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How to Grow and Care for Butterfly Peas in your Garden

Clitoria ternatea

This plant grows best with full sun for most of the dayThis plant requires or will tolerate shade during the heat of the dayOnce established this plant requires little or no supplemental wateringThis plant will tolerate some drought, but benefits from periodic wateringButterfly FlowerPink flowering plantblue flowering plantPurple flowering plantA photograph of Clitoria ternatea is availableHow to Use the Plant Care Icons at The Garden Helper

The Butterfly Pea is fast growing climber is a fairly common tender perennial species that produces two inch, pinkish blue flowers in mid to late Summer. They provide quick covers for lattice, trellis, arbor and chain-link fence, and are a favorite food source for butterflies.

Growing Requirements for Butterfly Peas

Unfortunately, Butterfly Pea plants are only hardy in USDA zones 10-11, but because they are such fast growers they are often grown as an annual plant in colder regions.

  • Butterfly Peas prefer to be grown in full sun but they will tolerate light shade.
  • These are very drought tolerant plants, but they should be watered regularly for the best results.

  • Never over water Butterfly Peas!
  • Pinch regularly to induce bushiness.
  • Butterfly Pea seed pods are edible and tasty.

Growing Butterfly Pea Vines from Seed

The seeds of the Butterfly Pea should be nicked or filed, then soaked overnight in room temperature water before planting. They can be sown directly in the garden with 3-4 inch spacing when the soil warms in the spring.

Start seeds indoors 12 weeks before the warm weather arrives, maintaining a temperature within the growing medium of 70°-75° F. Germination takes 15-20 days.

Butterfly Pea Clitoria ternatea

Butterfly Pea Flowers
Butterfly Pea Flowers

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