Sweet pea Lathyrus odoratus 'Leominster Boy'

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


The plant known as sweet pea 'Leominster Boy' is a charming flowering plant that is widely admired for its stunning blossoms and sweet fragrance. It presents with a profusion of flowers that are characterized by their deep, rich maroon hue which can sometimes appear almost blue to the onlooker. Each flower typically has a classic sweet pea shape, with a softly undulating standard, or upper petal, which is often slightly ruffled at the edges, creating an effect of gentle graciosity. This main petal arches back, overshadowing the wing petals that are relatively smaller and rest more demurely against the flower's keel. The foliage of the sweet pea 'Leominster Boy' is also noteworthy. It features narrow, lance-shaped leaves that are a bright green color, providing a perfect backdrop for the colorful blossoms. These leaves are paired and they have a tendril at the tip that the plant uses to twine and climb, giving it a delightfully natural appearance as it intertwines with supports or other plants. The stems of this sweet pea variety are slender and sturdy, often holding several flowers each. The blossoms themselves exude a delightful fragrance that can envelop the surrounding area, making it a favorite among gardeners who appreciate plants that appeal to the senses. In summary, sweet pea 'Leominster Boy' is a lovely variety known for its deep maroon-colored blooms and delightful fragrance, with elegant foliage and a climbing habit that adds to its ornamental value. It brings both visual beauty and aromatic pleasure to any garden setting.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Sweet Pea, Everlasting Pea, Perennial Pea, Sweetpea.

    • Common names

      Lathyrus odoratus.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Sweet pea is considered mildly poisonous to humans if ingested in large quantities. The seeds and seed pods are the most toxic parts of the plant because they contain a compound called Lathyrogens, which can cause a condition known as lathyrism when consumed in high amounts. Lathyrism can lead to paralysis, labored breathing, convulsions, and even death if large quantities are consumed. However, accidental ingestion of small amounts is unlikely to cause severe symptoms.

    • To pets

      Sweet pea is also toxic to pets, including cats and dogs, with the seeds and seed pods being the most dangerous parts as they contain Lathyrogens. If pets consume a significant quantity of sweet pea seeds or plants, it can result in lathyrism. Symptoms of sweet pea poisoning in pets may include vomiting, lethargy, seizures, and muscle tremors. Continuous ingestion over time can lead to more severe issues including skeletal abnormalities and paralysis. If you suspect your pet has ingested sweet pea, contact your veterinarian immediately.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      6 feet (1.83 meters)

    • Spread

      1 foot (0.30 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Beautification - Its vibrant flowers and climbing nature can greatly enhance the visual appeal of gardens and living spaces.
    • Pollinator Attraction - Sweet peas can attract bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects, supporting local ecosystems.
    • Aromatic Scent - Sweet peas are known for their delightful fragrance, which can enhance the sensory enjoyment of a garden.
    • Vertical Gardening - Sweet peas are climbers and can be used to create vertical interest in small or compact gardens.
    • Cut Flowers - They make excellent cut flowers for bouquets and floral arrangements with their attractive blooms and scent.
    • Easy to Grow - Sweet peas are generally easy to grow and maintain, making them suitable for novice gardeners.
    • Educational - Growing sweet peas can be an educational experience for children and adults learning about plant life cycles and gardening.

  • 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

    • Photography and Art Subjects: The striking appearance of sweet pea 'Leominster Boy' with its vibrant colors and delicate form makes it an excellent subject for photographers and artists looking to capture natural beauty.
    • Educational Tools: Sweet peas like 'Leominster Boy' can be used in educational settings to teach students about plant biology, pollination, and the lifecycle of flowering plants.
    • Companion Planting: Sweet pea 'Leominster Boy' can be cultivated alongside vegetables in the garden to attract beneficial insects that aid in pollination and pest control.
    • Craft Supplies: Dried sweet pea flowers can be used in various crafts, such as making potpourri, floral arrangements, or natural confetti for weddings and celebrations.
    • Mood Enhancer: The pleasant fragrance of sweet pea 'Leominster Boy' can boost one's mood and create a relaxing atmosphere in a room when used in fresh bouquets.
    • Fence Beautification: Sweet peas can be grown against fences to transform bland spaces into vibrant green walls with splashes of color during their blooming season.
    • Symbolism and Language of Flowers: Sweet peas carry meanings of pleasure and goodbye, which can be used in floral messages for farewells or to express enjoyment in the language of flowers.
    • Bee Garden Addition: Sweet pea 'Leominster Boy' can be included in bee gardens to provide nectar for bees and encourage the support of local pollinator populations.
    • Theme Gardens: Gardeners can use 'Leominster Boy' sweet peas to create a themed garden space, selecting flowers with similar hues or fragrances to create a cohesive sensory experience.
    • Creative Writing Inspiration: The vibrant colors and delicate scent of the sweet pea 'Leominster Boy' can serve as inspiration for poets and writers looking for natural imagery for their work.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    Sweet pea is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    Sweet pea is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Blissful Pleasure: Sweet pea (Lathyrus odoratus 'Leominster Boy') often symbolizes blissful pleasure due to its pleasant fragrance and lovely blossoms, embodying enjoyment and the good things in life.
    • Goodbye: In the language of flowers, sweet pea can represent a fond farewell or goodbye, making it a suitable gift when parting with someone or leaving a place.
    • Delicate Pleasures: The delicate structure of sweet pea flowers often signifies delicate or transient pleasures that are to be enjoyed in the moment.
    • Thank You for a Lovely Time: Sweet pea has been traditionally used to express gratitude for a pleasant time or experience shared with someone else.
    • Departure: Reinforcing its connection with goodbyes and farewells, sweet pea can symbolize the wish for a departure to new adventures or phases in life.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every year
As needed
  • water dropWater

    For Sweet Pea 'Leominster Boy', it's important to maintain evenly moist soil without over-saturating it. You should water deeply once every week, applying about 1 gallon of water per plant to ensure the moisture reaches deep into the root zone. During hot spells or dry weather, increase watering frequency to twice a week. Reduce watering during rainy periods to prevent waterlogging. It's ideal to water early in the morning to reduce evaporation and allow leaves to dry out, reducing the risk of fungal diseases.

  • sunLight

    Sweet Pea 'Leominster Boy' thrives in full sun but can tolerate partial shade. For best flowering, provide a spot that receives at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight daily. Avoid deep shade as it can significantly decrease blooming and weaken the plant.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Sweet Pea 'Leominster Boy' prefers cooler temperatures and can tolerate the cold reasonably well. The ideal temperature range is 55 to 65°F, with plants able to survive temporarily in temperatures as low as 25°F and as high as 75°F. Growth and flowering may be compromised if temperatures exceed these limits.

  • scissorsPruning

    Prune Sweet Pea 'Leominster Boy' to encourage more blooms and improve air circulation. Pinch out the growing tips once the plants are 6 inches tall to stimulate branching. Deadhead spent flowers regularly to promote continuous blooming. The best time for major pruning is late winter or early spring before new growth begins.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Sweet Pea 'Leominster Boy' thrives in well-drained, rich soil with a pH between 6.5 and 7.5. A mix containing loam, compost, and aged manure promotes healthy growth. Add perlite or sand to enhance drainage.

  • plantRepotting

    Sweet Peas typically do not need to be repotted as they are annuals. Plant them directly outdoors or start seeds in biodegradable pots to transplant into the garden without disturbing roots.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Sweet Pea 'Leominster Boy' prefers moderate humidity levels. Avoid high humidity to prevent disease. Normal outdoor conditions are usually sufficient.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Provide full sun, well-draining soil, and a trellis for support.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in full sun, fertile soil, and provide support for climbing.

    • Hardiness zone

      2-11 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Sweet pea 'Leominster Boy' begins its life cycle when the seeds are sown, typically in late winter to early spring, and they germinate in warm, moist soil. After germination, seedlings emerge and grow into vigorous vines, which require support for climbing. During late spring to early summer, the vines develop numerous tendrils, attaching to supports, and mature leaves. Flowering occurs in the summer, presenting a profusion of fragrant, deep maroon flowers that are attractive to pollinators. Following pollination, the plants produce pods containing seeds which mature by late summer to early fall, at which point they can be harvested for future planting. As an annual plant, the Sweet pea 'Leominster Boy' completes its life cycle within one year, dying after seed production, requiring reseeding for continuous growth in the following season.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time


    • The most popular method to propagate Lathyrus odoratus 'Leominster Boy', commonly known as Sweet Pea, is by sowing the seeds. The optimal time for sowing Sweet Pea seeds directly into the ground is in late winter or early spring, when the soil can be worked and the risk of soil frost has passed. To encourage germination, you can soak the seeds in water for 24 hours before planting. Plant the seeds about 1 inch deep (2.54 cm) and space them roughly 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7.6 cm) apart to allow for adequate air circulation and growth. Typically, it takes 10 to 21 days for Sweet Pea seeds to germinate. Once sprouted, the young plants should be thinned out or transplanted to their final growing positions, ensuring they have support for climbing as they mature.