The MGS Forum

Plants for mediterranean gardens => Annuals => Topic started by: Daisy on June 24, 2013, 07:50:49 AM

Title: Sweet Peas
Post by: Daisy on June 24, 2013, 07:50:49 AM
I sowed some seed of Lathyrus odoratus Cupani last autumn.
They started flowering in late winter and when I left for England in the third week in May, they were still going strong.

(http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5322/8800764806_c1cf5f2962_c.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/93752583@N02/8800764806/)
may 2013 057 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/93752583@N02/8800764806/) by Daisyincrete (http://www.flickr.com/people/93752583@N02/), on Flickr

When I returned last week however, they were completely finished.
Is this normal for sweet peas in a mediterranean climate.
It is the first time I have grown them here, so I am not sure if that was their normal season, or whether it was simply because they didn't get watered whilst I was absent.
Daisy :)
Title: Re: Sweet Peas
Post by: Miriam on June 24, 2013, 01:49:01 PM
It is an annual plant and it is normal in the mediterranean climate.
The fact that you did not water the plants helped to end their life more quickly.
Title: Re: Sweet Peas
Post by: Umbrian on June 25, 2013, 07:22:26 AM
Yes, Miriam is quite right Daisy, Sweet Peas (Lathyrus odoratus) are annuals and although it is possible to grow them in Mediterranean climates their life and flowering period is curtailed once temperatures soar and the soil dries out. I started growing them several years ago as I have fond memories of picking them to put in the house. After my first attempt I was disappointed with their performance. I had sown the seeds in early spring and by the time the plants were in flower the hot weather arrived and they succumbed very quickly as I do not water. That autumn I noticed quite a few young plants had germinated from fallen seed and was pleased to see they survived the winter. These plants grew away quickly in the early spring and started to flower much earlier and therefore gave me flowers over a longer period. Now I just let nature do its job and this year, after an abnormally wet late winter and spring I have had a glorious display that has lasted for many weeks due to continuing frequent rain and lower than normal temperatures. Plants appeared in unexpected places and climbed into surrounding shrubs that gave them natural support and some of the colour combinations were quite stunning such as those of the colour in your 'photo Daisy that grew through a Rosa rubifolia.
Title: Re: Sweet Peas
Post by: Umbrian on June 25, 2013, 07:29:15 AM
Sorry wrong 'photo :( but you can see the profusion of flowers and the height of the plants. That 'photo was taken on June 1st and they had been flowering and growing for many weeks. Now, after a week of really hot weather they are beginning to succumb. The bottom leaves are yellowing and the flowering stems getting shorter but for me this "easy" way of growing thm is well worth while.
Title: Re: Sweet Peas
Post by: Fermi on June 25, 2013, 01:19:33 PM
Hi Daisy,
We grow this same variety of Sweet pea here where it is known as 'Matucana';our summers can get very hot and dry with most of our rainfall coming in the autumn and winter so I consider ours to be a Mediterranean type of climate.
This annual self sows now but does best where it gets some summer watering; "dead-heading" helps prolong the blooming period, but we always let some pods ripen so that the there is a new generation next year.
The seedlings start to appear once we get some rain in autumn and survive our mild winters quite easily.
cheers
fermi
Title: Re: Sweet Peas
Post by: David Bracey on June 26, 2013, 04:43:51 PM
I was once involved in a sweet pea (SP) mystery. New SPs are often bred by SP fanciers in the N of England.  The breeders take selected SPs , make the cross and collect the seed.  This is called nuclear stock and may be as few as 6 seeds.  These seeds are sent to trusted growers to multiply them.   I was called to help an ex SP judge living in the Dordogne, France who was the entrusted grower but all his work resulted in mixed flowers. The judge was besides himself and at his wits end.  The breeders were also loosing patience and valuable breeding lines.

The problem was eventually tracked down to the carpenter bee.  This a solidary heavy bee capable of pollinating a sweet pea flower by weighing down the landing petal Sods law. After that the judge continued his programme inside an insect free outdor cage.

I understand that SPs are commercially multiplied in Malta, Australia nd California where I presume carpenter bees do not exist.
Title: Re: Sweet Peas
Post by: Fermi on November 08, 2013, 08:48:14 AM
Peak Sweet Pea season here!
Ballerina Blue
Matucana
unnamed dark purple
sweet pea pillars and poppies
cheers
fermi
Title: Re: Sweet Peas
Post by: Daisy on November 18, 2013, 07:09:51 AM
Keep the photos coming Fermi. Even if we don't comment, we enjoy them.
I sowed some more cupani/matacana a couple of weeks ago. They are already 4-5 inches high.
Daisy :)
Title: Re: Sweet Peas
Post by: Fermi on December 09, 2013, 02:05:47 PM
Daisy,
sorry the sweet peas are just about finished!
We're leaving these to set seed;
The "Ballerina Blue" were second generation and there seem to be two shades at least,
cheers
fermi
Title: Re: Sweet Peas
Post by: Umbrian on February 11, 2014, 07:58:23 AM
With reference to my last post re Californian Poppies the self sown plants of which are flourishing this year, I have noticed that my self sown Sweet Peas are no where near as healthy this year. Although there are plenty of them as is normal they look weak and straggly - perhaps they are not appreciating the incessant rain?
Title: Re: Sweet Peas
Post by: Fermi on October 27, 2014, 08:06:46 AM
The sweetpeas have been prolific this year, but so far only the 'Matucana' types have appeared,
cheers
fermi
Title: Re: Sweet Peas
Post by: Fermi on October 29, 2015, 01:09:31 PM
We got some new seed in autumn and grew these mixed "Gawler Sweetpeas" from South Australia
cheers
fermi
Title: Re: Sweet Peas
Post by: Daisy on November 22, 2015, 03:58:44 PM
Thanks for reminding me Fermi. I sowed mine after seeing your last post. They are already coming up amongst the moth balls, that I put on top to keep the mice away.
Daisy ;)
Title: Re: Sweet Peas
Post by: Fermi on November 06, 2016, 02:02:27 PM
The sweetpeas have been better than ever - but mostly the 'Matucana' type.
They have appreciated the heavier than usual winter rain and the fairly sunny spring,
cheers
fermi
Title: Re: Sweet Peas
Post by: Fleur Pavlidis on November 09, 2016, 06:11:31 PM
Is the scent intense and exquisite as claimed in the seed catalogues?
Title: Re: Sweet Peas
Post by: Fermi on October 12, 2020, 12:25:50 PM
Sweet pea 'Matucana' is once more going berserk!
cheers
fermi
Title: Re: Sweet Peas
Post by: Hilary on April 19, 2021, 08:44:23 AM
Lathyrus odoratus íNimbusí

More seed success.

I had acquired the seeds from THE MEDITERRANEAN GARDEN SOCIETY seed bank last year and planted them in October. They produced the first flowers yesterday, 18th April
Title: Re: Sweet Peas
Post by: Charithea on April 19, 2021, 10:34:58 AM
I am telling myself that I am not jealous.  They are amazing.  I have not had any success with growing sweet peas. I have been given seeds by friends and from the MGS seed bank but I have failed. Once they germinated and started to grow until our cats decided to run in and out of the area and squashed them until they gave up the fight.
Title: Re: Sweet Peas
Post by: Hilary on April 19, 2021, 11:36:30 AM
Mine are in a large pot and were watered usually daily
No cats or dogs or other animals here

 
Title: Re: Sweet Peas
Post by: Charithea on April 20, 2021, 12:03:00 PM
Hilary I have seen sweet peas growing in big pots and they look lovely.   I went out and counted the 'pots' that I have to keep an eye on.  There are more then 100 permanent plants in clay pots,  50 plus cactus and 50 plus plastic pots with cuttings and seasonal seeds. There are more then 200 pots that I have to remember to keep an eye on and also deter the cats  from sleeping among them. I am happy to add more but my sister, in her early eighties, can not cope with the work when we are away on trips.
Title: Re: Sweet Peas
Post by: Hilary on April 20, 2021, 05:00:12 PM
200 pots sounded like a lot until I started counting ours. For a start we have five on the kitchen windowsill, three in the bathroom, six in the sitting room and seven outside the front door an area which is not strictly ours to use. The front doors along the passage ways of the block of flats which have a little gardens of flowers  pots look so much better than the doors which are bare and barren

Most of our plants in pots could stand two weeks absence of care and water when we used to go away on trips