Periwinkle, Vinca rosea, is a perennial groundcover that has a tendency to “shrivel up and die” if they are not planted at the right time of the year and in the right flowerbed. These plants should be planted in late spring to avoid a popular disease that Periwinkle plants can get called Phytophthora. This disease is prevalent during the time when there is cool nights and rain, or the early spring. Periwinkle should also be planted in a different flowerbed each year for best results.
Blooms and Leaves:
Periwinkle blooms are either white or purplish and they occur from mid spring until mid fall. There are five petals that are fused together to create these beautiful flowers.
Periwinkle is a evergreen vine that can reach heights of 10 inches with many shiny, opposite, simple, smooth, glossy leaves that are 2 inches in length and taper on each end. These vines also have creeping stems that are long and root at the plants nodes, forming mats and aiding in the plant becoming invasive.
The fruits that these vines produce are not very noticeable, but they are brown and look like a bean.
Caring for Periwinkle is not a difficult task, especially for the rewards of beauty that you will receive in return. All it needs is sunlight, water and soil. Just about any type of sunlight will work, from light shade to full sunlight. Periwinkle will need to be watered regularly, but overwatering it will harm it. You can tell when it needs watered because it will have wilting leaves and drooping stems. It should be planted in soil that will drain so that it does not hold to much water.
Periwinkle can be propagated by dividing its rootball, by taking cuttings, from seed and from layering. Seeds can be gathered up by bagging the seedheads that the plant produces, then these seeds can be used next growing season. However, Periwinkle will reseed its self, especially if the seedheads are not bagged. This reseeding will lead to the plant invading the landscape if it is not managed well.
There are several uses for Periwinkle. The most common is as groundcover because it is so easy to grow and it will reproduce without any help, making the area fuller each year. Not only will you have beautiful greener year round, but you will have several months of beautiful flowers too.
Texas A&M University