Lathyrus odoratus 'Matucana'
- Position: full sun
- Soil: fertile, humus-rich, well-drained soil
- Rate of growth: average to fast-growing
- Flowering period: June to September
- Flower colour: deep purple and red
- Other features: very highly scented flowers
- Hardiness: hardy annual
Masses of highly fragrant, bi-coloured blooms appear from July to September adding colour and sweet perfume to the garden. This old-fashioned variety is renowned for its deliciously scented and very beautiful flowers. It was first introduced to Britain in 1700, and it's perfect for training over a wigwam of bamboo canes in a sunny, well-drained site.
In our (not very scientific) sweet pea trial on the nursery, we found that this variety had loads of very beautiful lilac and mauve flowers in August, but these appeared on short (around 6") stems, so it was not the best for cutting. They did have a very nice scent though. All the sweet-peas in our trial however, produced significantly better plants when the seeds were sown in autumn rather than spring.
- Garden care: Incorporate lots of well-rotted organic matter in the planting hole. To make sure you keep the plants in top condition spray regularly with a fungicide as all sweet peas are prone to mildew, and feed with a high potash fertiliser such as Tomorite to encourage plenty of flowers. Don't forget to keep cutting the flowers so that you get plenty more!
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Q:What does 'pinching out' mean?
I would like to buy some Sweet Peas however, I'm not sure what the term 'pinching out the tips' means. Any clues on how you would do this?Asked on 29/3/2006 by Ms Sau Min Chang
A:Pinching out, simply means removing the growing tip of the plant. This encourages the plants to produce lateral shoots, which will result in bushier growth. All you need to do is nip out the top two leaves and growing point of each plant using your fingers or a small pair of scissors.Answered on 3/4/2006 by Crocus
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