Vinca as ground cover

Periwinkle is a gentle color named after the lesser periwinkle herb. It is in the indigo family and is a shade somewhere between blue and violet. To the naked eye, it appears pale blue with hints of lavender throughout. The hex triplet code for periwinkle is #CCCCFF.

Brief history of color periwinkle..

As mentioned before, periwinkle is named after a delicate flowering plant. The name is derived from the flower’s former name, pervinca, which was used by the Romans. Periwinkle plants have small, star-shaped blooms in hues ranging from white to purple. In old English churches, lavender-hued periwinkles were used to symbolize the Virgin Mary. The word “periwinkle” was finally used to describe a specific color in 1922.

Periwinkle as a color

With paint, periwinkle can be created by mixing blue, violet, and white until a pastel shade is reached. The color can appear more blue or purple depending on lighting or position beside other colors. Because it’s more of a muted, understated tone, periwinkle is evocative of friendship, fond memories, and innocence. Periwinkle’s delicate and feminine qualities also makes it a popular color for weddings, especially bridesmaid dresses.

Using periwinkle

Because periwinkle is such an in-between color, it’s best used in conjunction with primary and neutral tones. Its subtlety makes it perfect in large quantities without being overwhelming, so it would be effective as a wall color or focal point in a room. Because it consists of both blue and purple hues, periwinkle complements a variety of color schemes. It also has the added bonus of working next to colors that would normally clash with blue or violet alone.

Periwinkle in color psychology

Psychologists have studied the effects of different colors on human behavior for a long time. Colors in the blue family tend to have an overall calming, positive effect on the human mind, and periwinkle is no exception. Its muted hues invoke feelings of geniality, optimism, and lightheartedness within the viewer. It’s a good option for offices and libraries, where it can help encourage an atmosphere of quiet productivity.

Periwinkle Care – How To Grow Periwinkle Plants

The common periwinkle plant (Vinca minor) is often spotted creeping down steep hillsides and banks, offering a green and growing affect in areas which might otherwise be bare. The periwinkle plant is exceptional as an erosion control specimen. Periwinkle is also used as a spreading shrub in USDA garden zones 4 to 8. Periwinkle is often also called creeping vinca or creeping myrtle.

Periwinkle is most often grown as a ground cover. The periwinkle plant takes its common name from the attractive blooms that dot the foliage in April to May, appearing in the color of periwinkle blue. More than 30 varieties of this plant exist, some with variegated foliage and other bloom colors. When planting periwinkle, choose what best suits your landscape.

How to Grow Periwinkle Plants

This broad-leaf evergreen plant grows easily and periwinkle care most often involves keeping the prolific spreader in check. Periwinkle, once established, is drought resistant and needs little other care if properly sited in the landscape.

Periwinkle care after planting may include the removal of tall weeds in the area. Once established, growing periwinkle will likely shade out future growth of weeds and eliminate this chore.

The periwinkle plant grows best in a partially shaded area in acidic soil; however, it can thrive in a variety of sunlight and soil conditions. Growing periwinkle in partial shade creates more vigorous growth. In many instances, extreme vigor may not be desirable unless the periwinkle plant needs to cover a large area. One small plant can spread to 8 feet (2.4 m.) across.

Growing periwinkle as a ground cover is common, as it rarely reaches more than 4 inches (10 cm.) in height. Periwinkle is best used for controlling erosion as described above. Do not plant near other specimens in the flower bed or garden, as it may overtake and choke out valuable plantings. This plant may be used as a climber on a non-living support and is useful for blocking views when used in this way.

Before planting periwinkle, make sure it is what you want in the area, as it is difficult to remove once established. Periwinkle appears low on the exotic invasive list, but can escape cultivation in the garden. In fact, the plant may be problematic in some areas, so be sure to check the status of this vinca in your region.

Alternative plants, should this one not be suitable in your location, include ajuga, wintercreeper, creeping juniper, and partridgeberry.

Now that you know how to grow periwinkle and manage its growth, you can make an informed decision before planting the specimen in your landscape. Periwinkle ground cover should not be confused with annual periwinkle (Catharanthus roseus), which is a different plant.

Explore Blue Paint Colors

Blue Paint

Add an element of serenity and relaxation into your home by incorporating blue paint colors into your design. Grab some swatches to decide what shade of blue is best for your space, then keep the following tips in mind when planning your next paint job.

Types of Blue Paint Colors

There are many shades in the blue color palette that provide different effects when used in your décor. Here are a few shades to consider:

  • Light Blues: Baby blue color – or light blue – is a classic choice that’s easy on the eyes and helps boost relaxation. When painted on your walls, baby blue has a softening effect, making it one of the best blue paint colors for bedrooms and bathrooms. When it comes to complementing other colors, baby blue works well with bright white, beige, and gold. Sky blue paint is another great selection that provides similar effects.
  • Periwinkle: Described as a mix between lavender and blue, periwinkle provides a fresher and more whimsical look to your space. Stick with gray colors for trims and accents. To warm up your space, complement periwinkle with burnt orange, brown or sharp shades of black.
  • Electric Blue: Pick this deep-toned shade of blue if you’re looking for a burst of energy within your space. Electric blue works perfectly as an accent wall, but you can also try incorporating this color on your kitchen cabinets or dining room wall. It’s best to choose white or off-white colors for any trims and accents.

More Painting Tips

Before starting your design project, stock up on the painting tools you’ll need to get the job done.

  • Brushes: When looking for a paint brush, decide whether you need a flat or an angle brush, or a thin angle one. Flat brushes are best for large surfaces. Angle brushes are ideal for cutting in at the ceiling or painting trim. Thin angle brushes are excellent for detail work.
  • Tapes: Painter`s tape is another important tool to keep on hand. Painter’s and masking tape are often interchangeable, but there are differences between the two. Masking tape is more affordable than painter’s tape, but painter’s tape doesn’t leave sticky residue, won’t pucker when it’s painted over, and leaves clean lines when it’s removed.

Whether you’re looking to spruce up your bathroom, living room, or bedroom, blue paint colors are on trend and are a great choice to instantly freshen up any room.

Variegated Vinca Vine – Love It Or Hate It?

I seem to have a love-hate relationship with the variegated vinca vine. I know its invasive tendencies, but I still admire it for its hardiness, its striking blue-purple flowers, and its lovely variegated foliage.


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Variegated Greater Periwinkle (Vinca major ‘Variegata’)
Posted by Sharon

Because of its intense blue flowers and leaf variegation, I have grownVinca major ‘Variegata’ (also called bigleaf periwinkle) in containers for many years. but it is sometimes tricky to keep this plant containerized, given the fact that it will take root anywhere it touches the ground. The vine is frequently used for erosion control in large areas where there is shade or partial shade, and it has escaped cultivation in many places.
Even though it has been declared an invasive species in California and other states, it is not invasive in all areas where it grows. Just as many other non-native plants, its ability to invade an area is determined by location and planting situation. In some parts of the country, vinca vine has escaped cultivation and invaded natural woodland areas. In other parts of the country, it has remained an aggressively spreading, shade-loving groundcover that can be controlled by cutting back the new shoot growth every year or by mowing over the area.
Common Periwinkle (Vinca minor ‘Ralph Shugert’)
Posted by Angelbee
Greater Periwinkle (Vinca major ‘Wojo’s Jem’)
Posted by Paul2032

Periwinkle (Vinca minor ‘Illumination’)
Posted by Paul2032
Vinca minor ‘Blue and Gold’
Posted by Skiekitty

Some ideas for replacing vinca vine with natives in a large area or on a slope include native grasses, such as Bouteloua dactyloides (buffalograss) and Bouteloua gracilis (blue grama). These attractive grasses are short and do not require mowing.

Bouteloua dactyloides

Bouteloua gracilis

Creeping Myrtle is also called Vinca Minor

Scientific Name: Vinca Minor, Creeping Myrtle

Shrub Height: 16 inches

Shrub Width: 36 inches

Soil Type: It prefers moist, well-drained soil, but will tolerate poor and dry.

Sun: It prefers shade.

Creeping myrtle is also known as dwarf periwinkle and lesser periwinkle

Its other names include small periwinkle and common periwinkle.

It is often used as ground cover and does not grow very high, or climb, although it can bunch together in places to reach over twelve inches in height. It can be found growing native to southern Europe but can be located in the Netherlands, Portugal, France, and across North America. Creeping myrtle is easily distinguished by its purple, five-petal flower and waxy leaves. The fruit is two follicles approximately one-inch long. Each follicle produces over a dozen seeds.

Creeping Myrtle excels at preventing weeds through smothering, and has few pests or diseases that affect its growth

In North America, it is considered an invasive species, but it can be removed by uprooting during spring. It is deemed to be difficult to remove and requires persistent cutting and chemical treatments. If removal is desired, it is suggested the plant be dug entirely up against where possible.

This vine-like perennial plant produces tubular, lavender-blue flowers from its leaf axils in spring. The delicate flowers continue to bloom sporadically throughout summer and into fall. The color name periwinkle is derivative of the flowers of this plant, also known as Common Periwinkle.

The trailing stems root at the leaf nodes and rapidly spread to create a lovely, dense ground cover. Though not as invasive as its larger leafed relative, Vinca major, Creeping Myrtle is quite vigorous. Once this fast-growing plant becomes established, it is complicated to eradicate. Due to its hardiness, this plant is an excellent choice for areas with poor soil and drainage. It is also very helpful in erosion control applications.

Creeping myrtle is a popular choice for a ground cover.

The periwinkle plant (Vinca flower) – Catharanthus roseus or lochnera rosea, also known as rosy periwinkles, is a lovely small plant that grows outside very well but also finds itself at home in a summer window.

The plant Catharanthus roseus is sometimes called Vinca minor and Vinca periwinkle. It’s also commonly called the Madagascar Periwinkle.

Here is the primary reason to use the correct botanical names of plants. Vinca minor is also known as the common periwinkle is a different plant and is considered an invasive species in:

  • Georgia
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Kentucky

Periwinkle vinca minor carries the common names:

  • Lesser periwinkle
  • Periwinkle myrtle
  • Creeping periwinkle
  • Dwarf periwinkle

… serves as a ground cover plant where grass won’t grow.

On the other hand, Catharanthus roseus grows as an annual plant mainly used in sunny flower beds, pots and as a ground cover.

Both periwinkle vinca minor and vinca rosea are found in garden centers from early spring to late summer but have different uses.

This article focuses on periwinkle plant care, with its shiny green foliage and flowers of pink, red or white periwinkle which cover the plant all through the summer.

Is The Periwinkle Flower An Annual Or Perennial?

Normally, the vinca minor plant lasts only one year, however, that depends on where the periwinkle plant is growing.

In northern climates, it would be considered an annual that usually last for only one year.

However, in warmer climates, it can grow as a perennial. Indoors it makes an excellent windowsill plant.

It grows best in USDA hardiness zones 4 to 11.

Vinca Periwinkle Care

Vinca minor is a small upright grower and has a maximum height of about 8″-12″ inches tall. The leaves are very shiny and long, with a clear almost white center vein. I have seen plants stretch and grow taller than 8 inches when they did not have adequate light.

The Ralph Shugert periwinkle, under the vinca minor type, is an evergreen shrub that bears dark green leaves and violet-blue flowers.

Like most species, Ralph Shugert is drought tolerant, requires well-drained soil and enjoys full sun to partial shade. It can only grow up to 15 cm.

On the other hand, Vinca major or greater periwinkle is a bigger perennial species of family Apocynaceae.

Vinca minor plant grows up to 10″ inches tall (25 cm) and dense masses can pile up to 28″ inches wide (70 cm).

What Colors Do Periwinkle Flowers Come In?

The periwinkle flower comes in shades of pink, red or white and the flowers can be in several different shades and can either be plain or variegated.

What Kind Of Soil Do Vinca Flowers Need?

Periwinkles can be grown in the ground on in pots. No matter how they are planted they appreciate a well-drained soil. When planting in pots or containers a bagged potting soil will be fine.

If grown indoors on a windowsill, I would recommend a soil mix used to grow African violets.

This is because many potting soil mixes used outdoors may contain wood products and you could soon find yourself with a fungus gnat problem indoors.

Where Can The Periwinkle Flower Be Grown or Used?

Periwinkle plants are easy to grow and care for. Provide them a well-drained moist soil, plenty of bright light, warm temperatures 65° F and above and they will do wonderfully out on the patio or deck as potted plants.

Since the plant grows relatively low to the ground plants they make excellent additions as a ground cover or to container gardens in beds to add color below larger shrubs.

They also provide lots of easy color when grown in hanging baskets. Give plants lots of light with a little partial shade to protect them against the strong rays of the sun.

If plants become a little straggler, they can simply be cut back to make them bushier!

Plant periwinkles where they get good air, sun and drainage and there will be no keeping them from blooming.

You may also like –> Growing Trailing Vinca

How To Grow Periwinkle From Seed

Periwinkles are easy to grow from seed. This may be a better alternative than overwintering plants.

Where can you find periwinkle seeds? Like so many things – at Amazon!

You can sow seed at any time of the year but it is normal to sow seeds during the months of January through April. The seed is very, very light with 1 gram containing 700 to 800 seeds.

Cultivation usually is for 3 to 4 months and the seeds should germinate within the first 2 to 3 weeks at a temperature of 63 to 65°.

The seed should be sown in normal potting soil and covered with a thin layer of sand.

I like to mix the fine seed with builder sand – available at home improvement centers – when sowing to get an even distribution.

Keep the soil damp during this period. The total growing time from sewing to mature plant is about 3 to 4 months.

What Pests, Disease or Problems Does The Periwinkle Face?

During the summer months, plant lice aphids may attack. Usually, a good blast of water is one of the natural ways to get rid of aphids. Another is to apply organic insecticide neem oil sprays if needed but I have never needed to.

Lower Leaves Turing Yellow and Falling Off

When lower foliage turns yellow and fall off, it usually is the sign of too much water or the plant has been subjected to cold.

Back off the water or with it is cold related move the plant to a warmer position.

Leaves Droop and Fall

When leaves hang, droop and fall it normally is a periwinkle plant growing in a pot and has dried out too much. The best solution is to drop the whole pot into a bucket of Luke warm water for at least half an hour.

When the weather is warm, plants may need to be watered daily.

Related Reading: Is The Periwinkle Plant Poisonous?

Uses For Periwinkle Plant

Apart from functioning as a ground cover to areas where grass won’t grow, periwinkle also serves as a source of alkaloids for medicinal use. With a total of 86 alkaloids, the periwinkle plant extract covers a lot of benefits.

One of its products is vinpocetine, a synthetic derivative coming from the vincas alkaloid vincamine. This compound aids short-term memory and serves as an anti-aging agent.

Vincristine and vinblastine can treat various forms of cancer such as leukemia, child cancers, Hodgkin disease or Hodgkin lymphoma, and other types of lymphoma.

Summary Of Periwinkle Catharanthus Roseus

This native of Europe, India, and Madagascar is a fine plant to add color with minimal requirements. I prefer to grow the plant outdoors in the landscape as a ground cover or in containers, where color can be moved as needed.

Give the periwinkle plant a try… you won’t be disappointed.

Annual Vinca

With heat, drought and poor soil tolerance, annual vinca (Catharanthus roseus), also known as Madagascar periwinkle, is a very popular annual in South Carolina.

Annual vinca is available in variety of colors.
Photo by Karen Russ, ©2008 HGIC, Clemson Extension


The plants grow 1 or 2 feet high and about the same in width. There are new spreading types that are wider and lower. Most vinca have a dense, rounded form.

Growth Rate

Vinca is grown as an annual. It will often return in following summers from self-sown seed. Annual vinca is not the same as the perennial periwinkles (Vinca minor or V. major) that are grown as groundcovers.

Ornamental Features

Vinca has durable, abundant flowers from June to frost. It is now available in a wonderful selection of new colors, larger flowers and even new growth habits. Both creeping and dwarf upright types are available.

Flowers and bud of ‘Pacifica Polka Dot’ annual vinca.
Photo by Karen Russ, ©2008 HGIC, Clemson Extension

Landscape Use

Vinca is an easy-to-grow annual for beds, borders, edging and containers. Vinca prefers full sun, tolerates heat and drought and can be relied on to flower in the hottest weather throughout the entire summer.

Vinca takes a long time to flower when started from seed. It should not be planted outside until the ground is very warm. If planted too early, vinca often develops fungus problems. Improper pH may increase disease problems with vinca. A pH of 5.4 to 5.8 is ideal. Good soil drainage is important to prevent disease.

Vinca does not need either deadheading or pinching to maintain its bloom and form.


Annual vinca is one of the most trouble-free bedding plants. Some diseases such as root rots, stem rots and foliar diebacks can occur.

A ‘Mediterranean’ series spreading annual vinca.
Photo by Karen Russ, ©2008 HGIC, Clemson Extension


  • ‘Apricot Delight’ has flowers white-flushed with apricot and a bright raspberry eye.
  • ‘Blue Pearl’ is the closest to a blue vinca yet developed. It is a soft lavender blue with a white eye that grows to 18 inches tall.
  • ‘Cooler Series’ has a uniform growth habit and clear, vibrant colors. ‘Coolers’ grow to 14 inches tall.
  • ‘Heat Wave Series’ blooms extra early and grows to only 10 inches tall.
  • ‘Mediterranean’ is a new series of spreading vinca. They reach only 6 inches tall and spread up to 2 feet wide. They can be used in hanging baskets, window boxes and at the front of the flowerbed. Colors available are lilac and white.
  • ‘Pacifica Series’ grows to 14 inches tall and has large 2-inch-wide flowers with overlapping petals. This series is well-branched and extra early blooming. It is available in white, pink, rose and light purples with or without contrasting “eyes.” ‘Pacifica Red’ is the first true red vinca.
  • ‘Passion’ is a striking, deep orchid purple with a yellow eye. It grows 18 inches tall.
  • ‘Tropicana Series’ is early blooming and has very large, rounded flowers. They grow to 15 inches or more.

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