How you can Plant, Develop, and Take care of ‘Little Sweetheart’ Candy Peas

Most frequently after we consider candy pea vegetation, we consider tall, climbing vines with curling tendrils and ruffled blossoms. However simply as there are vining peas of every kind, there are additionally bush varieties, and ‘Little Sweetheart’ falls into this class. 

Their bushy progress behavior makes these candy peas wonderful for container gardening, they usually work very properly in hanging containers, as effectively. They’ve a rambling, somewhat than a climbing behavior, so they appear fantastic draping alongside a rock wall, and they make beautiful reduce flowers or backyard vegetation.


A cluster of purple sweetheart sweetpea flowers captures the sunlight, showcasing delicate petals and intricate details. The blurred background features lush green leaves and grasses, creating a soft, natural setting.

Plant Sort

Frost-tolerant annual


Full solar to partial shade

Watering Necessities

Average to excessive

Pests and Illnesses

Root rot, powdery mildew, slugs and snails, aphids, thrips, spider mites, botrytis

Soil Sort

Wealthy, loamy, moist, well-draining

What are ‘Little Sweetheart’ Candy Peas?

Historical past

A delicate vine gracefully sprawls, adorned with green leaves and dainty pink flowers. The blurred background reveals a lush foliage backdrop, bathed in the warm glow of the sun, accentuating the  beauty.
These flowering vines have been first cultivated in Italy by Francisco Cupani.

The earliest recognized backyard cultivation of those vegetation dates all the way in which again to 1690s Italy, by a monastery gardener by the identify of Francisco Cupani. Cupani beloved the vegetation a lot that he distributed seeds to different plant lovers. 

A Scotsman named Henry Eckford labored on bettering the varieties that have been out there within the 1800’s. His accomplishments bred a extra diversified group of flowering vegetation with extra colours and bigger flowers with a stronger perfume. 

Native Space

Delicate  blossoms glisten in the sun's warm embrace, showcasing a spectrum of purple hues. Their ethereal petals capture the sunlight, creating a mesmerizing display of nature's beauty.
These flowers are generally acknowledged as native to Sicily, the Aegean Islands, southern Italy, and Malta.

There’s nonetheless some dialogue across the pure look of those vegetation in China and Sri Lanka, however the primary recognized specimens to be cultivated have been these of Cupani. These vegetation have been current in Sicily, the Aegean Islands, southern Italy, and Malta, so that is usually thought of to be their native vary. 


A sweetpea vine adorned with delicate white and purple blossoms gracefully ascends the hazel wigwam, basking in the warm glow of daylight. Lush greenery envelops the sunlit sweetpea vine, enhancing the enchanting scene.
‘Little Sweetheart’ is a dwarf candy pea that includes petite, fragrant blooms in a spread of colours.

‘Little Sweetheart’ is a dwarf, bush-type annual candy pea. It has an upright, spreading progress behavior, however as a dwarf, it solely grows as much as 14” tall, so it makes an excellent container plant and may have a rambling behavior if grown in a dangling basket. 

Whereas the vining varieties are typically extra fashionable, bush varieties are charming in their very own proper. ‘Little Sweetheart’ has small flowers with a robust, candy perfume. Blooms are available in shades of purple, pink, white, purple, rose, lilac, and blue. 

When the flowers fall, they’re changed by small seed pods. These pods should not good for consuming, although. Candy pea seeds are toxic, so preserve this plant away out of your vegetable backyard to keep away from confusion. 

Makes use of

A little sweetheart sweetpea plant, adorned with delicate pink flowers, basks in the warm sunlight, casting a charming glow. The manicured grass forms a blurred backdrop, enhancing the ethereal beauty of this botanical vignette.
Prized for decorative magnificence, bush sort varieties characteristic enticing foliage and aromatic flowers.

These flowering vines are beloved primarily for his or her decorative worth. They aren’t edible like lots of their relations, however they do have beautiful foliage, and their aromatic flowers are prized in floristry in addition to the backyard.

The place to Purchase

A close-up captures the delicate beauty of a little sweetheart sweetpea flower, showcasing its soft petals in various shades of pink. Lush green leaves gracefully frame the flower, adding a natural elegance to the composition.
Excessive-quality gardening merchandise can be found on the Botanical Pursuits store.

You possibly can generally discover this selection out there in spring from nurseries, however they’re simply grown from seed. Direct sowing within the backyard is normally one of the simplest ways to develop strong, wholesome candy pea vines.


Three small brown pots rest on rich soil within a rectangular container, promising a charming garden display. Each pot houses a sweet pea plant, its leaves reaching out gracefully, creating a symphony of greenery.
These vines thrive in cool climate and will be planted in late fall in milder climates.

Candy peas are cool-weather-loving vegetation that develop and flower finest in springtime. The seeds ought to be began at a time that enables them the best quantity of progress and blooming time. In milder climates, like zones 7 and better, it is best to plant them in late fall in order that they will develop via the winter and start to bloom in early spring. 

In cooler climates, wait till spring is imminent and plant your seeds as quickly as the bottom is workable or about 4 to 6 weeks earlier than your final anticipated frost date. This can end in vegetation that bloom in mid to late spring, and into the early summer season till the warmth forces them into dormancy. 

Direct sowing is the commonest strategy to plant. Plant your seeds in teams of three seeds six inches aside. When your seedlings are about three inches tall, and you may decide that are strongest, skinny them to at least one plant each six inches. 

Beneath very best circumstances, candy pea seeds take about 10-21 days to germinate. The best soil temperature for germination is 55°-65°F (13-18°C). Soaking isn’t obligatory for germination and is unlikely to make an influence. Nonetheless, scoring your seeds with a pointy blade earlier than planting might velocity germination. 

How you can Develop

Adapting your planting to your local weather is the first think about rising candy peas which have an extended and prolific blooming interval. Maintain that cool-weather progress behavior in thoughts and plant on the time that finest correlates along with your local weather.

They aren’t freeze-proof, however they’re frost-resistant, so even in climates that have freezing climate, they are often planted in fall. If the bottom freezes, nevertheless, temperatures under 20°F (-7°C) can take out seedlings, so preserve that in thoughts while you select the time to plant. 


A vibrant close-up captures lavender sweetpea flowers, their delicate petals glistening in the sunlight. The soft focus background beautifully blurs, showcasing a lush tapestry of greenery that complements the blooms in the foreground.
For optimum candy pea progress, present ample daylight, adjusting publicity based mostly on local weather.

These are sun-loving vegetation and can bloom finest with full solar publicity. When deciding on a location to plant your seeds, account for the local weather. In heat climates the place scorching summer season rolls round a lot sooner, you may contemplate giving them quite a lot of solar early within the day, with a little bit of shade in the course of the afternoon to maintain the roots hydrated and funky for an prolonged blooming season. 

In cooler climates, be sure that your vegetation get numerous daylight to benefit from the cool, sunny climate in spring. In case you are rising them in a container, place them in full solar initially. If they appear wilted or scorched, transfer them to partial shade. 


A close-up of purple sweetpea flowers basking in the warm sunlight, their delicate petals gleaming with dewdrops that add a captivating sparkle to their vivid hues. In the background, a lush tapestry of blurred leaves forms a verdant backdrop.
Present well-draining soil, initially watering seedlings each 1-2 days.

Candy peas admire quite a lot of moisture. Getting this moisture stage proper requires a mix of soil and watering elements. Assuming your soil has correct drainage and moisture retention, it is best to water your seed and seedlings each one to 2 days till they’re established. As soon as they’re established, water them deeply twice per week. 

Maintaining the roots moist is a key think about producing a bounty of blooms and increasing the size of the blooming season. As temperatures rise, it could be obligatory to extend watering to maintain your vegetation hydrated. In the end, these annual vegetation don’t stand as much as the warmth of summer season, however conserving them moist will go a great distance towards extending the lifetime of the plant. 


Rich and velvety, a dark fertile soil beckons with its nutrient-laden embrace, promising a haven for robust plant growth. Its earthy aroma whispers of organic matter, embodying a thriving ecosystem beneath the surface.
Candy peas will tolerate a wide range of soil varieties so long as they’re well-draining.

Candy peas aren’t explicit about their soil sort, so long as it retains water however has good drainage. In case your soil is sandy or rocky, you’ll be able to amend it with well-rotted compost earlier than planting to assist the soil retain sufficient moisture. Likewise, in case your soil is clay-heavy and compacts simply, including compost or sand can loosen the soil, promote root growth, and enhance drainage. 

Fertile soil is good, so in case your soil is nutrient poor, be sure that to work in some natural fertilizer or slow-release fertilizer on the time of planting to offer them these added vitamins. When it comes to pH, they like their soil impartial to barely alkaline. 

Temperature and Humidity

Little sweetheart sweetpea blooms proudly amidst green stems and leaves, creating a picturesque scene against a softly blurred background. The flowers' delicate petals are adorned with sparkling water droplets that glisten in the sunlight.
They thrive in temperatures between 32°-60°F (0°-16°C), displaying frost resistance for fall planting in milder climates.

Candy peas do their finest rising at temperatures between 32°-60°F (0°-16°C). Whereas they’re frost-resistant and may tolerate hotter temperatures, this actually is the candy spot. Their frost tolerance is what makes it doable to plant them in fall in milder climates, resulting in an extended blooming season. 

Their affinity for moisture doesn’t finish with their roots. They’re pleased with a average quantity of humidity; the 50% vary is normally excellent. It may be difficult to develop these vegetation in arid environments. 


In the foreground, a gritty hand tenderly holds yellow fertilizer granules, showcasing the labor-intensive process of nurturing soil. Below the hand, a rich expanse of dark soil sets the stage for the transformative journey of growth and cultivation.
Excellent candy pea progress wants nutrient-rich soil, avoiding extra nitrogen that may impede blooming.

Candy peas like fertile soil with an abundance of accessible vitamins. One factor to watch out of is extreme nitrogen, which may trigger an abundance of inexperienced progress however decreased blooms.

Combine a slow-release fertilizer or natural fertilizer into the soil on the time of planting to offer your vegetation a gradual movement of vitamins. When buds start to kind, feed with a system that’s greater in potassium for boosted blooms. 


A delicate sweetpea vine stretches towards the sun, its tendrils gracefully reaching out to absorb the warm sunlight, creating a charming display of nature's beauty. Adorned with an array of pink flowers, the vine weaves a tapestry of elegance.
Bush varieties are low-maintenance in comparison with vining varieties.

As a result of ‘Little Sweetheart’ is a bush sort candy pea, it’s a bit much less excessive upkeep than the vining varieties. Bush varieties don’t want a construction to climb and it’s simpler to maintain them trying neat.

In case you are planting in spring, you’ll be able to encourage branching by pinching the stems of younger vegetation. When your vegetation attain about six inches tall, pink the tops off simply above a set of leaves. The stem will department right here and create a fuller plant.

For fall plantings, except you’re in a local weather that doesn’t expertise freezing climate, don’t pinch your seedlings. The pure freezing and warming cycles will accomplish the identical impact. Pinching these vegetation can weaken them towards the chilly. 

Deadheading is an effective follow when rising most flowers. If spent flowers are left on the plant, they may go to seed. Permitting your candy peas to go to seed will trigger them to enter dormancy earlier, shortening the blooming season. They make nice reduce flowers, so if the urge hits to chop the flowers and produce them indoors, go for it! Your plant will reward you with extra flowers. 

On the finish of the season, if you’d like the plant to reseed itself or if you happen to intend to propagate, permit it to go to seed. Go away some flower stems on the plant, and the seeds will kind after which dry out. 

Rising in Containers

A weathered terracotta pot, showing years of use, cradles a thriving cluster of young sweetpeas. Large sticks and ropes are strategically placed, forming a supportive lattice around the burgeoning vine.
Choose a moisture-retaining, drainage-friendly container with out a gap for ‘Little Sweetheart’.

‘Little Sweetheart’ candy peas make wonderful container vegetation. They don’t want assist, as vining varieties do, they usually have a naturally upright progress behavior with an inclination to sprawl a bit, which appears beautiful in a dangling basket or a big container association.

Ensure that to make use of a container that’s deep sufficient to accommodate the foundation system. Six inches is the shallowest pot that I’d suggest for candy pea pots. Ensure that your container has a drainage gap to keep away from root rot. Your potting soil ought to retain moisture however drain freely. 


A close-up capturing the intricate details of a mature brown sweetpea pod, showcasing the remaining seeds nestled within its protective shell. Bathed in warm sunlight, the sweetpea seed pod becomes a focal point, radiating a sense of delicate resilience.
Propagate by gathering and storing mature seed pods after the season for future planting.

As a result of they’re annuals, candy peas are finest propagated utilizing seeds. On the finish of the season, while you permit your plant to go to seed, wait till the seed pods mature on the vine. Choose your seed pods and permit them to dry earlier than storing them in a cool, dry place till it’s time to plant once more. 

Frequent Issues

These vegetation are attractive for some backyard pests, and a few ailments can have an effect on them, too. Air circulation is essential for stopping fungal ailments, which is usually a downside for moisture-loving vegetation. 


An extreme close-up reveals a cluster of green aphids, feasting on the succulent veins of a lush green leaf. The translucent quality of the aphids' delicate exoskeletons becomes apparent as they glisten and reflect the ambient light.
Backyard pests like spider mites and aphids hurt candy pea vegetation by depleting vitamins.

Frequent backyard pests resembling spider mites, aphids, and thrips will all feed on candy pea sap in the event that they discover your vegetation. This depletes the plant’s vitamins and leaves behind a candy, sticky mess that may be a nice atmosphere for sooty mould to develop in. 

This excrement, referred to as honeydew, can appeal to ants, and if sooty mould grows on the leaves, it interferes with photosynthesis, resulting in less-than-healthy vegetation. Maintaining your vegetation fertilized and wholesome is the perfect safety towards most pests and ailments. A powerful plant can tolerate extra injury than a weak one. 

You possibly can management dangerous pests by fostering and introducing useful bugs into the backyard. I wish to launch ladybugs sometimes, as they and their larvae are wonderful at cleansing up an infestation. Getting them to remain is best if there are vegetation to host them. Neem oil can also be a great way to eliminate pests, however use it cautiously and sparingly because it additionally harms pollinators. 


 A close-up reveals a green leaf intricately coated with a powdery layer of mildew. The delicate texture of the leaf is marred by the presence of the white powdery substance, creating a stark contrast with the green background.
Candy pea vegetation might face powdery mildew as a consequence of poor air circulation, inhibiting photosynthesis.

Vegetation with excessive moisture wants will be extra inclined to ailments brought on by moisture, which appears like it might be the alternative, however overwatering will be as dangerous as underwatering. Moist soil fosters the expansion of fungus and mould, which may result in root and crown rot. Soil that drains correctly is crucial think about stopping these points. 

Powdery mildew can be a problem for candy pea vegetation. This white powdery mess is normally the results of poor air circulation and excessive humidity. The powdery mildew can inhibit photosynthesis, resulting in weak and yellowing foliage.  Maintaining your plant trimmed up and sustaining air circulation will go an extended strategy to fight this problem. 

‘Little Sweetheart’ candy peas are affected by some viral ailments as effectively. The tragedy of viral ailments is that they aren’t curable or treatable. Some viruses gained’t kill your plant however might go away it with leaf discoloration completely. Others are way more detrimental. 

In case your plant is affected by a viral illness, the perfect plan of action is to take away and get rid of it away from different vegetation. Go away that area within the backyard open and solarize it to kill any pathogens left within the soil earlier than planting in that location once more. 

Continuously Requested Questions

In cooler climates, if you’ll be able to preserve them going via the summer season, there’s a likelihood that they may bloom once more as soon as the temperature falls to a great vary in fall. Most varieties can not survive the summer season in heat local weather areas.

No. Candy pea seeds are poisonous to animals and people, and enormous quantities of flowers and foliage will be dangerous if ingested, as effectively.

In milder climates, they can self-seed if you happen to go away the seed pods on the plant and permit the plant to launch them.

Last Ideas

‘Little Sweetheart’ candy peas are a pleasant addition to the backyard or potted plant assortment. Their beautiful and really aromatic flowers will be planted close to outside residing areas to raised get pleasure from them, or they are often reduce and introduced indoors so as to add to stunning floral preparations. Get pleasure from these cool climate bloomers when the climate is ideal for spending time outdoor!

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