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Sweet pea care - tendrils/side shoots

Hi folks, 

I saw on a recent episode of gardener's world that you can cut off the tendrils/side bits of sweet peas to help sweet pea growth.

Does anyone know how much of these you should cut off, should you cut right down to the base of the shoot including the leaves?

Would you do this on all other similar plants like peas too? Curious! 

Photo below of the bits I mean!





  • strelitzia32strelitzia32 Posts: 767
    Personally I wouldn't cut off the tendrils unless they're hanging off in a visibly annoying area. The tendrils are how it grows and clings on to your frame/structure, if you take them all off you'll spend all month tying it in, leaving them on won't affect the plant growth.

    It's more important to deadhead regularly when the flowers are about go over, before they drop and leave the seed pod behind. If you take "good" stems for cut flowers, the plant will grow more flowers (just like peas, beans etc). Remember to feed it.

  • Ooh excellent thanks, that saves me a job then  ;)
  • celcius_kkwcelcius_kkw Posts: 751
    I used to remove the tendrils as I found it quite therapeutic initially but then it went through a growth spurt and it stopped being enjoyable.. 

    Now I only remove the tendrils that are visibly strangulating a developing flower bud.. otherwise I leave them alone. They do keep growing back anyway..
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,134
    Someone else asked this recently - I can't find the thread, but this is a short version of my answer then. The usual reason is when growing them for exhibitions. It allows growers to gain long, straight stems on the plants.

    It's the only reason you would remove them. I love my sweet peas, and I spend a few minutes each day deadheading, but who [apart from those show exhibitors]  has the time or inclination to remove tendrils - and then tie in every stem!  :D
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Sounds like you have lots of lovely sweet peas @Fairygirl!

    Thanks @Fairygirl and @celcius_kkw. It sounds like trying to digliently remove them is not the best option for folks like me who aren't growing them to show, as therapeutic as snipping them off might be. 😂


  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,134
    @rosehenderson90- your time is better spent deadheading, or snipping the flowers to put in a vase    ;)  
    I grow quite a few, mainly in containers, although I stick some in borders too. Only creams/whites, and dark plums/purples.  I don't do many annuals, but I like having those for a bit of height, as well as for their scent. Great for the bees too.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • @Fairygirl sounds lovely! Mine are in containers too. Thanks for the tips :) 
  • celcius_kkwcelcius_kkw Posts: 751
    Just taken these pictures of my sweet peas.. they are doing well, although the leaves lower down are turning yellow. Unfortunately for me height is not desirable on my balcony as it gets so windy.. I can’t remember the number of times I’ve come home to find this pot on its side! That said it refuses to give in and continues to flower.. 

    The images aren’t very clear as it’s still very windy on my balcony as I took these pictures!

  • They are lovely @celcius_kkw
  • PurpleRosePurpleRose Posts: 538
    Beautiful display 

    I have never cut the tendrils. When I watched the show, I thought I had always been looking after my sweet peas incorrectly. I do snip the odd one which causes problems but that is all. 

    I am glad that I was not growing them incorrectly after all
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