Growing Sweet Peas in Pots

Growing Sweet Peas in Pots is easy! With a few simple tips and tricks you can have colourful and fragrant Sweet Peas all summer long! 

Sweet Peas grow beautifully in pots and containers.  All they need are great soil, sunshine, water and something to climb.  Then sit back and wait for your beautifully scented sweet peas to grow and flourish.

Growing Sweet Peas in Pots

Easy to grow!

I love Sweet Pea Flowers SO much.  I don’t think there’s a more beautifully scented flower…and how lovely and delicate are their petals?  Thankfully, Sweet Peas are very easy to grow, so I make sure to have plenty of them in my garden during the summer months.  Actually, if you’re lucky and the weather is great, you can have flowers right into the fall.

Growing Sweet Peas in Pots

Grow Sweet Peas in Pots!

When we first moved into our home almost 15 years ago, my yard used to get a lot of  sun, so planting sweet peas was very easy.  I would line them up along our back fence but now this area has become shaded as our trees matured, and sweet peas don’t thrive there any longer.  So now I grow them in containers.  I have about 5 pots that I dedicate to growing Sweet Peas because I just love them so much.

Growing Sweet Peas in Pots
My Sweet Pea Pots all planted and ready to go!  Every year I try to plant different varieties of flowers, so I always make sure to label my pots so I don’t forget what they are.

Great for limited space!

One thing that I have learned over the years is that you do not need acres of land to enjoy a garden.  If you have a balcony, a patio or a little urban yard, then you can grow plants.  Most anything will grow well in pots, so don’t let limited space hold you back.  In fact, last summer I grew a cut flower garden in my tiny little urban yard and I loved it SO SO much.  This year I’m going to grow even more flowers!

How to Grow Sweet Peas in Pots
Place sticks or branches into your pots so your Sweet Peas can climb them.

Tips for Growing Sweet Peas:

Over the years I’ve learned a few things about growing Sweet Peas so I thought I’d share a few tips and tricks that I’ve gathered over time.

Use Sweet Pea seeds best suited for pots.

You should look for short/dwarf varieties that don’t get much taller than 2 feet.  Sometimes they are called bush Sweet Peas.

Soak your seeds before planting. 

Actually, this is a personal preference.  Many people will sow sweet pea seeds directly into their gardens in early spring as soon as the snow melts, which is a great time because the soil is moist enough to soften the seeds.  Sometimes I will do this, but often I forget to get them out early enough so I will soak the seeds before I plant them.  To do this soak the seeds in water for 24 hours before sowing them into the soil.  This softens the seed coat which will speed up the sprouting process.

Choosing Pots.

Make sure what ever pot or container you are using is at least 6 inches deep.  Sweet peas like to stretch out their roots, so the deeper the pot, the better.

And use pots with great drainage.

Make sure that the pots and containers you use for your Sweet Peas, have adequate drainage.  Sweet Peas do not like to sit in water.

Choosing soil.

Sweet peas love rich soil, so use a good quality potting soil.  It’s a good idea to amend it with some compost too.

Planting Sweet Pea seeds.

Follow package directions. But the basic rules are to plant them about 1 cm deep, and 2 inches apart.  Most often I will plant more seeds than recommended just in case some of the seeds don’t sprout.  If I get too many I will just thin them out.

Give your Sweet Peas something to attach to and climb!

Sweet peas are climbers so you always need to provide something for them to climb.  When you’re using pots you can place sticks into your pots so the tendrils can grab onto them as the sweet peas grow.  I just used simple twigs in my pots…you can see them in the picture above.  You can also use a small trellis or chicken wire.

Support as they grow!

Your Sweet Peas will need a little support as they grow taller.  Sometimes the tendrils don’t latch onto the sticks or trellis, so you have to help them.  I will gently tie the stems to the support sticks using little bits of twine.

Put your Sweet Peas in the sun.

Sweet peas are happiest with their flowers in the sunshine and their roots deep in cool, moist soil.  Once the plants have sprouted, consider placing some mulch around them in the pot to keep their roots happy.

About fertilizer.

Sweet Peas don’t really need much in the way of fertilizing.  There’s a common misconception that sweet peas love nitrogen like peas, but in fact, they do not!  I don’t really fertilize my Sweet Pea plants.


Make sure to keep your Sweet Peas hydrated, but not overwatered.  They don’t like to dry out or be too wet.


This is always so hard to do, but as your sweet peas start growing they will be spindly, so you need to pinch them back to encourage side shoots, which will result in robust bushy plants.  To do this just pinch off the top of the stem with your fingers, just above a set of leaves.  It’s hard to do, trust me I know, but your Sweet Peas will be better for it!


Remove old flowers and seed pods.  This encourages new growth, so make sure you do this often!


If you’re like me, you’re growing Sweet Peas so you can snip off flowers to bring inside!  I just can’t resist the smell of them in summer.  And the good new with this is, the more you pick, the more flowers will grow.

Growing Sweet Peas in Pots

I hope you feel inspired to plant sweet peas too!  With a little care, you can have an abundance of beautiful blooms all summer long!

Growing Sweet Peas in Pots


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  1. Thank you so much for the tip that sweet peas need supports! I was despairing that the shoots I was so proud of had suddenly started falling about and I didn’t find this tip anywhere else!

  2. When I was a very little girl, my mom and dad had 2 greenhouses. I am now 89 years young and can still smell those lovely, fragrant Sweet Peas! We’re in an apartment now and I’ve tried to grow Sweet Pease to no avail. I’m going to try again – never give up!
    The seedlings are in a large container in my bedroom and look promising. I just have to find supports for them and then I’ll place them in large containers on our balcony. Thanks so much for your valuable tips. God bless.

    1. We share a love of Sweet Peas…they’re just so pretty and smell amazing! I’m very happy you found these tips helpful, I hope you have an amazing little garden this year.

  3. When I was growing up sweet peas were my mom’s favorite! As a child I loved their bright colours, the scent of them and that she encouraged picking them! It is nice to meet a fellow Sweet Pea lover. Thanks for the tip about using twigs for them to grow up on. I am in a condo so this will work nicely for me on my patio. There really is no way to secure a trellis. And by the way our names are very similar, I am Jo-Anne. I have rarely met another hyphenated woman. Thanks for your lovely article.

    1. Nice to meet you Jo-Anne! I haven’t met many women with hyphenated names either…especially Jo-Anne’s or Jo-Anna’s. And I’m so happy you found this tip for growing sweet peas in pots on your patio! I hope you have many beautiful blooms this summer!

  4. I just ran across your tips and tricks thank goodness. I’ve planted sweet peas in a couple hanging baskets and they are looking good but was trying to figure out something for them to climb on. Branches, never thought of that. I also didn’t know to punch the tops so they would grow bushier. Thanks for the great tip and trick. Fingers crossed mine do well. I’m not sure I have the right kind but giving them a try anyway. Hoping my hummers like them. Thanks! Jean

  5. On our honeymoon in Bermuda, back in 1976, we rode our moped to the perfume factory. The scent that we chose was ‘Sweet Pea’! I still have the bottle.
    We have Sweet Peas growing wild.
    They return every year.

  6. As a child in England, sweet pea was my favorite. But I have never succeeded in growing it well here. Can you recommend a source for the best sweet pea seeds to grow in containers. Thanks for this lovely article.

  7. Hi, I am going to try sweet peas in a couple of hanging baskets. I wondered if perhaps there is a plant that could be in the center of the pot, to act as a support. Any thoughts on this?

    1. Hi Colleen! Because Sweet Peas climb, I wouldn’t put another plant in the centre for support as the sweet pea vines and tendrils will weave on to the plant, which could choke it and prevent it from growing. I find placing wooden branches or some sort of trellis in the centres of the pots works best.