kick your shoes off and come on in …

Milkwort Plant Care Guide and Varieties


there are tons of varieties of milkwort (polygala) to include snakeroot plant, some have medicinal qualities …. am going to give you head start on researching milkwort with plant care guide for sweet pea shrub (the most common cultivar in gardens) and links to other wildflower varieties.  the easiest way i can think of for the milkwort plant …. enjoy and Happy Mother’s Day 🙂

keep in mind the sweet pea shrub is not native to North America and does well in warmer climates as is native to South Africa …

How to Grow Polygala Myrtifolia Grandiflora

Native to South Africa, Polygala myrtifolia Grandiflora, also known as myrtle-leaf milkwort, is commonly called sweet pea shrub. The bright purple flowers add color to the landscape but very little fragrance. The Grandiflora cultivar has longer leaves with a pointed end versus the shorter, rounded leaves of the standard Polygala myrtiflora species. The plant is low-maintenance and does well in warmer climates. The U.S Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 9 and 10 are recommended for Polygala myrtifolia Grandiflora. Temperatures below 20 to 25 degrees Fahrenheit damage the plant. Sweet pea shrubs can grow from 4 to 6 feet high and just as wide, but winter pruning produces a more compact growth pattern. The plant grows in most soil types, is drought-tolerant and does well in the sun or shade.

Step 1

Fill the seed tray with potting soil and moisten the soil with water. The moisture content should feel similar to a damp sponge. The seeds may rot if the soil is oversaturated.

Step 2

Plant the seeds about 1/16 inch deep in the potting soil. Cover the seeds with the soil. Place the cover on the seed tray. Use plastic food wrap or a clear plastic bag if there is no tray cover.

Step 3

Set the seed tray in a warm area with direct sunlight. The temperature of the area should remain above 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep the soil moist while the seeds are germinate.

Step 4

Remove the tray cover once the sweet pea seedlings emerge from the soil. Continue monitoring the plants. As they grow, watch for signs of mold or pest problems. Remove dead or molded seedlings as soon as possible.

Step 5

Transplant the seedlings to individual growing pots. Harden off the plants by exposing the seedlings to the outdoor climate as the weather conditions permit. Protect the young plants from sudden temperature changes or strong winds while they are acclimating to the outdoors.

Step 6

Transfer the sweet pea bush into the garden when the plants have developed several sets of true leaves. The plant does well in direct sunlight but will tolerate shade. Keep the soil around the sweet pea bush moist until it has established its self.

Things You Will Need

  • Viable seeds
  • Quality potting soil
  • Seed tray with cover
  • Growing pots
  • Garden spade


  • Although the sweet pea bush is drought-tolerant, it will suffer damage or die if the roots dry out.


About the Author

Julie Richards is a freelance writer from Ohio. She has been writing poetry and short stories for over 30 years, and published a variety of e-books and articles on gardening, small business and farming. She is currently enrolled at Kent State University completing her bachelor’s degree in English

Photo Credits

  • Dynamic Graphics/Polka Dot/Getty Images




Polygala barbeyana Chod.  ~ blue milkwort

Polygala barbeyana – Blue Milkwort

Polygalaceae > Polygala (Milkworts)


Pink Milkwort (Polygala incarnata)

Polygala polygama Walt. ~ Racemed milkwort, Pink milkwort

Polygala alba Nutt. ~ White milkwort

Polygala lutea L. ~ Orange milkwort, Candy Weed

Polygala senega – L.

Polygala lindheimeri Gray ~ Shrubby milkwort, Purple milkwort

Polygala rugelii Shuttlw. ex Chapman ~ Yellow milkwort

Polygala obscura Benth. ~ Velvetseed milkwort

Polygala ramosa Ell. ~ Low pinebarren milkwort, Yellow savannah milkwort

am sure if you research databases in your region there are tons more i have not listed … Happy Gardening !



2 responses

  1. You can try adding dried herbs, components of an aromatic wood, cloves and pine cones too.
    Several in the past, while staying in a very Colorado ski resort, we were able to humidify
    our hotel room since the resort provided small cool spray humidifiers.
    It now is easier to manage the temperature in the digital vaporizer.

    March 7, 2014 at 1:49 am

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