Vinca Periwinkle Plant

Catharanthus roseus

The periwinkle plant, Catharanthus roseus looks much like an impatiens. Unlike the shade-loving Busy Lizzy, Madagascar periwinkle flowers in full sun. Vinca propagation and growing tips.


The vinca periwinkles that reseed in our yard each year.

This is one of the few summer annuals that will bloom right through the dog days of July and August. Periwinkle flowers even under drought conditions.

This makes it a great plant to mass on a sunny bank where the soil is dry. Or to display in color bowls on a sunny pool deck.

The foliage of the 6-12 inch tall and wide vinca periwinkle is medium green and shiny. Not much of it can be seen while the plant is in full bloom from spring until the first frost; the white, pink, rose, or red flowers come in such profusion.

Vinca periwinkle flowers are about an inch wide and consist of 5 petals arranged in a whirl. Some have a red, pink or yellow spot in the center. Some varieties have gaps between the petals, in others, they overlap.


How to Care for Periwinkles

White-flowered periwinkle plants are the sole occupants of this simple rock garden design at the Naples Zoo.

Catharanthus roseus does not want much water. It's a tough plant that pretty much thrives on neglect. There are no insects that bother it. The only enemy it seems to have is rot. Keep it on the dry side and you won’t have any problems.

Keep new transplants a bit moist until they are established.

Then only provide supplemental water when the plant begins to wilt.

All plants situated in full sun will wilt during the hottest part of a summer day. It's when they don't recover at dusk that they need to be watered.

Another thing Madagascar periwinkle does not want is too much food. Feed it according to the whatever/whenever method* and it will flourish.

Cuttings from my vinca plants rooting in a jar of water.

Change the water daily and roots will start to form in a week.

You can also start plants by sowing seed.

Seedlings will bloom in less than a month.

If you are setting out transplants, be careful of planting them out too early in the spring. Cold, damp weather is a recipe for rot.

Annual vinca will self-sow in the garden but the volunteers will most likely be pink although I do have a white strain that has returned each year for a decade.

The salt tolerant periwinkle plant is an excellent choice for coastal gardens.

*The Whatever/Whenever Feeding Schedule

Whatever you are feeding the rest of the garden, whenever you are doing it.


Buy Annual Periwinkle Plants & Seed

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Trailing Vinca, Peach 1 Pkt. (50 seeds)

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Vinca, Red 1 Pkt. (20 seeds)

Buy Perennial Vinca Plants

Perennial periwinkle will thrive in sun or shade. Plant these deer resistant plants wherever you want a thick, summer-blooming groundcover.

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