Pea Shoots

Gordon Johnson, Extension Vegetable & Fruit Specialist;

Peas, preferably snap and snow pea varieties, may also be grown for shoots for local markets. Follow the base growing recommendations for spring harvest as found in the Mid-Atlantic Vegetable Production Recommendations.

Pea shoots

Pea shoots

When plants are 8-12 inches tall, clip off the growing points plus one pair of leaves to encourage branching. These clippings can be used as a first harvest. Keep clipping the top 2-6 inches of each plant after regrowth, every 3-4 weeks. Harvested shoots should include the top pair of small leaves, delicate tendrils and a few larger leaves and blossoms or immature buds. Select undamaged, fresh, crisp and bright green shoots. Harvest a planting until shoots begin to taste bitter.

Pea shoots for fall harvest are planted mid to late summer and harvested until a hard freeze. Shoots may also be grown in high tunnels throughout the fall, winter, and early spring.

Pea shoots have a short storage life and should be marketed within 2 days after harvest. Rapidly precool shoots to 32°F, and store at 32-34°F (0-1°C) and 98-100% relative humidity. Freezing will damage leaf tissues, so maintain storage temperatures above 28°F (-2°C).

A fact sheet on pea shoot production from Washington State can be found at