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Accidentally mixing sweet peas and green peas

Help! 3 weeks ago I sowed 16 green pea seeds into small pots, 1 seed per pot. The problem is that I also sowed 16 sweet pea seeds into 16 individual pots and somehow these 32 pots then all got mixed up when moving from windowsill to windowsill and foolishly I hadn’t labelled them! 

Some of the seedlings are now about 4 inches tall and I recognise them as green pea seedlings. My question is: Do sweet pea seedlings also look the same as green pea seedlings when several inches high? Or are sweetpeas markedly different to green peas prior to flowering? ie. Will I then be able to spot which out of the 32 are the sweet peas and which are the green peas?



  • BenCottoBenCotto RutlandPosts: 3,735

    Sweet peas above, peas below. By the looks of it edible peas have distinctly paired leaves but there must be a better identifier than that.

  • Thanks Ben for the comparison images, they are very useful! 
  • So these are what I suspect are the “sweet peas” so far.
  • Does this look like sweet peas? They seem to be a lot chunkier than I was expecting! The next few days are close to zero in the early hours of the morning. Would you recommend I put these in the ground by next week?
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,336
    Those look like broad beans.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 79,193
    Those look like broad beans.
    That’s what I was thinking @BobTheGardener 😊 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Thanks @BobTheGardener and @Dovefromabove for your replies, yes that does make sense as I also have a separate batch of broad bean seedlings but may have gotten them mixed up. So now it appears I have no sweet peas anywhere! It’s not too late for me to sow sweetpeas again from scratch is it?
  • Do be careful as I believe sweet peas are toxic. But I agree the seedlings in your other photo look like broad beans not sweet peas. 
  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 7,874
    Yup, broad beans,put the others up canes you will either have nice flowers or peas, sow more now of all and label them, straight away.
  • BenCottoBenCotto RutlandPosts: 3,735
    edited April 2021
    Regarding the toxicity of sweet peas, we had Italian friends staying with us a couple of summers back and Beppe wandered in from the garden looking pleased with himself saying he had just eaten some peas. As we were not growing them we assumed he had got the word wrong and had eaten fagioli, not piselli. No, no, they were definitely peas not beans. It transpired he’d eaten a couple of sweet pea seeds. 

    I looked it up on google and eating several seeds is very bad for you causing muscle weakness but then added, just for his benefit, “... and stupidity.” The medical term for the muscle ailment, interestingly, is lathyrism. It can lead to leg paralysis and even death.
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