How hardy are vetch?

How hardy are vetch?

Annual vetches are not hardy

These sweet peas climb up to two meters high trellis within a few months and bloom in a fascinating spectrum of colors. Unfortunately, the splendor is gone in autumn, because sweet peas only thrive as annual plants.

also read

  • Are vetch poisonous to humans or animals?
  • The optimal care of sweet peas
  • The different types of sweet peas

Care in autumn

Do not cut off everything that has faded in the last weeks of autumn. As a result, the vetch forms seeds that you can harvest and use for breeding. After the first frosts, remove the dead plant parts and dig up the root ball completely.

If you would like to plant annual vetch at this point again next year, you should enrich the soil with ripe compost so that the vicia has enough nutrients.

Perennial herbaceous vetches

Perennial vetch are not real vetches, but belong to the flat pea family. Since the flowers of this perennial plant look deceptively similar to those of the vicia, these flowering plants are also referred to as vetch in our language.

The perennial vetch is hardy

The perennial vetch is very robust and absolutely hardy. If necessary, it is cut back a little in autumn, since the above-ground parts of the plant serve as protection from the cold. Only in spring do you cut this vetch back close to the ground to stimulate new growth.

Even though the perennial vetch can hardly affect frost, it is advisable to install additional winter protection in very rough regions. Branches that you spread loosely over the plant are well suited.


Even as a layman, you can tell by its scent whether the vetch that thrives in your garden is hardy or not. The annual Vicia varieties exude a bewitching aroma, while the frost-resistant vetches bloom without a noticeable scent.