How to Germinate Sweet Peas

For a long time, Sweet Peas were my nemesis flower. When I first tried them, I'd been told they were easy (they were not) so I was not expecting to have any issues. Oh, I had issues! I direct sowed seeds and barely any germinated, those that did got promptly eaten by slugs. I then tried sowing indoors and had a huge amount of trouble with germination. I was just about ready to give up when I discovered the 'the wet paper towel in a zip lock bag' trick and I am here to share it with you in the hopes you can avoid all of my problems and grow the Sweet Peas of your dreams! 


What You Need

Zip Lock Bag 

Sweet Pea Seeds 


Paper Towel

Step 1

Choose the variety you wish to germinate and write it's name on the front of your ziplock bag

Step 2

Fold your paper towel in half and run some water on it.  The aim is for it to be damp but not soaking wet.

Step 3

Place your seeds on one side of the paper towel 

Step 4

Fold the paper towel over, covering the seeds 

Step 5

Place the paper towel into the zip lock bag and blow air into it before completely sealing

Step 6

Place in a safe spot and wait for germination

Seeds should germinate within 3 - 4 days, sometimes quicker depending on the conditions. If the bag starts to deflate, I usually blow a little more air into it. I let my sprouts get to about 2cm and then plant straight into the garden. Once planted, make sure to cover your babies with something (I use cut up toilet rolls) as they will be a target of slugs and this is the best way to ensure they remain untouched and have the perfect start to life in your garden.  

It's not too late to get your Sweet Pea Seeds! 

Sweet Pea Erewhon


Sweet Pea Elegance Mix


Sweet Pea Solstice Salmon


Sweet Pea High Scent



  • Planted Sweet Peas next to a pool fence, took two years to germinate
    When the sprouts climb the tendrils
    wrap around the fencing, beautiful variegated pastel blossoms, delicate fragrance, spring flowers

  • i agree…. Sweet Peas are NOT NOtT easy to germinate….. i am very anxious to try your tips….. ty


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published