Lathyrus odoratus

Latin Name: Lathyrus odoratus
Common Name: Sweet pea
Mature Height (ft): 3-5'
Mature Width: 3-6"

Mature Shape

Vining, twining.
Mulch: Organic.

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Sweet pea is another wonderful old fashioned, fragrant annual climber. That is, the original L. odoratus was fragrant; many varieties today have had the fragrance bred out of them to achieve more and bigger blooms and different colors. Sweet pea is versatile and will grow in a variety of water zones and soil types. I have seen it growing alone for 2 years at an abandoned home, alongside lantana. Some gardeners just toss out the seeds in fall or spring and wait to be surprised. You could take the extra time to plant them somewhat shallow, and tie and stake them, if you wish, in a sunny location, favored with afternoon shade. Many sweet peas are grown in much more northern climes, with the Sweet Pea Festival celebrated in Bozeman, Montana each summer, a celebration of the arts, and I imagine, the sweet pea.

Use in Garden

Part sun, part shade. Needs support for best display of flowers and foliage.


Top dress bed with 1 inch compost in spring and fall.