Sweet Pea Seeds

How to Save Sweet Pea Seeds

Sweet peas are a beautiful flower to have in your garden. They bloom early in the spring, produce flowers over a long season, and smell amazing! It is early September now and my sweet peas are finally done for the year. Read on to learn how easy it is to save your sweet pea seeds for beautiful blooms year after year.

Pink and red sweet pea flowers.
Sweet peas are a beautiful flower to grow in your garden!

When to Harvest Sweet Pea Seeds

Sweet peas seeds are ready to harvest when the pods are fully dry. For me this happens around late August to early September. The pods will turn brown and brittle and you may even be able to hear the seeds rattling around inside.

Make sure you harvest your sweet pea seeds as soon as most of the pods look ready. If you wait too long, the pod will split open and the seeds will scatter on the ground.

How to Harvest Sweet Pea Seeds

Collect the dry pods from the plant and place them on a work surface. With your fingers carefully open up each pod, remove the seeds, and drop them into a small bowl. The seeds should be large, hard, and dark brown or black in color. Discard any seeds that are soft or white because these are not fully mature and will not germinate properly.

Removing sweet pea seeds from seed pod.
Open the pods and empty the seeds in a bowl.
Sweet pea seed pod held in hand.
The seeds should be large, hard, and black. Discard any that are soft or white because they will not germinate properly.

When to Plant Your Seeds

Your sweet pea seeds can either be planted in the late summer/early fall if you plan to overwinter them or they can be saved and planted the following spring. Since we rarely have harsh winters here in Oregon, I usually plant my seeds in mid to late September. The peas are able to grow about a foot tall before going dormant for the winter. In the spring they have a head start on the season and start blooming earlier.

Store Your Seeds

If you choose to store your sweet pea seeds keep them in an airtight container. This could be a zip top bag or a mason jar with a tight fitting lid. Keep them in a dark and cool place and plant them in the spring as soon as the soil can be worked.

Hope you get to include these beautiful flowers in your garden again next year. Happy Gardening!

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  1. Natalie

    Where in Oregon do you live? I’ve never tried planting in the fall, always in February. I’m in Vancouver WA so maybe our climates are similar. Thanks!

    • I live in the Willamette Valley so our climates are probably similar. I usually plant in late September/early October. Sweet peas are very hardy, and our winters usually do not get cold enough to cause damage. Sometimes fall plantings can be more prone to disease but I have not experienced that with my sweet peas. Hope you give it a try next year!

  2. Mary T

    How did the seeds do this last winter and early spring freeze in the willamette valley ?

    • This winter/spring was especially cold here in the Willamette Valley but the seeds did great. I covered the young plants if the temps got to the mid/low 20’s but otherwise left them alone. As soon as the temperatures warmed they grew quickly. In a different location I planted some sweet peas in the early spring but these were slower to get started and had more damage due to slugs and snails. Planting in the fall is my preference and even with cold weather they do very well.

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