Vinca, also known as periwinkle (a much cuter and more illustrative name), is a beautiful, fast-growing, prolific plant from the family Apocynaceae, or Dogbane. This drought-tolerant annual is perfect for hot, dry planting areas in need of some gorgeous bursts of color.
A Vine with Many Species
Vinca vine has six different species. The flowers are usually blue or blue-ish purple and are solitary, and funnel-shaped. You’ll find them in 43 of the 50 United States. They’re native to North America (that’s the U.S. and Canada), as well as Europe, China and India. Vincas are hardy and not often plagued by bugs or illness, making them a low maintenance, beautiful ground cover.
Vinca major and Vinca minor, two of the six Vinca species, are extensively cultivated as a flowering evergreen ornamental plant, but they are also sometimes considered invasive species and weeds. Because the plants are low-growing and spread quickly, they are often used as a ground cover in garden landscapes and container gardens.
How to Care for Vinca
Vinca’s shiny, glossy green leaves really enhance its beauty. The flowers bloom from seeds from late spring to early summer in moist, well-drained soil. But you’ll find that these vines tolerate soil that may even be poor and dry. Vinca fares well in part shade to shade. And will tolerate a northern sun if they’re given sufficient moisture. Space plants 12 to 15 inches apart. Water well when planting, and after, only water during extended droughts. They’ll grow one to two feet tall. Use a general fertilizer only once or twice a season. Mulch around dry areas to keep the soil moist.
Using it in Garden Design
This vine is popular with landscapers. They use it in their designs for everything from cascading from containers, in woodland gardens, on slopes for erosion control and as vigorous aggressive ground cover. Bear in mind that Vinca spreads quickly, so it isn’t an ideal choice for areas where containment may be an issue.
Ready to add some Vinca to your garden? Check out our selection and get growing!