- Vinca major ‘Variegata’
- Variegated Vinca Is the Houseplant Your Space Is Missing
- Vinca vine has beautiful leaves.
- Vinca also produces pretty flowers.
- Vinca vine is a perennial.
- Vinca vine is easy to care for.
- Vinca is considered invasive.
- Periwinkle Care – How To Grow Periwinkle Plants
- How to Grow Periwinkle Plants
- Landscape Use
- Cultivars of Periwinkle
- Cultivars of Large Periwinkle
Vinca major ‘Variegata’
Non poisonous plants for pots please Hi I wonder if you can help. I have a Nursery school and am looking for some plants I can plant in pots, that are in a partly sunny, partly shady spot. They have to be plants that aren’t poisonous and provide interest over as much of the year as possible. I really like the plants in you ready made border section on the website site, particularly shady pink, sunny pink and keep it cool. Could you please tell me if any of these plants are suitable for my needs? Many Thanks Joanne
Happy Hearts Day Nursery
Plants to replace a lawn Dear Sir I have a small lawn at the front of my garden and want to use plants other than grass. Can you give me some ideas of plants that could give a low effect of green or some planting scheme that would look ok ? Richard
Dwarf Hydrangeas Hello I was just wondering if there is such a thing as ‘Dwarf’ Hydrangeas? If so, are they available in different colours, and how high do they grow? We have a curved walled bed that is about 30′ long, and we would like put in some colourful flowering but dwarf plants (about 6-10″ high), that require little or no maintenance. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. Kind regards Rahme
Tim and Rahme
Help for a shady damp spot please Hi I’m looking for plants for a damp shady spot in my garden. It’s a raised, north-facing bed and stays damp most of the year, and the soil is compost-rich. I’d love to get some colour in there as I look out on to it from my kitchen window so I was wondering about Hollyhocks, Flag Irises or maybe Heuchera? I also have a very big slug problem though – tried Sambucus nigra last year and it was eaten! Please, what can you suggest? I look forward to hearing from you. Kind regards Mary
What can I plant? I have a 1 ft wide border of poor quality soil along the edge of a patio which is adjacent to our neighbour’s decking. I was wondering whether you could advise what I could plant. Thanks Anna
Hello Anna, Ideally you should dig in as much composted organic matter as possible to enrich the soil before you plant, and then (if you don’t mind plants spilling out from the border), you could plant any of the following. Lavandula, Hebe, Hypericum or Vinca.
What plants for a neglected patch? Hello, We are trying to improve a rather nasty mud patch in our garden. It is in the shade and the soil is very, very dry – we have had to use a pick axe to turn it over. My question is what types of plants would be suitable for this terrain? Kind Regards, Mark
Hello Mark, All plants will need a degree of comfort, so the best thing to do would be to improve the soil by digging in as much organic matter as you can. Once you have done this you can plant tough, low maintenance things like Ajuga, Alchemilla mollia, Aucuba japonica, Berberis, Bergenia, Euonymus fortunei, Lamium, Sarcococca, Skimmia, Viburnum davidii or Vincas. It will be very important though that these are kept really well watered for at least the first year until they have had a chance to become established. I hope this helps. Helen Plant Doctor
Help! I need plant ideas for a small, very shallow flower bed in full shade Hi, Please can you suggest plants that will do well in mostly full shade, moist soil, and a flower bed that is only 10-15cm deep. I live in London and have a very small courtyard garden with very high walls on all four sides. Many thanks. Kind regards Marianne
Hello Marianne, I’m afraid that very few plants do well in heavy shade and the best plants are going to be really tough ones. Even these though may not survive if the conditions are too harsh. Here are some of your best options, which might be worth a try – Bergenia, Euonymus, Vinca and Lamium.I hope this helps. Helen Plant Doctor
Which plants are Deer proof? I want a list of Deer proof plants please. It`s either a change in habitat or environment, but I get total devastation now and in the last two years they come up the drive.
Deer can be a real problem and deer proof plants are usually thorny, poisonous or simply taste awful, but it is hard to give a definitive list as you might get the odd deer with unusual tastes which might like the bitter taste! Below is a list of good plants that generally are quite successful though. Cornus varieties, Rhus, Sophora, Solanum, Berberis, Rosemary, Buxus, Cotoneaster, Ilex, Pyracantha, Garrya, Juniperus, Nandina, Elaeagnus, Aralia, Aucuba, Cortaderia, Yucca, Santolina, Hypericum, Myrtle, Vinca, Achillea, Digitalis, Echinacea and Dryopteris. Finally, fencing is one method to protect garden crops from deer. Since deer jump, you need an 8-foot fence for best results or stout chicken-wire fencing securely around smaller garden plots. Alternatively, fence the area with a thorny shrub, preferably something that will grow to at least 6 feet. Deer eat roses and some thorns but hawthorn, boxwood and holly will exclude them. Deer are also deterred by dogs, hanging aluminum foil, mirrors, wood that hits objects in the wind and other noise-makers. Some old-fashioned repellents are human hair and blood and bonemeal. Hanging bars of fragrant deodorant soap from branches may work. Other well-known deer repellents are mothballs or moth flakes spread on the ground or put in mesh bags for hanging in a tree. Unfortunately though, no repellent is 100 percent effective, especially if the deer population is high and deer are starving.
What can I plant that the deers won’t eat? What types of plants do deer not like? If you could help me out I could greatly appreciate it.
Kelly L. Sliker
Deer can be a real problem and deer proof plants are usually thorny, poisonous or simply taste awful. It is hard to give a definitive list as you might get the odd deer with unusual taste which might like a bitter taste, but the following is a list of plants that generally are quite successful. Cornus varieties, Rhus, Sophora, Solanum, Berberis, Rosemary, Buxus, Cotoneaster, Ilex, Pyracantha, Garrya, Juniperus, Nandina, Eleagnus, Aralia, Aucuba, Cortaderia, Yucca, Santolina, Hypericum, Myrtle, Vinca, Achillea, Digitalis, Echinacea and Dryopteris. Finally fencing is one method to protect garden crops from deer. Since deer jump, you need an 8-foot fence for best results or stout chicken-wire fencing securely around smaller garden plots. Alternatively, fence the area with a thorny shrub, preferably something that will grow to at least 6 feet. Deer do eat roses and some other thorns but hawthorn, boxwood and holly tend to keep them out. Deer are also deterred by dogs, hanging aluminum foil, mirrors, wood that hits objects in the wind and other noise-makers. Some old-fashioned repellents are human hair and blood and bonemeal. Hanging bars of fragrant deodorant soap from branches may work. Other well-known deer repellents are mothballs or moth flakes spread on the ground or put in mesh bags for hanging in a tree. Unfortunately though, no repellent is 100 percent effective, especially if the deer population is high and deer are starving.
What trailing plants would you suggest? I have just had my sloping garden landscaped and now have a great many retaining walls which need softening with planting. Some walls have paths below them so I cannot plant climbing plants. Could you please suggest some plants which would trail down from a higher planting position?
Variegated Vinca Is the Houseplant Your Space Is Missing
Variegated vinca goes by many names. It’s a variegated form of Vinca major, also known as greater periwinkle. It’s also known as bigleaf periwinkle (Vinca major ‘Variegata’), and the “variegated” part of its name means that the leaves of the plant exhibit markings of different colors. When planted outdoors, it’s an aggressive spreader, but when tended inside, it makes a lovely and easy-to-care-for indoor planting. In addition to its obvious good looks, there are a few other reasons it makes for a great houseplant—read on to learn why we love this elegant vine.
Vinca vine has beautiful leaves.
Vinca vine has big leaves with a distinctive appearance. The leaves of variegated vinca have central patches of deep green that are edged in white and varying shades of light green. These patches look like brush strokes painted across the surface of the leaf, and they are stunning.
Vinca also produces pretty flowers.
In addition to their yearround leaves, vinca vines also bloom. Small lavender, blue, or purple flowers appear on the vine in early-to-late spring. The flowers are shaped like pinwheels and have five petals each.
Vinca vine is a perennial.
Those pretty variegated leaves last all year long, and their flowers reappear every year. It’s a reliable source of green garden color and adds year-round green as a houseplant too.
Vinca vine is easy to care for.
This plant doesn’t require a green thumb to maintain. It’s pretty hardy and thrives in a range of environments; Vinca major is tolerant of even difficult soils. Vinca vine grows just as well in full sun as it does in shade, and in a big plus for hands-off gardeners, it’s drought resistant.
Vinca is considered invasive.
Not everyone loves vinca because it’s an aggressive, rapidly spreading vine, especially when planted in deep shade. That quality makes it a reliable groundcover species, though it is considered invasive, which has prompted some states to call for moderate management of the plant outdoors.
The leaves of vincas are considered mildly poisonous when ingested, so be sure to keep away from children and pets.
Check out our tips for planting vinca in containers as well as more information on Vinca major (greater periwinkle) and Vinca minor (common or dwarf periwinkle).
WATCH: Why We Love Wisteria
Do you have a vinca vine growing in your home? What’s your favorite hardy houseplant?
Periwinkle Care – How To Grow Periwinkle Plants
The common periwinkle plant (Vinca minor) is often spotted creeping down steep hillsides and banks, offering a green and growing affect in areas which might otherwise be bare. The periwinkle plant is exceptional as an erosion control specimen. Periwinkle is also used as a spreading shrub in USDA garden zones 4 to 8. Periwinkle is often also called creeping vinca or creeping myrtle.
Periwinkle is most often grown as a ground cover. The periwinkle plant takes its common name from the attractive blooms that dot the foliage in April to May, appearing in the color of periwinkle blue. More than 30 varieties of this plant exist, some with variegated foliage and other bloom colors. When planting periwinkle, choose what best suits your landscape.
How to Grow Periwinkle Plants
This broad-leaf evergreen plant grows easily and periwinkle care most often involves keeping the prolific spreader in check. Periwinkle, once established, is drought resistant and needs little other care if properly sited in the landscape.
Periwinkle care after planting may include the removal of tall weeds in the area. Once established, growing periwinkle will likely shade out future growth of weeds and eliminate this chore.
The periwinkle plant grows best in a partially shaded area in acidic soil; however, it can thrive in a variety of sunlight and soil conditions. Growing periwinkle in partial shade creates more vigorous growth. In many instances, extreme vigor may not be desirable unless the periwinkle plant needs to cover a large area. One small plant can spread to 8 feet (2.4 m.) across.
Growing periwinkle as a ground cover is common, as it rarely reaches more than 4 inches (10 cm.) in height. Periwinkle is best used for controlling erosion as described above. Do not plant near other specimens in the flower bed or garden, as it may overtake and choke out valuable plantings. This plant may be used as a climber on a non-living support and is useful for blocking views when used in this way.
Before planting periwinkle, make sure it is what you want in the area, as it is difficult to remove once established. Periwinkle appears low on the exotic invasive list, but can escape cultivation in the garden. In fact, the plant may be problematic in some areas, so be sure to check the status of this vinca in your region.
Alternative plants, should this one not be suitable in your location, include ajuga, wintercreeper, creeping juniper, and partridgeberry.
Now that you know how to grow periwinkle and manage its growth, you can make an informed decision before planting the specimen in your landscape. Periwinkle ground cover should not be confused with annual periwinkle (Catharanthus roseus), which is a different plant.
Periwinkle flowers in early spring.
Karen Russ, ©2007 HGIC, Clemson Extension
Periwinkle is also called vinca or myrtle. Of the 12 species of periwinkle, two are popular groundcovers. All species have opposite leaves and single flowers. The perennial periwinkle should not be confused with the bedding plant, Madagascar periwinkle (Catharanthus roseus).
Periwinkle (Vinca minor) is an excellent evergreen groundcover with dark green foliage. Oblong to ovate leaves are opposite, simple, ½ to 2 inches long, glossy, with a short petiole. They exude a milky juice when broken. Flowers are purple, blue or white depending on the cultivar. Plants bloom in March or April and sometimes again in the fall. Vinca minor grows about 6 inches tall, spreading in all directions by sending out long trailing and rooting shoots, which make new plants.
Vinca major or large periwinkle is a larger, more aggressive species than V. minor. Leaves are up to 3 inches long. The blue, funnel-shaped flowers are 1 to 2 inches in diameter. They are borne in abundance in early spring and sporadically throughout the summer. Large periwinkle spreads rapidly and will mound up to 2 feet. Non-flowering stems root at the tips where they touch the ground.
New growth of variegated large periwinkle emerges in spring.
Karen Russ, ©2007 HGIC, Clemson Extension
The trailing, arching stems that root where they touch the soil make these evergreen plants useful as groundcovers, for erosion control on banks, or for cascading from window boxes or planters. Periwinkle grows well under trees and shrubs, on shaded slopes or on the north side of buildings. Spring-flowering bulbs interplanted with periwinkle will lend color and interest to the groundcover planting. Daffodils are particularly well-suited since they bloom with periwinkle and do not require frequent division.
Periwinkle prefers shade but will grow well in full sun. The foliage color is richer green in partial shade, but more flowers are produced in the sun. Rooted cuttings or established plants are normally spaced from 12 to 18 inches apart. At a 6-inch spacing periwinkle will completely cover an area in one year. Plant whenever the soil is workable and provide sufficient water, especially when planting in summer. Weeding and mulching are required on a regular basis until the groundcover fills in the planted area. Periwinkle prefers moist, well-drained soil, abundantly supplied with organic matter, but it is tolerant of a wide variety of soil conditions. Fertilize only when necessary, preferably in the spring with a complete fertilizer such as 10-10-10 at a rate of 6 to 8 pounds per 1,000 square feet. Occasionally shear plants close to the ground to encourage new growth. Propagate by taking tip cuttings of non-flowering stems in late spring or divide throughout the season.
Cultivars of Periwinkle
- ‘Alba’ has white flowers.
- ‘Atropurpurea’ has purple flowers.
- ‘Bowles Variety’ has blue flowers and grows vigorously in clumps.
- ‘Variegata’ has blue flowers and leaves variegated with rich yellow.
- ‘Flore Pleno’ has double, purple flowers.
- ‘Alboplena’ bears white, double flowers.
- ‘Jekyll’s White’ has single, pure white flowers and is more floriferous than ‘Alba.’
- ‘Sterling Silver’ bears dark blue flowers and foliage with white margins.
Cultivars of Large Periwinkle
- ‘Alba’ has white flowers.
- ‘Pubescens’ bears more pubescent leaves than the species and red-purple flowers with narrow petals.
- ‘Reticulata’ has foliage netted with yellow lines.
- ‘Variegata’ has creamy white blotches on the leaves. Flowers are blue and plants are sometimes known as ‘Elegantissima.’
Periwinkle is susceptible to dieback (plants wilt and “die back” to the ground), caused by fungal diseases. Cankers, which are sunken, wound-like lesions, may be visible on the stem near the ground-line. Fungal leaf spots occasionally occur and look like brown circular-to-oval spots on the leaves. Infected leaves should be sheared off and discarded. To reduce fungal infection, avoid overhead irrigation. Chemical control is seldom necessary.
Invasive Listing Sources
- City of Ann Arbor Michigan Parks and Recreation
- Delaware Invasive Species Council
- Delaware Invasive Species Council Invasive Species List
- Georgia Exotic Pest Plant Council – Category 2
- Hoffman, R. & K. Kearns, Eds. 1997. Wisconsin manual of control recommendations for ecologically invasive plants. Wisconsin Dept. Natural Resources, Bureau of Endangered Resources. Madison, Wisconsin. 102pp.
- Indiana Invasive Species Council – Invasive Plant List
- Invasive Plant Association of Wisconsin
- Invasive Plant Species of West Virginia
- Jil M. Swearingen, Survey of invasive plants occurring on National Park Service lands, 2000-2007
- John Randall, The Nature Conservancy, Survey of TNC Preserves, 1995.
- Kentucky Exotic Pest Plant Council – Significant Threat
- Maryland Cooperative Extension Service. 2003. Invasive Plant Control in Maryland. Home and Garden Information Center, Home and Garden Mimeo HG88. 4 pp.
- National Park Service, Mid-Atlantic Exotic Plant Management Team Invasive Plant List
- Native Plant Society of Oregon, 2008
- New Hampshire Restricted Invasive Species
- Non-Native Invasive Plants of Arlington County, Virginia
- Non-Native Invasive Plants of the City of Alexandria, Virginia
- Nonnative Invasive Species in Southern Forest and Grassland Ecosystems
- Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Invasive Plants
- Plant Invaders of Mid-Atlantic Natural Areas
- Reichard, Sarah. 1994. Assessing the potential of invasiveness in woody plants introduced in North America. University of Washington Ph.D. dissertation.
- South Carolina Exotic Pest Plant Council
- Tennessee Exotic Pest Plant Council
- Virginia Invasive Plant Species List
- WeedUS – Database of Plants Invading Natural Areas in the United States
- West Virginia Invasive Species Strategic Plan and Volunteer Guidelines 2014
- West Virginia Native Plant Society, Flora West Virginia Project, and West Virginia Curatorial Database System, September 3, 1999