Sweet Pea Plant: Broadleaf Evergreen With Beautiful Flowers

Sweet Pea Shrub

The sweet pea plant is a leggy broadleaf evergreen with beautiful flowers. It is thought to be a hybrid of two South African species, and is also known as Polygala myrtifolia grandiflora.

Sweet pea can survive in temperatures as low as the low 20s and has a shorter but still impressive blooming period between midsummer and the fall.

When grown from a nursery specimen potted, sweet pea grows quickly and to its full size in only one season – typically planted in the spring after the soil has warmed.

Common Name Sweet pea shrub (bush), milkwort
Botanical Name Polygala × dalmaisiana, Polygala myrtifolia var. grandiflora
Family Polygalaceae
Plant Type Broadleaf evergreen shrub
Mature Size 3-5 ft. tall and wide
Sun Exposure Full, partial
Soil Type Rich, well-drained
Soil pH Acid to neutral (6.0 to 7.5)
Bloom Time Mid-summer through to fall; longer in frost-free climates
Flower Color Purple-pink
Hardiness Zones 9-11 (USDA)
Native Area South Africa

Tips for Keeping Your Plants Healthy

  • To keep your sweet pea plant healthy, it’s important to water it regularly. The plant prefers well-drained soil and full sun, but can tolerate partial shade.
  • Fertilizer If you live in an area with hot summers, you may want to provide some afternoon shade for the plant.
  • Sweet pea is also a heavy feeder, so be sure to fertilize it regularly during the growing season. You can prune sweet pea plants back after they bloom to encourage new growth.
  • And finally, be sure to check for pests and diseases regularly – sweet pea is susceptible to both aphids and root rot.
  • With a little care, your sweet pea plant will thrive and provide you with beautiful blooms for years to come!

Lighting and Temperature

When it comes to lighting, sweet pea plant does best in full sun to partial shade. It will tolerate some shade, but it may not bloom as profusely.

As for temperature, this plant is quite tolerant and can survive in temperatures as low as the low 20s.


Soil, water and fertilizer requirements for sweet pea plant

Sweet pea plant grows best in moist, well-drained soil but can tolerate some drought. It prefers full sun but will also do well in partial shade.

This plant is not particular about soil type and will even grow in poor, sandy or clay soils as long as they are well-drained.

It is, however, important to water regularly during the first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system. Once established, sweet pea plant is quite drought tolerant.


To keep your sweet pea plant looking its best, fertilize it regularly. Use a balanced fertilizer that contains nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.

Apply the fertilizer according to the package direction.


Pruning is essential for the health of your sweet pea plant. You should prune it regularly to keep it from getting too leggy. You can also use pruning to encourage bushier growth.

To prune your sweet pea plant, start by cutting back any dead or diseased stems. Then, cut back the tallest stems by a third.

Next, cut back any stems that are growing out of bounds. Finally, cut back any stems that are crossing or rubbing against each other.


The sweet pea plant is drought tolerant, but it will flower more profusely if given regular watering during dry periods.

It’s best to water at the base of the plant rather than from above to avoid wetting the foliage, which can lead to fungal diseases.


Size-wise, sweet pea plant is a moderate grower that can reach up to four feet in height and six feet in width.

When given enough space, it will sprawl and trail over the ground or down from a hanging basket. The small, oval leaves are dark green and glossy with a leathery texture.


The sweet pea plant is a beautiful, flowering shrub that is native to South Africa. It is a hybrid of two South African species, the Polygala myrtifolia and the Polygala opusistifolia.

The sweet pea plant has lovely, evergreen foliage and can bloom almost all year round in pink-purple flowers that resemble sweet peas.

Common Pests

As any gardener knows, disease and pests can quickly destroy a plant. That’s why many gardeners are on the lookout for disease-resistant plants that are less susceptible to pests.

One such plant is the insert plant name*. This plant is completely disease-free, and the only pests that are common are aphids and whiteflies, which can be easily controlled with horticultural oils and chemical pesticides.

In addition, this plant is easy to care for and can tolerate a wide range of growing conditions. As a result, it’s an ideal choice for gardeners who are looking for a low-maintenance plant that is still resistant to disease and pests.

Propagating Sweet Pea Shrub

Sweet peas are best propagated by taking softwood cuttings in the early summer. To take a cutting, use sharp pruning tools to cut a stem that is 4-6 inches long with at least two sets of leaves and no flowers.

It is best to cut the stem at the level of a leaf bud, if possible. Remove the lower leaves from the cutting, leaving one set of leaves on top.

Dip the snipped portion of the cutting into rooting hormone before placing it in a container with regular potting mix. Dampen the potting mix and compact it around the base of the cutting.

Place the potted cutting in an airtight plastic bag to keep moisture in and in an area with indirect sunlight and temperatures around 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Check the cutting on a regular basis to see if roots are developing. Once roots have developed, transplant the cutting into a larger pot or into the ground.

Types of Sweet Pea Shrub

Although there are no commonly cultivated cultivars of sweet peas that are named after the plant, there is a related plant called Polygala Fruticosa that is frequently confused with P. dialmaisiana.

The common name for P. Fruticosa is dwarf sweet pea. Several cultivars have names like “Petite Butterfly,” “Africana,” and “Southern Shore.” The dwarf sweet pea plant is very similar to its larger cousin and has nearly identical care requirements, but it is only 3 feet tall and spread.

The dwarf sweet pea is a good choice for container planting because it is less compact and therefore easier to manage. When purchasing plants, be sure to check the labeling to ensure you are getting the correct species.

This is especially important if you are buying the plants online, as common names can sometimes be used interchangeably.

Is a sweet pea shrub a perennial?

Sweet pea shrubs are a type of flowering plant that belongs to the pea family. They are native to Africa, Asia, and Australia, but they can also be found in other parts of the world.

Sweet pea shrubs are usually evergreen, meaning that they keep their leaves all year round. They typically grow to be about 2-3 feet tall and have purple- or pink-colored flowers.

Sweet pea shrubs are fairly easy to care for and can be grown in most climates. However, they generally prefer warm weather and do not tolerate frost well.

While sweet pea shrubs are not typically considered perennials, they can sometimes live for several years if they are well-cared for.

How big do sweet pea shrubs get?

Sweet pea shrubs are a popular choice for gardens, thanks to their cheerful flowers and pleasantly sweet fragrance. But before you add a sweet pea shrub to your garden, it’s important to know how large it will eventually grow.

Sweet pea shrubs typically reach a height of 3 to 5 feet, with a similar spread. They are fast-growing plants, so they can quickly reach their full size.

Keep this in mind when choosing a location for your sweet pea shrub – make sure you have enough space for it to reach its full size. With proper care, sweet pea shrubs will thrive in most garden conditions. They are relatively easy to care for, and they make a beautiful addition to any garden.

Does sweet pea come back every year?

Sweet peas are a beautiful, fragrant flower that is often used in bouquets and floral arrangements.

But does this popular blossom come back every year? The answer depends on the variety of sweet pea.

The majority of sweet pea varieties are perennials, which means they will come back year after year with no need to replant them.

Perennial sweet peas are a long-lived crop, and can even continue to grow and bloom for several years. However, there are also some annual varieties of sweet pea that will need to be replanted each year.

So whether you’re looking for a long-lasting addition to your garden or a short-term floral display, sweet peas are a great option.

Is sweet pea shrub an annual?

The sweet pea shrub, also known as Lathyrus latifolius, is a flowering plant that belongs to the pea family. Sweet pea shrubs are annual plants, meaning they complete their life cycle within one growing season.

These plants are grown for their beautiful flowers, which come in a variety of colors including pink, purple, white, and red.

Sweet peas are not only lovely to look at, but they are also unscented and make excellent cut flowers.

In addition to being annuals, sweet peas are also broad-leaved evergreens, meaning they keep their leaves year-round. Sweet pea shrubs are easy to care for and require very little maintenance.

They can be planted in full sun or partial shade and will bloom regularly throughout the year.

Hardy in USDA zones 5-10, sweet pea shrubs are a versatile and low-maintenance option for adding color and interest to your landscape.

Should sweet pea be cut back?

Sweet pea plants are tolerant of light frost, however, they should be cut back in the winter months or early spring, before new growth starts.

Cut sweet pea plants with diseased leaves back to the soil in autumn and dispose of, or compost, the stems and leaves of plants with diseased leaves to lower the likelihood of new disease issues.

Do sweet pea plants need a trellis?

Sweet pea plants are vining plants that require some type of support in order to develop and bloom properly.

There are a number of different types of structures that can be used for this purpose, including trellises, supports made of twine or mesh, and fences.

It is important that the structure be well anchored in the ground in order to support the weight of the vines. Sweet peas are relatively heavy plants, and the vines can reaching lengths of up to 10 feet or more.

Thus, a sturdy support is essential for proper development of the plant. Trellises are often used because they provide a very solid support for the plant.

However, any type of structure that is firmly anchored in the ground and provides enough support for the weight of the vine will suffice.

Should I cut sweet peas back?

Sweet peas are a popular choice for cutting gardens, as they produce an abundance of beautiful blooms.

While many gardeners choose to let their sweet peas grow unchecked, others opt to cut the plants back in order to encourage fuller growth.

Sweet peas should be cut back when the vines reach about 18 inches in length. Cut the vine just above a set of leaves, using sharp pruning shears.

New growth will quickly emerge from the cuts, resulting in more blooms throughout the season.

In addition to promoting fuller growth, pruning also helps to keep sweet peas from becoming tangled and overgrown.

With a little care and attention, sweet peas can provide months of enjoyment in the garden.

Do you cut back perennial sweet peas?

Perennial sweet peas are a climbing plant that produce fragrant flowers. They are typically grown in the spring and summer months. However, in some areas, they may also be grown in the fall and winter.

When pruning sweet pea plants, it is important to do so in the winter months or early spring, before the growth gets underway.

This will help to ensure that the plant remains healthy and produces plenty of flowers. When pruning, cut the plant back to soil level.

If there is any damage to the leaves or stems, cut these back as well. diseased parts of the plant should not be composted, as this could spread disease to other plants.

By following these simple guidelines, you can keep your sweet pea plants healthy and vigorous.

Jessica Miles

Jessica Miles is a writer for Botanique Boutique, a plant and gardening blog. She has always loved plants, flowers, and anything green. When she was younger, she used to watch her grandfather garden and would be in awe of the beautiful flowers he would grow. Now Jessica writes about all things related to plants and gardening - from beginner tips on how to start growing your own plants, to in-depth guides on caring for a specific type of flower or plant. She loves helping others learn about this fascinating hobby, and hopes that her writing will inspire people to get outside and enjoy nature!

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