Vinca Minor is a unique flowering plant that usually grows under old trees, in the woods, and along roads. You can also use them to make your flower garden more vibrant. Although vinca minor are relatively easy to grow, you’ll have to plant them at the right time in order to get vibrant flowers.
The best time to plant vinca minor is early spring since it blooms in spring for a month and then again in mid-summer. You can grow them in well-drained soil under partial sun or shade. Fully grown vinca minors don’t need to be watered regularly, since they’re relatively drought-tolerant.
Let’s take a closer look at the ideal conditions for growing vinca minor, when to plant it, and how to protect it from pests.
What Is Vinca Minor?
If you’re a gardener, you’ll easily recognize vinca minor thanks to the white latex visible on its stems and broad leaves. Its flower petals give the impression of a wheel encircling the center.
Vinca minor is also known as creeping myrtle, dwarf myrtle, and common periwinkle.
The stem of vinca minor (on Amazon) can grow up 3-6 inches tall, while its vine can grow to around 18 inches long. The stems of vinca minor are round and dark green, while its flowers bloom in stunning blue, purple, lavender, and white colors.
Keep in mind that vinca minor is a toxic plant that can harm humans and animals, so don’t let the flower’s beauty deceive you.
You can grow vinca minor around other flower bulbs to protect them from deer and other pests. Since these plants are toxic, pests tend to stay away from them, and your flower garden will remain intact.
Vinca minor also helps stabilize your garden’s soil and prevents erosion. If you want better oxygenation of the soil, then grow vinca minor along with other plants.
When to Plant Vinca Minor
Because vinca minor first blooms in spring and then continues through the summer and early fall, it’s best to plant it in early spring. It should spread rapidly, as the roots develop nodes where they come into contact with the soil.
If you can’t plant vinca minor in early spring, you can also do so in summer and even into fall. It’s quite a hardy plant!
How Is Vinca Minor Different From Regular Vinca?
Both vinca minor and regular vinca are ornamental plants that grow very fast, and both types are good choices for ground cover. Also, both vinca plants have single flowers with petals encircling the center.
Vinca minor is native to southern and central Europe, while regular vinca is native to the western Mediterranean region. The difference of origin is behind the difference in colors between vinca and vinca minor.
Regular vinca flower petals have colors such as red, pink, yellowish-white, scarlet, and raspberry. Vinca minor comes in darker colors, such as blue and purple.
If you want to grow both vinca minor and regular vinca in your garden, you don’t need to worry about the soil composition. Both types need fertile soil with good moisture and proper drainage. However, there’s no need to worry if the soil in your garden is poor since both vinca minor and regular vinca can grow in poor soil.
Another key difference between both types of vinca flowers is the difference in their blooming time. Vinca minor blooms in spring for around one month. It also blooms in mid-summer. Regular vinca can bloom in summer and autumn, but it does so in irregular intervals.
Vinca minor is also hardier and can tolerate sudden changes in weather like drought and heat, while regular vinca can only withstand heat but will rot without moisture.
Also, you won’t need to take extra care to protect vinca minor or regular vinca from pests or insects. However, if you neglect your plants completely, they might get attacked by aphids, blight, root rot, leaf spot, or scale insects.
Just like vinca minor, regular vinca is a vine plant that rapidly spreads on the ground and becomes a protective mat. These vines are non-climbing vines and grow better when they take up a larger surface area.
How Much Water Does Vinca Minor Need?
Vinca minor requires very little water compared to most plants. However, even though vinca minor can withstand drought, you shouldn’t neglect watering them, especially when they’re young. Only mature vinca minor can tolerate the lack of water for a long period of time.
If you’ve just planted vinca minor in your garden, you need to water them like any other young plant so that they can grow properly. Watering also depends upon your climate. In hot areas, your plants will need more water, and vice versa.
If you’re in a USDA zone with extreme heat, it’s best that you water the vinca minor daily for at least a week to ensure that they won’t dry out and die. After a week, change the watering schedule to alternate days.
Don’t water the plants if the moisture on them is visible or the soil is still wet. If you’re in a USDA zone with constant rainfall, you should set the waiting schedule for your flowers accordingly.
Avoid watering the plant in the rainy season and drain the water regularly because excess water can damage the roots.
Mornings are the best time to water vinca minor because the daytime heat later on can cause water to evaporate too rapidly. Also, remember that you have to give vinca minor time to dry before watering them.
Which Type of Soil Is Best for Vinca?
Vinca minor needs soil with good drainage to grow properly. You can grow it in gardens as well as pots, but ensure that the soil is well-drained. You can also add organic compost to improve the soil’s drainage.
You’ll also need to add fertilizer if the soil lacks organic material.
Add fertilizer to the soil once a month but not more than that. Also, avoid overusing fertilizers or other gardening chemicals because they can damage vinca minor plants.
If your garden has dry or slightly sandy soil, there’s no need to worry since vinca minors can tolerate dry soil. However, they can’t grow in waterlogged or clay soils, and you’ll need to create a raised bed if your garden has these soils.