When you find a plant that grows really well in your garden or on your patio or windowsill or even your fire escape, so don't be afraid to go all out with just that one species, especially when it comes in a few colors like this Vinca, otherwise known as Periwinkle. No one ever said that gardening has to be difficult or time consuming, and playing it safe with something you know will be successful is certainly a good idea if you're busy like I am, and happen to have more than just a few interests to fill your free time!
One of the things I happen to love about Vinca is that blooms seem to fall off every day, which means that you can float them in some water for some instant loveliness on your counter or just about anywhere. Somehow when I gaze at floating blooms like these I feel transported to some tropical island, for just a moment, ahhhhhh. Depending on where you live, it may be just a bit on the late side to start with Vinca now, so do keep it in mind for next year!
For some more information on Vinca, continue reading below.
I hadn't planned on making my window sill garden mostly Vinca, (you can see what it looked like a few months ago here) but as it turned most of the other plants in this spot, (namely some geraniums and petunias) except for the Vinca, were attacked by a bad case of white aphids, and so horrors of horrors, I had to throw them out! (In my opinion, using toxic chemicals certainly doesn't make sense for small pots, and in any case one should always isolate infested containers, which may not make sense for small plants.) So, the happy end of the story is that to fill the holes left by my diseased plants I decided to play it safe with some more Vinca, that has been blooming non-stop for months in my little kitchen window garden.
All About Vinca:
Vinca or Periwinkle is a prolific heat and drought tolerant annual, suited for hot, dry areas. It's easy to grow, and requires little or no attention.
Vinca is commonly used for borders, edging, and groundcover or bedding plants. Plants grow 1-2 feet tall. Flowers bloom all summer, and up to frost. Common colors include white, rose, pink, and red.
Vinca or Periwinkle can be grown from seeds or purchased as small plants in flats or pots. Sow Vinca seeds outdoors after all danger of frost. These prolific, self seeders, will usually reseed themselves, if left unattended.
How to Grow Vinca:
Vinca or Periwinkle will grow in range of light conditions, from full sun to shade. They will do well in average soils. They are both heat and drought tolerant. This makes Vinca ideal in hot, dry parts of the country where other flowers will wither and wilt.
Note: Vinca is not drought tolerant in pots and does need to be watered regularly. Plants will wilt and leaves will curl if they dry out, but will bounce back assuming they are given water immediately.
When planting in a garden, space 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.
Insect and Disease: Vinca are seldom bothered by insects and disease, which explains why they were not attacked by the white aphids in my window sill garden. 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.