Once you know how to grow peas indoors, you’re going to want to try every type of sugar, snow, shell, and snap pea you can. With a simple setup and some seeds, you can grow everything from edible pea shoots to pods right in your home.
Along with peas, indoor vegetable gardening shows you how to grow many different veggies and herbs in the same space.
Growing Peas Indoors
This was a delicious surprise!
Many garden guides list seeds that can be started indoors versus others that are better off sown directly in the ground. And peas are always on the direct sow outdoors list. This is because they do fine in cold conditions and do not like being transplanted.
So, it never really occurred to me to try starting them indoors (let alone growing them to maturity) until some years ago when I did a bunch of seed starting experiments.
Well, that winter ended up being extra long and spring was too rainy and cold to transplant anything outdoors as I normally would.
So instead those peas continued to grow indoors without me providing any special care.
I kept everything watered but hadn’t really noticed that the pea shoots had became vines, climbing up the back of the grow-light shelves.
And—best of all—they flowered and produced pea pods.
That was one of the coolest discoveries I’ve had in my years of seed starting.
And that’s when I realized I could grow entire crops indoors, harvesting some for pea shoots (tender, delicious) along the way, and allow others to mature and provide edible pods.
While it would take quite a lot of plants to produce a substantial harvest, I think just having them as flowering houseplants for several months makes it worthwhile. That fact that some food will follow is a total bonus.
How To Grow Peas Indoors
1Sow the Seeds Indoors
Peas to Grow Indoors
These are suggestions. If you already have seeds, try them!
Buy pea seeds online at Botanical Interests (US shipping only)
- Oregon Giant peas
- Dwarf Grey Sugar peas
- Super Sugar Snap peas
- Little Marvel peas
- Green Arrow peas
- Purple Mist Organic peas
To get started you will need:
- Pea seeds (see suggestions, above)
- Potting mix for organic vegetables
- Pots (4 to 6 inches wide and deep) or larger if you have room
- Fluorescent lights (T5 or T9 bulbs) | See my setup here
If you are new to growing from seed, I have a complete guide here: Seed Starting for Beginners.
Use organic growing medium (potting mix) suitable for vegetables.
If you have room, sow directly into 4-6 inch pots (or larger) so you won’t need to transplant to larger pots later onl.
Sow the peas at depth recommended on the seed package (usually one-half to one inch deep).
I put just one seed in each pot. You can also sow more and thin out later, leaving the best one.
After sowing, water thoroughly and top up potting mix if needed.
I’ve tried growing many different varieties of peas indoors over the years and all of them provided pea shoots and often peas as well.
Use whatever variety you want and keep track of how they grow. We each have different indoor growing climates so results will vary.
The temperature in our house is between 65 to 70°F (18 to 21°C) with humidity around 50%,
2Provide Adequate Light and Water
Keep the grow lights on at least 8-10 hours a day with the lights just a few inches above the plants. Some say they need quite a bit more (12-16 hours a day) but I have not found this necessary. Start on the low end and increase if needed. The light from windows will also contribute to overall light.
Alternately you can grow them near a window receiving 8 hours of full sun per day. I find they do better with lights but a good southern facing window (northern hemisphere) could certainly work. Just don’t let them get too warm.
Check on your peas daily and water as needed.
Provide trellis or supports as the vines grow.
I’ve done this with and without supports. Without supports the plant flops over but still produces pods.
I like using trellis to provide better air flow and make it easy to reach all parts of the plants.
I use twist ties or twine to tie the pea vines to the trellis as they grow.
My favorite trellis is individual pieces of grid wire storage shelves which I hang from my grow light shelving unit.
4Harvest Shoots and Pods
As your peas grow, the plant will flower and eventually produce peas in pods. Peas are one of the rare crops that can complete pollination on their own without help from pollinators or wind because of the way the flowers are structured. But just to be sure, check your seed packet in case you’ve got a hybrid that has unique needs. There are always exceptions to these “rules”.
As you go you can harvest some of the pea shoots for salads and pick the pods regularly when they are ready. They are edible at any time but you can hold off until the peas are full size too.
The plants should last for several months.
Related: How to Grow Food Indoors
The benefit of indoor vegetable gardening is that you are not governed by the weather.
You can sow peas every couple of weeks to have a continuous harvest ongoing.
Pea flowers are beautiful all on their own!
I hope you will give indoor food growing a try.
~Melissa the Empress of Dirt ♛