Periwinkle - 'Vinca minor'Vinca minor is a plant species originally native to parts of central and southern Europe. Commonly used and referred to as a 'groundcover,' Vinca minor is most often used to cover bare places of ground and is dense in its nature of growth. With a habit that most often chokes out competing plants and weeds, Periwinkle is excellent for preventing soil erosion. Vinca minor also remains aesthetically pleasing most of the year, as it tends to bloom with a light blue-violet flower throughout the spring and summer months. Please abstain from using it as an edging for the lawn, as it will easily spread into the grass.
||Periwinkle, Lesser Periwinkle, Myrtle, and Creeping Myrtle|
||Leaves are opposite, simple, elliptic, and evergreen with new growth emerging early, often March, in a handsome yellow green.|
||Shining green, glabrous|
||3-6" high ground hugging plant|
||Zone 3 to 8(9), can be grown further north when protected by snow. For an idea of your plant zone please visit the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map.|
||Low growing, prostrate, mat forming evergreen ground cover, spreading indefinitely|
||Medium to fast; in a loose, organic, well drained soil will fill in very fast.|
||Perfect, lilac-blue, 1" diameter, March-April|
|Diseases & Insects:
||Blight, canker and dieback, leaf spots, and root rot; the canker and dieback (Phomopsis livella) disease have been significant problems, the shoots become dark brown, wilt, and die back to the surface of the soil.|
||Excellent ground cover; the dainty blue flowers are handsome as is the lustrous foliage; plant on 1' centers; makes its best growth in shade and here can form large carpets under the leafy canopy; the new growth energes a rich spring green and the flowers appear at the same time; flowers over a long period; never really spectacular unless viewed close up; too often large seas of the plant are used in dense shade|
||Will grow in moist, well-drained, loamy, sandy or clay soils. Vinca minor is not picky.|
||Deadhead after blooming and divide plants in fall or spring to keep them within their bounds.|
||While decaying leaves are a suggested source of nutrition for the plant, you can fertilize with basic store bought plant foods (both slow release solid and water soluable) and manure for established plants every other year. It is recommended that you fertilize in the early spring of these years.
||Start at the farthest away area and plant the 'groundcover' evenly and outwards (like painting yourself into a corner). Water well, and remember to water regularly until they have started to grow.