Sweet pea Lathyrus odoratus 'Aphrodite'
The plant in question, commonly known as sweet pea 'Aphrodite', is a flowering vine that showcases a remarkable display of beauty. Bearing a profusion of flowers, the blooms of 'Aphrodite' are particularly appreciated for their delicate and enchanting fragrance which is reminiscent of honey and orange blossom. The petals exhibit a soft palette of colors, often appearing in shades of pink, lavender, or a creamy white, each flower intricately adorned with ruffled edges that lend a romantic and somewhat old-fashioned look to the plant. Sweet pea 'Aphrodite' typically has a climbing habit, with slender stems that are paired with tendrils allowing it to gracefully ascend and cling to supports, creating vertical interest wherever it is trained. The foliage consists of bright green, pinnate leaves that are neatly arranged along the stems, and each leaflet is oval-shaped and slightly pointed at the tip, providing an elegant backdrop for the stunning blossoms. Each flower of the sweet pea 'Aphrodite' is borne on a slender stem making it an excellent choice for cutting and bringing indoors to enjoy their pleasant scent. The winged petals are complemented by a keel-like lower petal, which together form the distinctive butterfly-like shape that is characteristic of sweet pea flowers. This variety's emphasis on its lavish blossoms and appealing fragrance makes it a beloved choice for gardeners seeking to add a touch of grace and charm to their floral arrangements and garden spaces.
About this plant
Sweet Pea, Everlasting Pea, Perennial Pea, Sweet Pease, Sweetpea.
Color of leaves
5 feet (1.52 meters)
1 foot (0.3 meters)
- General Benefits
- Aesthetic Appeal: The Lathyrus odoratus 'Aphrodite', commonly known as sweet pea, is admired for its colorful and fragrant flowers, which can enhance the visual appeal of any garden space.
- Attracts Pollinators: Sweet peas are known to attract bees and butterflies, which are essential for pollination and the health of the garden ecosystem.
- Easy to Grow: Sweet peas are relatively easy to grow and can be cultivated by gardeners of all skill levels.
- Climbing Nature: The vining habit of sweet peas allows them to climb trellises, fences, and other structures, adding vertical interest to gardens and landscapes.
- Cut Flowers: The flowers of sweet pea are popular for use in cut flower arrangements due to their beauty and sweet fragrance.
- Variety of Colors: Sweet peas come in a wide range of colors, which provides gardeners the opportunity to create diverse and colorful garden designs.
- Seasonal Interest: Sweet peas bloom in the spring, adding seasonal interest to the garden during this time.
- Edible Peas: While the seeds of Lathyrus odoratus 'Aphrodite' are not typically eaten, some sweet pea varieties produce edible peas, adding a functional element to their cultivation.
- Medical Properties
This plant is not used for medical purposes.
- Air-purifying Qualities
This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.
- Other Uses
- Custom potpourri: Dried sweet pea flowers can be included in potpourri mixtures for a pleasant fragrance within the home.
- Educational tool: Sweet pea plants can be used in educational settings to teach children about plant growth, development, and the process of pollination.
- Natural dye: The petals of sweet pea flowers can be used to create a natural dye for fabrics or paper, imparting soft colors ranging from purple to blue.
- Floral art: Pressed sweet pea flowers can be used in floral art and craft projects for creating bookmarks, greeting cards or decorative framed pieces.
- Wedding confetti: Dried petals of sweet pea flowers can be used as biodegradable confetti at weddings for a sustainable and fragrant alternative to synthetic confetti.
- Plant strengthener: Companion planting sweet peas near other plants can encourage growth and development due to their ability to fix nitrogen in the soil.
- Garden aroma enhancement: Growing sweet peas among a vegetable garden can help mask the scent of ripening crops, potentially deterring some pests.
- Photography subject: Sweet pea flowers, with their intricate details and vibrant colors, are popular subjects for photographers practicing macro and nature photography.
- Floral water or toner: The essence of the sweet pea flower can be infused into water to create a lightly scented floral water for cosmetic use or as a toner.
- Creative writing inspiration: The beauty and fragrance of sweet peas can serve as inspiration for poets and writers who seek to evoke imagery of gardens and springtime in their work.
- Feng Shui
The Sweet Pea is not used in Feng Shui practice.
- Zodiac Sign Compitability
The Sweet Pea is not used in astrology practice.
- Plant Symbolism
- Pleasure and Enjoyment: Lathyrus odoratus, commonly known as sweet pea, is often associated with pleasure owing to its delightful fragrance and bright, captivating flowers.
- Goodbye or Departure: The sweet pea can symbolize a farewell or goodbye because it has commonly been used as a token of remembrance when parting.
- Blissful Pleasure: Its name 'Aphrodite' links it to the goddess of love and beauty, which in turn conveys a message of enjoying the blissful moments of life.
- Delicate Pleasures: Sweet peas represent delicate pleasures, akin to the soft and gentle experience their scent and appearance provide.
- Thankfulness: Giving sweet peas can express thanks for a lovely time or for the enjoyment borne out of an experience or relationship.
- Kindness: The sweet pea is symbolic of kindness, making it a thoughtful gesture when recognizing someone’s gentle nature or acts of goodwill.
Sweet Peas require consistent moisture, so watering should be thorough, ensuring water penetrates the soil to reach the roots. During the growing season, water them once or twice a week, providing about one inch of water each time. It's best to water in the morning, which allows foliage to dry out during the day, reducing the risk of disease. In warmer climates or during hot weather, increase watering frequency to maintain moist soil, but avoid overwatering which can lead to root rot. Depending on the weather and soil type, you might use about 0.5 gallons per plant per week.
Sweet Peas thrive in full sunlight with at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily. They perform best when planted in a position where they can enjoy the morning sun, which is less intense. Light shade during the hottest part of the day can help in very warm climates, but too much shade can reduce blooming and lead to weaker plants.
Sweet Peas prefer cooler conditions with an ideal temperature range between 55°F and 65°F. They are hardy to a minimum temperature of about 25°F for short periods but excessive cold can damage the plant. During hot weather above 75°F, plants may stop producing flowers and can suffer from heat stress.
Pruning Sweet Peas is essential to promote more blooms and a bushier growth habit. Pinch out the growing tips when the plants are 4 to 6 inches tall to encourage branching. During the blooming season, regularly deadhead spent flowers to encourage new blooms. The best time for pruning is in the early stages of growth and continuously during the flowering period for continued bloom production.
Sweet peas thrive in rich, well-draining soil with a pH between 6.5 and 7.5. A mix consisting of garden soil, compost, and perlite or coarse sand will provide the nutrients and drainage they need. Adding aged manure or bone meal can enhance bloom quality.
Sweet peas typically do not require repotting as they are annual plants; instead, they are sown directly where they are to flower and grown for one season.
- Humidity & Misting
Sweet peas prefer moderate humidity levels but are adaptable to different conditions as long as they are kept well-watered during dry periods.
- Suitable locations
Provide full sun, cool temps, support for climbing, and moist soil.
Plant in sun, provide a trellis, and keep soil moist.
- Life cycle
The life of the Sweet Pea 'Aphrodite' begins as a seed, which, when sown in fertile, well-drained soil and provided with enough light and warmth, germinates typically within 7-15 days. Upon germination, the seedling emerges, developing its first true leaves and a stem that seeks support to climb, which is a characteristic behavior of this species. As it matures, the Sweet Pea 'Aphrodite' enters a vegetative stage where it produces more leaves and tendrils, and it's at this point that regular watering and training onto a support structure is essential. The plant soon enters the flowering stage, usually a few months after planting, where it develops distinctive, fragrant flowers that can be pink, white, or lavender, depending on the variety. After pollination, typically by bees, the flowers can produce pods containing several seeds each, marking the reproductive stage. Once the seeds mature, the plant begins to senesce; it can either be allowed to die back naturally at the end of the growing season, or seed pods can be harvested for future planting, thereby completing the life cycle.
Sweet pea 'Aphrodite' is commonly propagated through seeds, and the best time to sow them is in late winter to early spring, depending on your climate zone. To enhance germination, nick the seed coat with a file or soak the seeds in water for several hours before planting. Sow the seeds about 1 inch deep (2.5 cm) and spaced 2 to 3 inches apart (5-7.5 cm) in well-draining soil and provide support for climbing as these are vining plants. Germination can take 10-21 days; once the seedlings have developed a few sets of true leaves, they can be thinned or transplanted to their final growing position ensuring they have plenty of sunlight and good air circulation. It is not commonly propagated by cuttings or division due to the plant's annual life cycle and the ease of seed propagation.