Sweet peas are one of the mainstays of the annual garden. When you find a variety you love, why not save the seeds so you can grow them every year? This article explains how to collect sweet pea seeds.
How Do I Collect Sweet Pea Seeds?
Old fashioned or heirloom sweet peas are charming and fragrant flowers. Choose an heirloom variety for saving seeds. Seeds saved from modern hybrids may prove a disappointment because they probably won’t look like the parent plants.
If you plan to grow sweet peas in the same garden spot again next year, you don’t have to go to the trouble of saving seeds. As the seed pods dry, they pop open and drop their seeds to the ground. Next year’s flowers will grow from these seeds. If you want to plant them in another location or share your seeds with a friend, however, follow these easy instructions to collect the seeds.
Select a few beautiful, robust plants and stop deadheading them. The seedpods don’t begin to form until after the flower dies, so the flowers must remain on the plant until they are dead. Treat the rest of the plants in the garden as usual, deadheading to keep them blooming freely all spring.
When Do You Harvest Sweet Pea Seeds?
Begin saving seeds from sweet peas after the shells turn brown and brittle. If you harvest the sweet pea seedpods before they are completely mature, they won’t germinate. On the other hand, if you wait too long, the brittle seed pods will break open and drop their seeds to the ground. The process can take a couple of weeks, but check them often. If the pods begin to split, you should pick them right away.
Collecting seeds from sweet peas is easy. Bring the seedpods indoors and remove the seeds from the pods. Line a flat surface, such as a countertop or cookie sheet, with newspaper and let the seeds dry for about three days. Once dry, put them in a freezer bag or Mason jar with a tight-fitting lid to keep them dry. Store them in a cool place until planting time.