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How to Grow Periwinkle — Vinca

Vinca minor periwinkle

Periwinkle, Vinca, is a slender-stemmed, evergreen subshrub or perennial with glossy, dark green pointed leaves topped with lavender-blue flowers in spring, reblooming in summer and fall. Periwinkle spreads rapidly and makes an attractive ground cover in partially shady spots.

Get to Know Periwinkle

  • Plant type: Evergreen spring-blooming groundcover
  • Growing Zones and range: 4-9
  • Hardiness: Half-hardy
  • Height and width: 4”- 6” tall, 12”- 18” wide
  • Foliage: Glossy, dark green pointed leaves 1-2 inches long
  • Flowers: Blue, white, or pink about ¾ inch across
  • Bloom time: Spring, reblooms in summer and fall
  • Uses: Groundcover for erosion control on slopes; groundcover beneath trees and in shady spots
  • Botanical name: Vinca minor
  • Common name: Periwinkle, creeping myrtle

Where to Plant Periwinkle

  • Plant periwinkle in full sun to medium shade in Zones 4-6; light shade to full shade in hot-summer areas of Zones 7-9.
  • Grow periwinkle in humus-rich, well-drained soil.
Periwinkle, Vinca minor
Periwinkle, Vinca minor

When to Plant Periwinkle

  • Set established periwinkle plants in spring or fall.

Planting and Spacing Periwinkle

  • Space periwinkle 12 to 18 inches apart.
  • Add aged compost to the soil at planting time.

How to Water and Feed Periwinkle

  • Periwinkle needs moderate to ample water; keep the soil evenly moist.
  • Fertilize periwinkle with a slow-release fertilizer.

Periwinkle Care

  • Mulch periwinkle to prevent weeds from competing with periwinkle and to conserve soil moisture.
  • Shear plants in early summer to stimulate thicker growth
  • Periwinkle is prone to a few pests or diseases.

Periwinkle Propagation

  • Divide plants at any time or root cuttings in summer.

Periwinkle Varieties to Grow

  • V. minor ‘Bowles’ is a dense grower; it is a heavy bloomer.
  • V. minor ‘Aurea’ has all-gold leaves.
  • V. minorAlba-variegata’ has green and gold leaves.
  • Vinca major very similar to vinca minor but more aggressive grower and can become invasive if not contained; leaves are larger.
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