Sweet Pea "Winter Sunshine - Mauve"
Sweet Pea "Winter Sunshine - Mauve"
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Sweet Pea "Winter Sunshine - Mauve"

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This listing refers to the sale of seeds.

Lathyrus odoratus is beloved for its sweet, honey-like flowers. They can be grown as annuals or herbaceous or evergreen perennials with pinnate leaves and showy pea-like flowers.

Sweet Pea "Winter Sunshine - Mauve" was introduced in 2008 as a new winter-flowering variety. The rich mauve flowers are resistant to fading and look superb combined with light blue or scarlet.

The Winter Sunshine variety has different growth characteristics from normal sweet pea varieties and requires somewhat different cultivation. Early growth is vigorous, continuing through winter, even in the UK and Canada, where low light levels normally severely restrict plant development for many weeks. In the UK, for example, mid-September is a suitable time for sowing. In the Netherlands, for example, these varieties can be sown in May for autumn flowers.

Pinching out the tip of the seed growth in the usual way will give one strong side shoot, but cutting this back may kill the plant, or result in a long delay before any further growth is produced.

This strain is more vigorous than other winter strains of sweet pea and should perform extremely well in the warm temperate regions.

  • Height at maturity: 120-180 cm
  • Width at maturity: 30-50 cm
  • Light needs: Semi-shade/indirect sun
  • Type of soil: Well-drained with manure
  • Soil pH: Slightly alkaline (7.0 to 7.5)
  • Features: Fragrant
  • Pruning: Trim off spent and faded blooms
  • Best time to sow seeds: September-April
  • Flowering period: Late winter to late summer (depending on the planting time)
  • Warnings: Unlike edible garden peas, sweet peas are poisonous

Starting your Seeds

Sweet peas don't like to be transplanted so it's best to plant them where you want them to flower. Germination takes about 2-3 weeks. Stake your plants in advance so as not to disrupt the roots. This variety will need a trellis or fence to stand upright.

In USDA Zones 7-10 with mild winters, you can sow seeds in fall around October.
For colder climates (Zones 3-5), you can start seeds in November so long as temperatures can stay above freezing all winter. You will likely need to keep them in a greenhouse during the coldest parts of the winter.


Day length, temperature and light intensity determine when your sweet peas will flower. In the UK flower can be expected from early March under glass, in California or Georgia for example, cut flower can easily be produced in time for the Christmas market. As the weather warms, sweet peas will wake up and begin blooming right until the first heatwave of the summer. This variety can produce around 5-6 flowers per stem.

For additional growing and care details, please visit: https://terracegardenfrance.com/blogs/caring-for-your-plants/a-quick-guide-to-growing-sweet-peas