Sweet Peas

When taking cuttings from a plant, you need to make sure that you approach the job delicately and follow an easy method. But this can feel like a bit of a challenge. Fortunately. There is an easy way to take sweet pea cuttings to give you more plants of the same variety.

For this method, you will need a few things that you will already have such as secateurs, seedlings and water. You will also need a rooting hormone, so be sure to pick this up if you don’t already have it before you begin.

In this guide, we are going to be looking at the best way to take sweet pea cuttings as well as giving you some handy tips on how to grow them.

How to Take Sweet Pea Cuttings The Easy Way

The sweet pea is a delicate, colourful flower that comes from the Italian island of Sicily. While this may lead you to think that the plants need Mediterranean conditions to thrive, they can be easily grown in UK gardens and make for a delightful floral display.

However, if you only have one or two plants and would like to widen your crop, then it is entirely possible to take cuttings from your existing plants. Doing this needn’t be a tricky task and for the most part, you will already have everything you need.

What Will You Need?

Taking sweet pea cuttings doesn’t require a significant amount of equipment. You will need the following items:

  • Jar of water
  • Scissors
  • Sweet pea seedlings
  • Root hormone

It is important to note that while root hormones are not an essential part of this process, many gardeners have noticed that their cuttings thrive much better when using them. They typically come in the form of powders or liquids and are designed to encourage the roots to develop more quickly.

In addition to this, using root hormones will create stronger, more durable roots so that when you plant your cuttings, they will have a greater chance of thriving.

Step One – Select Seedling

The first thing you will need to do is to select which sweet pea seedlings you are going to take the cuttings from. Of course, you can choose any but it is generally thought to be better if you choose those that are around two to three months old and have developed a nice amount of growth.

Typically, you would take the cuttings just before planting the sweet peas out, and while you might feel that you are taking a lot of the plant away, at this stage, growth will rejuvenate pretty quickly.

Step Two – Make Cut

You will need to make the cut just above a pair of leaves but leave at least a few nodes to allow for new growth. Each cutting should measure approximately five to six inches and for the best results and you will need to use a clean, sharp pair of scissors.

Once you have taken the cutting, pop it into your root hormone solution for about five seconds. You can then move the cutting into your jar of water and add as many more as you like. If you are doing several cuttings, you may wish to spread these over a few jars to give them space.

It is important to place the cuttings in their jars in an area that will receive a good amount of indirect sunlight.

Step Three – Wait for Fresh Growth

Now all you need to do is wait. It can take around a fortnight for the roots to begin to develop but this will very much depend on several factors.

There may be some that take just over a week and others that might develop closer to the three-week mark. Ensure that the water remains fresh and topped up.

Once the roots begin to form, you can remove the cuttings from the water and plant them in a potting mix. During this phase of their life, it is best to place the sweet peas in an unheated greenhouse where they will take around six weeks to fully flourish.

At this point, you can plant them out and watch them develop into fully-fledged sweet peas!

Growing Tips For Sweet Pea Cuttings

Taking sweet pea cuttings is a relatively easy gardening job but as many of you will appreciate, growing plants is another thing entirely. Plants can be incredibly delicate and if they are not given the exact conditions they require, things can quickly go south.

But there’s no need to worry because we have some great tips for growing sweet pea cuttings to help you ensure that your flowers come into full bloom.


While it can be tempting to keep your sweet pea cutting indoors or in the greenhouse for a long time, this could be detrimental to them. These plants are relatively hardy but there are things that can significantly weaken them. Keeping them inside for too long is one of them.

This is mainly because sweet peas will do much better when planted in the soil in a cool area, out of direct sunlight. However, they are prone to be attacked by slugs and birds so it is important to provide them with adequate protection from these predators.

Caring For Your Sweet Peas

While it is not essential to cut back the tendrils of the sweet pea, many gardeners prefer to do this in an effort to prevent them from getting tangled up with others.

One of the main reasons that you want to avoid the tendrils becoming tangled is that when this happens, the stems will bend and will be rendered useless for future cuttings.

When the sweet peas begin to grow a little taller, it is imperative that you tie them to canes. However, always be mindful of the delicate nature of this plant and be sure to use soft string or specially designed sweet pea rings.


Sweet peas are highly susceptible to becoming dehydrated and so adequate watering is one of the most important parts of caring for these plants. One of the biggest problems is that dry soil can gather around the roots and this will result in the buds dropping.

Typically, gardeners make the mistake of not watering the sweet peas during periods of heavy rainfall, like at the beginning of the season. However, it is essential that you continue to offer additional water to the sweet pea.


Sweet peas are a garden favourite and taking cuttings from them to grow new plants is extremely easy. You don’t need any special equipment and in as little as six weeks, you could have a crop of brand-new sweet peas that are ready to be planted.

Don’t forget that sweet peas have extremely long roots and we recommend planting them in toilet rolls. Yes, you read that right, check out our article on what to do here

Garden Doctor Trev

Garden Doctor Tips

“Find a healthy, mature plant with at least six leaves!”

“Cut the stem from the bottom of a leaf to about 3 inches in length and remove any flowers or buds!”

“Strip off all but one leaf on the top of the cutting, then place it in moist potting soil or vermiculite!”

“Place your cuttings somewhere warm and humid (like near an open window) until they root!”

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you propagate sweet peas?

There are many ways to propagate sweet peas. One way is by seed, either fresh or harvested from the pods. Another method is by division, which can be done after flowering when the plants have “gone to sleep.” The third option for propagation is by stem cuttings. This last method requires patience and a lot of care because it takes longer than other methods but it also produces more plants as long as you take good care of them!

Are sweet peas annuals or perennials?

How do you know if sweet peas are annual or perennial? The answer to this question is not so simple. Sweet peas can be either an annual or a perennial depending on the variety that you purchase. Some varieties will produce flowers for one season, while others will continue to grow through the winter and bloom again in the springtime.

When can sweet peas be planted outside?

One of my favorite plants to grow is sweet peas. They are easy to care for and beautiful! One thing that I am always trying to remember is when I need to plant them outside so they can flower. This year, it was a little too late in the season for me, but if you want your sweet pea plants to bloom this summer, here’s what you should know about planting them outside:

-Plant between 15th April – 1st May
-The soil temperature needs to be above 60°F (16°C)
-Sweet peas love sun exposure

About Me

Hi, I’m Trev and I’ve been growing things since I can remember. When I was younger, I grew up on a farm, so I have always been around plants and animals. After studying horticulture at university, I decided to start my own nursery which I have run now for 25 years. In my spare time, I run this website – which is a resource for people who want to learn more about their gardens.

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