Sweet Pea Lathyrus odoratus 'Ruby Anniversary'

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


The Sweet Pea 'Ruby Anniversary' is a stunning ornamental plant known for its vibrant flowers and sweet fragrance. It produces blossoms primarily in shades of deep red and maroon, which give the appearance of a ruby—hence its name. These flowers have a classic sweet pea shape, with each blossom showcasing delicate, folded petals that create a fluted effect. The size of individual flowers is omitted, but they grow in clusters that make the ruby red coloration even more prominent against the plant's green foliage. The foliage consists of numerous leaves, which are typically a vibrant green color. Each leaf is comprised of oval-shaped leaflets that are arranged in pairs, giving the plant a balanced and symmetrical look. The sprays of flowers rise above the foliage on slender, graceful stems which provide a beautiful contrast to the bold coloring of the blooms. The stems are twining, which means Sweet Pea 'Ruby Anniversary' can climb if given suitable support, such as a trellis or wires. This climbing nature makes it an excellent plant for adding vertical interest in gardens without going into specifics about its vertical dimension. The overall aesthetic of the Sweet Pea 'Ruby Anniversary' is one of elegance and bright, eye-catching color, paired with a delightful scent that adds an extra layer of sensory appeal to its surroundings. It's a favorite among gardeners for its rich color and the charming ambience it brings to any space where it's grown.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Sweet Pea, Everlasting Pea, Perennial Pea, Lathyrus, Garden Pea, Sweetpea.

    • Common names

      Lathyrus odoratus 'Ruby Anniversary'.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Sweet pea, specifically the cultivar Lathyrus odoratus 'Ruby Anniversary', contains toxic amino acids such as β-N-oxalyl-L-α,β-diaminopropionic acid (ODAP), which can cause lathyrism if ingested in large amounts over time. Lathyrism is a neurological disease that can lead to muscle weakness and paralysis, particularly in the lower limbs. It also affects the nervous system and can result in convulsions and respiratory difficulties. Ingesting the seeds is particularly dangerous, as they contain higher concentrations of the toxin.

    • To pets

      Sweet pea, which includes the 'Ruby Anniversary' cultivar, can also be toxic to pets. If ingested, pets may experience symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, tremors, and seizures due to the presence of toxic amino acids. The seeds are the most toxic part of the plant and should be kept away from animals to prevent poisoning. Chronic ingestion can lead to severe neurological issues, including paralysis, especially in grazing animals that may consume large quantities.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      6 feet (1.83 meters)

    • Spread

      1 foot (0.3 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Aesthetic Appeal: Lathyrus odoratus 'Ruby Anniversary', commonly known as Sweet Pea, has vibrant ruby-colored flowers that enhance the visual beauty of gardens and landscapes.
    • Fragrance: Sweet Pea is well-known for its sweet and pleasant fragrance, which can perfume an entire garden area.
    • Attracts Pollinators: The brightly colored flowers of the Sweet Pea attract butterflies, bees, and other beneficial pollinators, supporting biodiversity.
    • Edible Flowers: Some Sweet Pea varieties have edible flowers that can be used in salads or as garnishes, adding a unique touch to culinary dishes (though it is important to note that most Sweet Pea plants, including many ornamentals, are toxic).
    • Easy to Grow: Sweet Peas are relatively easy to cultivate, making them suitable for beginner gardeners or those with less experience in horticulture.
    • Climbing Growth Habit: With support, Sweet Peas can grow vertically, providing height and structure to garden designs as well as space-saving opportunities for smaller areas.
    • Cut Flowers: The flowers of the Sweet Pea make excellent cut flowers, allowing for the creation of attractive indoor bouquets and floral arrangements.
    • Variety of Uses: Sweet Peas can be grown in garden beds, borders, containers, and as part of trellis or archway displays, offering versatile uses in landscaping.

  • 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

    • Sweet pea 'Ruby Anniversary' vines can be trained to climb on small trellises or structures, offering visual interest and height to small garden spaces or patios.
    • The dried flowers of sweet pea can be used in potpourri to retain a mild fragrance and add a burst of color to the mix.
    • Pressed sweet pea flowers can be used in crafting, such as making bookmarks or greeting cards, for a delicate touch of nature.
    • Sweet pea petals can be used as a natural confetti for weddings or celebrations, providing a biodegradable and eco-friendly option.
    • In educational settings, sweet pea plants can serve as a teaching tool for children learning about plant growth cycles and pollination.
    • The tall and dense growth of sweet pea can provide temporary privacy screening in outdoor seating areas during the growing season.
    • Artists can use sweet pea flowers as subjects for botanical illustration, capturing the vibrant colors and unique shapes of the blossoms.
    • Floral arrangements including sweet pea can be used as centerpieces or decor for themed parties aiming for a vintage or cottage aesthetic.
    • The plant's climbing nature can be utilized for softening unsightly features in the garden, like chain-link fences or utility poles.
    • Photographers can incorporate sweet pea flowers into photoshoots as a symbol of delicate beauty or to celebrate significant anniversaries.

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

    • Delicate Pleasure: Sweet peas, including the 'Ruby Anniversary' variety, often symbolize delicate or blissful pleasure, representing the enjoyment of life's subtle and fleeting moments.
    • Goodbye or Departure: In the language of flowers, sweet peas can symbolize a farewell, or the wish for the recipient to have a good time but also suggesting a departure or the end of an experience.
    • Thankfulness: Giving sweet peas can also express gratitude, making them a thoughtful gesture for showing appreciation.
    • Friendship: The variety's rich and warm color can evoke feelings of strong friendship and the joy that comes with lasting companionship.
    • Blissful Pleasure: Often associated with pleasure, sweet peas are reflective of the happiness one finds in the small, joyous moments in life.
    • Anniversary: The name 'Ruby Anniversary' implies a significant milestone celebration, marking 40 years, and it may be used to commemorate such an occasion with its vibrant blooms.

Every 7-10 days
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every year
Spring to early summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    Sweet Pea 'Ruby Anniversary' requires regular watering, especially during the growing season. Aim to keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Water deeply once a week with about 1 to 1.5 gallons of water, depending on the soil type and weather conditions. During hot or dry spells, watering frequency may need to increase to twice a week. Reduce watering as the plant starts to go dormant in late summer or early fall.

  • sunLight

    Sweet Peas, including the 'Ruby Anniversary' variety, thrive best in full sun, meaning they should receive at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily. Plant them in a spot that gets morning sunlight and partial shade in the afternoon to protect them from the intense heat, which can sometimes be too harsh for the flowers.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The Sweet Pea 'Ruby Anniversary' prefers cool to moderate temperatures, thriving best when daytime temperatures are between 55°F and 65°F. The plant can tolerate a minimum temperature of about 25°F but should be protected from hard frosts. Avoid exposing the plant to temperatures over 80°F as heat can detrimentally affect blooming.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning Sweet Pea 'Ruby Anniversary' involves deadheading spent flowers to encourage continuous blooming and cutting back vines to maintain shape. Prune regularly throughout the blooming season, which is typically spring through early summer. For optimal floriferousness, snip right below the base of the spent bloom.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Sweet Peas prefer a rich, well-draining soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0. A good mix for Lathyrus odoratus 'Ruby Anniversary' would be one part garden soil, one part well-rotted compost or aged manure, and one part horticultural grit or perlite for drainage. This combination supports healthy growth and flowering.

  • plantRepotting

    Sweet Peas are annuals and do not typically require repotting as they are sown directly into the garden each year. If started indoors, transplant Lathyrus odoratus 'Ruby Anniversary' outside after the risk of frost has passed, without the need to repot in subsequent years.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Sweet Peas thrive in average garden conditions and do not require high humidity. Lathyrus odoratus 'Ruby Anniversary' prefers humidity levels similar to those found outdoors, with no special humidity requirements when grown in its natural environment.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      For Sweet Peas indoors, use deep pots, sunny spot, support for climbing.

    • Outdoor

      Plant Sweet Peas in sun, enrich soil, provide support.

    • Hardiness zone

      2-11 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The Sweet Pea 'Ruby Anniversary' starts as a seed which, when sown in early spring or late winter, will germinate usually within 7 to 14 days given the right conditions of moisture and temperature. After germination, the seedlings grow rapidly, developing a pair of true leaves and beginning to vine, requiring support as they climb. The plant enters a vegetative stage, forming a bushy structure with multiple stems and compound leaves. Flowering occurs in the late spring to summer, where the plant produces fragrant, ruby red blossoms that attract pollinators. Following pollination, the flowers develop into pods containing seeds which mature by late summer to early fall. At the end of the growing season, if not annual in the climate, the plant will die, completing its life cycle, but the seeds can be collected for sowing in the next season.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring to early summer

    • Propogation: The common name for Lathyrus odoratus 'Ruby Anniversary' is Sweet Pea 'Ruby Anniversary'. The most popular method of propagation for Sweet Peas is through seeding as they do not respond well to root division or cuttings. The optimal time for sowing Sweet Pea seeds directly into the garden is in late winter or early spring, as soon as the soil can be worked. This period typically varies depending on the local climate but often falls between March and April. When planting, it's ideal to soak the seeds in water for 24 hours (approximately 1 inch or 2.5 cm deep), which helps to soften the seed coat and promote germination. Sow the seeds about 1 inch deep (2.5 cm) in the soil and space them 2 to 3 inches apart (5 to 7.6 cm). They prefer a sunny spot with well-draining soil and should be provided with a support structure to climb, as they are vining plants. Germination typically takes 10-14 days, depending on soil temperatures.