Grow Peas In Florida

It’s easy to grow peas in Florida as long as you choose the right pea and plant it at the right time.

There are two types of Peas that will grow in Florida. English peas and summer peas. English peas will grow in the cooler months and summer peas will grow in the warmer months. Florida friendly varieties of each are “little Marvel Improved” and “California Blackeye”.

English and summer are two very different types of pea. English peas are sweeter and what you think of when you think of the word pea. Summer peas are more like beans, think black-eyed peas.

Best Peas To Grow In Florida

In Florida, we can grow a number of varieties of pea. English peas encompass snap peas, sugar snap, and snow peas. Freshly picked peas are so much better than store-bought. Fresh peas picked from your garden might ruin store-bought peas for you forever.

Vining English Pea

Florida Friendly Varieties Of English Peas: Green Arrow, Little Marvel Improved, Oregon Sugarpod II, Sugar Snap, and Wando.

Summer peas are more like beans than they are traditional peas. Summer peas are easy to grow in Florida and you can eat them fresh or saved and dried for later consumption.

Blackeyed Pea Plants

Florida Friendly Varieties Of Summer Pea: California Blackeye, Pinkeye Purple Hull, and Texas Cream.

These aren’t the only varieties that will grow but they are varieties that have been Florida gardener recommended. Don’t be afraid to grow different varieties and see what happens.

Planting Peas In Florida

Summer peas and English peas are grown at very different times of the year in Florida.

When To Plant English Peas

North FloridaJan – Mar
Central FloridaNov – Feb
South FloridaNov – Feb

When To Plant Summer Peas

North FloridaMar – July
Central FloridaFeb – Aug
South FloridaSep – Aug

Summer peas are one of the few things that can be grown in Florida during the summertime. Not too many vegetables can take our intense summer heat.

When planting peas be sure to give the plants about 6″ to a foot of space all the way around. This should be enough space to make a productive plant.

I’ve always had good luck with starting pea seeds directly into the garden. I’ve found transplanting them to be more trouble than it’s worth. If the seeds start right in the garden why not just start them there?

Some people get good results if they soak their seeds in water overnight before planting directly into the garden.

Growing Peas In Florida

Both types of pea enjoy full sun. The more sun you can get them the better off they will be.

Be sure to plant in a soil that has lots of organic material and a thick layer of mulch. This soil needs to be well-draining as well. Peas do not like their roots to soaked all the time.

If you are planting directly into your Florida soil, I always suggest adding a bag of compost and a layer of mulch. This adds organic material and helps your soil retain moisture. In Florida most of our soil is sandy. This gives us well-draining soil, but it drains too well. We need to give our dirt a hand in holding on to that water.

Summer peas are less picky about their soil than English peas. They don’t mind mucky soil or dry soil. However, I still suggest compost and mulch.

Keep an eye out for slugs and aphids. Those are the two most common pests to fight with when it comes to peas. Both can be handled pesticide-free. Hand remove slugs and spray aphids off with a stream of water.


Peas are much like beans when it comes to fertilizing. You must fertilize these plants at half the rate of normal plants.

If you over-fertilize you will decrease your harvest. With too many nutirnets your plants simply won’t produce any peas. I’ve actually gotten better results skipping fertilization of these plants altogether.

Peas, like beans, are nitrogen fixers which means that the plants actually add nitrogen to your soil for other plants to use.

How Tall Do Peas Grow?

There are two types of ways that peas can grow. The plants can grow as a vine or they can grow as a bush. Bush type peas can grow from 12 inches to 3 feet tall while the vining type can grow taller than 10 feet.

The way in which they grow will depend on the variety that you choose

Bush Peas: Oregon Sugarpod II, California Blackeye, Pinkeye Purple Hull, and Texas Cream.

Vining Peas: Green Arrow, little Marvel Improved, Sugar Snap, and Wando.

All of the summer pea varieties recommended are bush type peas. The only winter pea on the list that is a bush type is the Oregon Sugarpod II. These plants can grow from 1 foot tall all the way up to 3 feet tall.

How Long Do Peas Take To Grow?

Peas can begin to be harvested anywhere from 60 – 90 days after planting. From the day that you plant the seeds, it usually takes the baby plants about one week to peek their heads out.

If you choose to pick your pea pods when they are still young and tender you can eat the whole pod raw. If you leave the pea pods on your plant for them to mature, the skin on the pod will begin to thicken. Once the pods reach a few inches long and have a thick pod, pick one off and crack it open. Do the peas look ready for harvest? If so begin harvesting!

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Unluckily for plants, I really enjoy growing them. I've grown a few plants over the years and I've killed some too, more than I would like to admit. I just want to share my experience and hope that it helps others.

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