Vinca major

Perfect for garden decoration due to its varied color in shades between blue and purple, Vinca major is one of the plants that is worth having. It is known by the common name periwinkle and is a perennial spreading vine with flowers that vary in these colors. The flowers will make you a perfect combination with other flowers and other more striking colors.

In this article we are going to show you the main characteristics of Vinca major, how you should plant it and what care it needs.

Main features

This plant is native to southern Europe and North Africa. It has stems that do not flower and that grow along the ground. These stems serve to spread and occupy more ground in competition for food with other plants. On the other hand, the stems that do flower remain in the usual vertical position.

If we place it in places with high humidity and that is shaded, it can grow vigorously. This is the need that differs from many other plants. Typically, a plant needs direct sunlight or semi-shade and is more vulnerable to the area with stronger winds. However, Vinca major is a plant that will thank you for growing faster and stronger if you place it in shady areas, with more humidity and where the cold wind blows.

In its natural habitat it can be found in areas where there is water or streams covered by trees. Its roots and seeds are easily transported with water and easily invade new areas. That is why it is necessary to have these horizontal stems.

If we want to have them well located and guarded, we can place them in window boxes. In this way, we can have them in a shady place. We can also have it in containers or also in hanging baskets.

It gives us an excellent coverage in the ground to be able to cover less populated areas of the garden, although when growing so quickly, it probably escapes the limits that you have designated to have the plant. In places near the coast they have this plant as an invader. It is because it competes with other native plants for the land and it has a great capacity for expansion.

How to plant Vinca major

This plant is not propagated through seeds as is traditionally done with many species. This plant has always been propagated by means of some longer horizontal stems that form the roots from the node. Thanks to this extension capacity, a small part of the periwinkle is enough to start a new shoot that will give rise to another specimen completely.

With this ease of reproduction, it can spread in an incredible way and, therefore, it is considered an invasive plant. In coastal places, it tends to have areas with colder winds and the necessary humidity for its conditions to be ideal.

Let’s go step by step to see how the Vinca major is sown:

  • We will use a soil that has normal characteristics. This plant is not very demanding. It needs to have good drainage to avoid waterlogging during irrigation. It is advisable that the soil is slightly acidic, with a pH of 6.0 to 6.5.
  • As we have mentioned before, we prepare the area where we will plant it and it must be in the shade.
  • We dig the hole twice as wide as the ball with the periwinkle root. We put it in the hole with the top of the root ball and even the top of the ground.
  • We will ensure that the hole is not too deep so as not to drown the area where the stems join the roots. If this happens, the plant could die.
  • We add some water to the roots, mainly around the root ball.

Although the plant tolerates some drought, it is essential to always have an eye to water and maintain the humidity it needs.

Necessary care

This plant in itself is easy to care for and, having this great expansion capacity, it does not usually cause problems when it comes to caring for them. It tolerates the dry season and heat well, although they prefer cold winds and high humidity. If you put some fertilizer in the irrigation, you will help it in its reproduction.

You will need an area where it can grow in the shade and the soil has a sandy texture so that the horizontal stems can move more easily. If we use fertilizer, it will have to be granular and it has to be applied every two months during the growing season. If you see that its leaves begin to wilt, you should add some water immediately.

As for maintenance tasks, it only requires a small annual pruning to keep it free of pests and diseases. This is done because if we let it grow too large and become very dense, with the high humidity it requires it is easy for some insects to spread easily. With annual pruning we avoid this.

Some tips for your care

We are going to list some tips that you need to know so that Vinca major can grow correctly. Although it already has a high reproduction rate, depending on the care and considerations that you have had in its cultivation it can make the difference between a well-developed plant and one that does not.

If you have planted it in a pot, the time to transplant it is in early spring or early fall, when the flowering has already finished. In this way we guarantee that this time is not interrupted by the need to adapt to a new environment. Preferably, it is better to plant a group of Vinca major rather than one or two per solitary.

Before buying it from a nursery, make sure it does not have any wilted leaves and that it is healthy, vigorous and does not have any pests or diseases. Be careful with children and pets as it can be poisonous if ingested in large quantities.

I hope these tips help you to grow Vinca major well and enjoy its flowers.

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