Vinca plants, or Periwinkle, is a prolific heat and drought tolerant annual. They are perfect for hot, dry areas. It’s easy to grow and requires little or no attention. A grower once reported that he has grown Vinca in the same location for 30 years. It successfully reseeded itself each year, with no effort on his part. This guide on “How to Grow Vinca Flowers” will help you to grow them year after year after year.
This plant is known by three names: Vinca, Periwinkle (or Madagascar Periwinkle), and Myrtle. Botanists will tell you that there is also a separate strain or variety of Periwinkle. Vinca plants are native to North America, Europe, China, and India.
The plants are grown for their attractive glossy, green foliage, as well as their flowers. Flowers bloom all summer, and up to frost. Common colors include white, rose, pink, and red.
Vinca is commonly used for borders, edging, and ground cover or bedding plants.
Flowers Bloom: Spring through Summer
Flower Colors: Blue, lavender, pink, purple, rose, and white.
Plant height: Plants grow 1-2 feet tall.
Plant Hardiness Zones: 4 – 9
Over the years, Vinca has been used for medicinal purposes. Applications included:
Lowering blood pressure
Lowering sugar levels for diabetics
Treatment for coughs, colds, sore throats
Treating eye and lung infections
Vinca or Periwinkle are grown from seeds. Sow Vinca seeds outdoors after all danger of frost. Many people will broadcast spread them across an area. These prolific, self-seeders, will usually reseed themselves if left unattended.
You can also start them indoors 10 to 12 weeks before the last frost in your area.
Some varieties can also be propagated by rooting cuttings.
Note: For indoor starts, we recommend using a heated germination mat, to increase the speed of germination. And, it, results in a higher germination rate.
Final Plant Spacing: Space plants 10 – 12 inches apart.
Days to Germination: Seeds sprout in 14 – 21 days.
Vinca or Periwinkle will grow in a wide range of light conditions, from full sun to shade. They will do well in average soils. The plants are both heat and drought-tolerant. This makes Vinca ideal in hot, dry parts of the country where other flowers will wither and wilt.
Space Vinca plants 12-15 inches apart. Water well, when planting. Once plants are established, water only during extended droughts.
Add a general-purpose fertilizer once or twice a season.
Mulch around plants in dry areas to help retain soil moisture.
Plant Problems – Identify the causes and find the cures, too.
Annual Vinca plants are seldom bothered by insects and disease. Fungus problems can occur in humid or wet weather. If insect or disease problems occur, treat early with organic or chemical insect repellents and fungicide.