Sweet Pea ‘Helen Millar’
I had a very dramatic response the first time I saw Sweet Pea ‘Helen Millar’ bloom in my garden. The flowers (lavender flushed white) are so beautiful they actually took my breath away. If you are growing for a Wedding then in my opinion this one is a ‘must grow’!
For the smaller garden you can also find ‘Helen Millar’ included as part of my Zoe’s Favourites Sweet Pea Collection.
I hope that starting with a few Sweet Pea’s from our tried and tested selection will give you the best possible experience and mark the start a life long obsession.
How to Grow:
To get seeds off to the best start, sow late September and October. The weather is still warm, and your greenhouse will still have good light levels.
Sowing seeds in winter can cause problems with poor germination and leggy plants.
For seeds to germinate water must pass through the thick sweet pea seed coat. Soaking seeds for a few hours in tepid water can help speed this process up.
When sowing seeds, I prefer to plant 3 seeds in a 9cm pot. I leave the 3 seedlings to grow on all through the winter, before planting the whole pot (group of 3) in the early spring. Space pots at least 22cm apart and provide a strong trellis or support for Sweet peas to climb.
*Unlike garden peas, sweet pea seeds are poisonous if ingested. Unfortunately mice still like to steal them so are best pre-sprouted in doors or on a rodent proof shelf in the greenhouse.
For more detailed growing instructions join our ‘Grow-A-Long’ on Instagram and for busy gardeners you can now plan ahead with our Autumn Jump Starter Handbook
Variety: Lathyrus odoratus
Type: Hardy Annual
Position: Full sun in free draining soil.
Sow: Autumn for best results but you can also sow in late Winter – more on that later
Germination: Up to 30 days
Height: 200cm plus until stopped
Harvest: May/June – July
Seeds per packet: 20
Cutting /Vase Life:
For the longest vase life, pick when the first flower opens leaving two to open in the vase. Sweet peas have a relatively short vase life making them the perfect choice when growing your own.