Sweet pea Lathyrus odoratus 'Heartbeat'

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Hard-care
sweet pea 'Heartbeat'


The plant in question, commonly known as 'Sweet Pea Heartbeat', is a visually appealing cultivar renowned for its ornamental qualities. It is characterized by a display of delicate flowers, which typically exhibit a soft, pastel pigment that encompasses shades of pink and creamy hues. Each bloom possesses a gently ruffled appearance and has a characteristic winged shape, common to flowers in the Sweet Pea family, which adds to the plant's overall charm and grace. These flowers are often arranged in clusters, which hover atop the plant's foliage, creating an aesthetically pleasing canopy of color. The foliage itself presents a vibrant green backdrop for the blossoms, consisting of slender, lance-shaped leaves that are arranged spirally along the stems. The contrast between the soft pastel flowers and the lush greenery of the leaves makes for a striking visual. Moreover, 'Sweet Pea Heartbeat' is distinguished not only by its visual appeal but also by its fragrance. The blooms emit a sweet, aromatic scent that is both intense and delightful, making it a popular choice for gardeners seeking to add both visual beauty and olfactory pleasure to their gardens. The fragrance is often strongest in the early morning and late evening, contributing to the plant's reputation as a sensory delight. In terms of its growth pattern, the 'Sweet Pea Heartbeat' exhibits a climbing habit, with stems winding their way around any available support. This twining nature enables the plant to gracefully ascend trellises, fences, and other garden structures, often creating a cascading effect of flowers that is particularly romantic and enchanting to behold. Overall, 'Sweet Pea Heartbeat' is celebrated for its aesthetic qualities, including its captivating blooms, pleasant fragrance, and lush foliage, which together create a stunning display for garden enthusiasts and onlookers alike.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Synonyms

      Sweet Pea, Everlasting Pea, Perennial Pea, Sweetpea.

    • Common names

      Lathyrus odoratus 'Heartbeat'.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Sweet pea, including the variety known as 'Heartbeat', contains toxic chemicals known as aminopropionitriles. These compounds can cause a condition called lathyrism if ingested in large quantities. Lathyrism is characterized by neurological and musculoskeletal symptoms such as paralysis, difficulty walking, and in severe cases, can even lead to death. Chronic exposure to the toxin can also result in more permanent damage. It is important to note, however, that poisoning is usually associated with the ingestion of the seeds or seed pods and is rarely a result of casual contact or ingestion of the flowers or leaves.

    • To pets

      In pets, sweet pea toxicity is similar to that in humans. The plant's seeds contain aminopropionitriles, which can lead to lathyrism. Symptoms of poisoning can include weakness, lethargy, seizures, and paralysis. As with humans, toxicity in pets typically occurs from ingesting the seeds or seed pods and is not commonly associated with ingesting other parts of the plant. Serious cases can be fatal and any pet suspected of sweet pea poisoning should be taken to a veterinarian immediately.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      5 feet (1.5 meters)

    • Spread

      1 foot (0.3 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Aesthetic Appeal: Lathyrus odoratus 'Heartbeat', commonly known as Sweet Pea, produces beautiful and fragrant flowers that enhance the visual appeal of gardens and landscapes.
    • Attracts Pollinators: Sweet Peas are known to attract bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects to the garden which are essential for pollination.
    • Ease of Growth: Sweet Peas are relatively easy to grow, making them suitable for gardeners of all skill levels, from beginners to experts.
    • Vertical Interest: This climber can add height and structure to garden spaces by growing on trellises, fences, and other supports.
    • Color Variety: Sweet Peas come in a range of colors, allowing gardeners to create diverse and colorful displays.
    • Edible Flowers: While not specific to the 'Heartbeat' variety, some species of Sweet Peas produce flowers that are edible and can be used to decorate dishes.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Art and Crafts: Sweet pea petals can be used in pressed flower art, creating beautiful and natural designs for greeting cards and other decorative items.
    • Educational Tool: Educators can use sweet pea growth as a hands-on learning activity to teach children about plant biology, lifecycle, and the importance of horticulture.
    • Dye Source: The flowers of the sweet pea can be used to create natural dyes for fabrics, offering a range of soft colors depending on the mordant used.
    • Companion Planting: Sweet peas can be planted alongside vegetables in a garden to attract pollinators, enhancing fruit and vegetable production.
    • Natural Insect Repellant: When placed in a room, the strong fragrance of sweet peas may help deter certain insects.
    • Garden Aesthetics: Sweet peas can be strategically planted to camouflage unsightly areas in a garden with their attractive foliage and blooms.
    • Photography Prop: The attractive flowers of the sweet pea make an excellent prop for photographers, especially in spring and garden-themed photo shoots.
    • Fragrance Inspiration: The scent of sweet peas is often used by perfumers as inspiration for creating fresh and floral fragrances for perfumes and scented products.
    • Seed Crafts: The seeds of sweet peas can be used for making jewelry or decorative mosaics, particularly in educational settings.
    • Culinary Garnish: Although the plant is not edible, the flowers can be used as a non-toxic decorative garnish for dishes in high-end culinary presentations.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Sweet Pea is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Sweet Pea is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Love and Affection: The Sweet Pea, specifically the 'Heartbeat' variety, with its heart-associated name, is often symbolic of deep love and heartfelt emotions. Its sweet fragrance and delicate blooms evoke a sense of tender affection and endearing charm.
    • Blissful Pleasure: Sweet Peas are known to represent blissful pleasure, given their delightful scent and array of colors. The pleasure derived from their presence is often linked to pure enjoyment and happiness.
    • Goodbye and Departure: In the language of flowers, Sweet Peas can signify a farewell or an expression of thanks for a lovely time. This makes them a common choice for farewells or as a gesture of appreciation when parting.
    • Delicate Pleasures: The delicate nature of Sweet Pea flowers with their soft, ruffled petals symbolizes pleasures that are gentle, subtle, and genteel, inviting individuals to savor the small, exquisite moments in life.
    • Thankfulness: The gift of Sweet Peas often represents gratitude for a kind act or to show appreciation, embodying the sentiment of thankfulness and acknowledgement.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every year
Spring to early summer
Not needed
  • water dropWater

    Sweet peas like consistent moisture, so water them thoroughly once a week, providing about one gallon per square yard. They prefer a deep watering that saturates the root zone rather than frequent, shallow sprinklings. During periods of drought or extreme heat, increase watering to twice a week. Avoid getting water on the flowers and foliage to prevent disease, concentrating instead on the soil at the base of the plant. In cooler climates, less frequent watering may be required; always check that the top inch of soil is dry before adding more water.

  • sunLight

    Sweet peas thrive in full sun, which means they need around 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight per day. The best spot for them is a location that receives morning sun and is protected from the intense afternoon heat, which can sometimes be too strong. If planted in partial shade, make sure they still get a good amount of morning sunlight for best bloom production.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Sweet peas prefer cool to moderate temperatures, thriving best when daytime temperatures are between 55°F and 65°F. They can tolerate a minimum temperature of 50°F and maximum of 75°F but may start to falter if temperatures exceed these ranges for prolonged periods. For optimal growth and flowering, sweet peas should be planted in areas where the temperature conditions can remain within their ideal range.

  • scissorsPruning

    Prune sweet peas to encourage bushier growth and more blooms. Pinch off the tips of young plants when they are about 6 inches tall to stimulate side shoots. Deadheading, or removing spent flowers, will also encourage new flowers to form. Prune any dead or yellowing leaves to maintain plant health and aesthetic appeal. The best time to prune sweet peas is in the morning or evening when temperatures are cooler.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Sweet peas require well-draining soil rich in organic matter, with a pH between 6.0-7.5. A good mix is one part garden soil, one part compost or well-rotted manure, and one part perlite or coarse sand to improve drainage.

  • plantRepotting

    Sweet peas generally do not need to be repotted as they are annual plants. They live their full lifecycle in a single growing season and are typically sown directly where they are to flower.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Sweet peas prefer moderate humidity levels. They thrive best in outdoor conditions where there is natural air circulation, rather than in overly humid indoor environments.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Plant in deep pots with support for climbing, in a sunny spot.

    • Outdoor

      Sow in well-draining soil, full sun, provide climbing support.

    • Hardiness zone

      2-11 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The Sweet Pea 'Heartbeat' starts its life as a seed, which, when sown in fertile, well-draining soil and given the right conditions of warmth and moisture, will germinate. Upon germination, it sends down a root and pushes a shoot upwards, growing into a seedling with a set of true leaves after the initial sprouting leaves. As a fast-growing annual vine, it develops a strong root system and begins to climb, requiring support like a trellis or stakes. The plant then enters a vegetative stage where it produces more leaves and stems, eventually leading to bud formation. Flowers appear in the blooming stage, offering fragrant, colorful blossoms that are attractive to pollinators. After pollination, the plant sets seed in elongated pods, which mature and can be harvested for future planting or left to self-sow, completing its lifecycle.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring to early summer

    • Propogation: Lathyrus odoratus 'Heartbeat', commonly known as the sweet pea, is most effectively propagated through seed sowing. The ideal time to propagate sweet peas is in late winter or early spring, ensuring the soil temperatures range between 55 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit (13 to 18 degrees Celsius). To propagate through seed sowing, first, nick the seed coat with a file or soak the seeds in water for 24 hours to enhance germination. Sow seeds about 1 inch (2.54 centimeters) deep in well-draining soil, spacing them about 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7.6 centimeters) apart. Provide support for the climbing vines as they grow, and maintain moist soil conditions. Seedlings typically emerge in 10-21 days, after which they will require ample sunlight and a slight decrease in watering to encourage strong growth.