year.

Regular Sweet Peas

Normal sweet peas are a fairly hardy annual plant. You can sow them in autumn or spring and expect them to flower throughout the summer before dying off when winter comes around.

If you want to have sweet peas the following year you will need to sow some fresh plants for seed in either the autumn or spring.

Sweet Peas Growing up a Hazel Wigwam
Sweet Peas Growing up a Hazel Wigwam

Everlasting Sweet Peas

There is one type of sweet pea that is perennial. All of the above-ground growth will still die back or be cut back to ground level in late autumn/winter but in the following spring, it will appear again, ready to grow and flower all over again.

The Latin name given to this plant is Lathyrus latifolius but it is commonly known as the everlasting sweet pea.

This sweet pea looks just like its annual cousin, just with a few differences. Everlasting peas tend to grow bushier than annual sweet peas. They also have one major drawback, the vast majority of everlasting sweet peas don’t have the scent that annual sweet peas are famed for.

Even though they grow bushier by nature it is still important to pinch out everlasting sweet peas.

Perennial Sweet Pea!
Sweet Pea Everlasting Mixed Seeds
  • A hardy perennial sweet pea
  • Flowers year after year
  • Mixed colours
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03/01/2024 07:08 pm GMT
Sweet Peas in Archway
Sweet Peas in Archway


sweet peas, (Lathyrus odoratus) are a flowering plant belonging to the legume family. They are an annual flower that loves to climb and spread, in the right conditions and with the correct support they can grow to 2 and a half meters tall!

Unlike many other legumes which are grown to be eaten, sweet peas are grown for purely aesthetic reasons. There is evidence to suggest that the pea seeds from a sweet pea plant are actually toxic to humans and not fit for consumption even if this was desired.

Sweetpea FAQ’s

Are sweet peas perennial?

No sweet peas are an annual plant, they will not come back year after year.

Can you eat sweetpeas?

No, sweet peas are grown purely for their looks. Unlike many other legumes, they are actually toxic to humans if consumed.

Are sweet peas poisonous to pets?

Yes, as they are poisonous to humans they are also poisonous to pets, so make sure you keep an eye on your pets when they are hovering around sweet peas.

How high can sweet peas grow?

With the proper support, sweet peas can grow to 2m or even slightly above!

When do you grow sweet peas?

The traditional season for sweet peas is June and July but with the right care and attention, they can be both started earlier and grown later into the season. Regular deadheading of sweetpeas can massively prolong their flowering period.

How to germinate sweet peas?

I like to soak my sweet pea seeds in water for 24 hours before planting them in a seed tray. This soaking helps to break down the tough shell around the seed allowing them to germinate better.

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