- Growing Annual Vinca From Seed: Gathering And Germinating Seeds Of Vinca
- How to Gather Vinca Seeds
- When to Plant Annual Vinca Seeds
- Periwinkle Seed – Vinca Rosea Little Mix Ground Cover Seeds
- Periwinkle For Sale Online
- Propagating Periwinkle
- Pruning Periwinkle
- How to Gather Vinca Seed
- Plant profile: Vincas
- A Shopper’s Guide to Vinca
Growing Annual Vinca From Seed: Gathering And Germinating Seeds Of Vinca
Also known as rose periwinkle or Madagascar periwinkle (Catharanthus roseus), annual vinca is a versatile little stunner with shiny green foliage and blooms of pink, white, rose, red, salmon or purple. Although this plant isn’t frost-hardy, you can grow it as a perennial if you live in USDA plant hardiness zones 9 and above. Collecting vinca seeds from mature plants isn’t difficult, but growing annual vinca from seed is a little trickier. Read on to learn how.
How to Gather Vinca Seeds
When collecting vinca seeds, look for long, narrow, green seedpods hidden on the stems beneath blooming flowers. Snip or pinch the pods when the petals drop from the blooms and the pods are turning from yellow to brown. Watch the plant carefully. If you wait too long, the pods will split and you’ll lose the seeds.
Drop the pods into a paper sack and place them in a warm, dry spot. Shake the bag every day or two until the pods are completely dry. You can also drop the pods into a shallow pan and put the pan in a sunny (non-windy) location until the pods are completely dry.
Once the pods are completely dry, open them carefully and remove the tiny black seeds. Place the seeds in a paper envelope and store them in a cool, dry, well-ventilated location until planting time. Freshly harvested seeds usually don’t do well because germinating vinca seeds require a period of dormancy.
When to Plant Annual Vinca Seeds
Plant vinca seeds indoors three to four months before the last frost of the season. Cover the seeds lightly with soil, then lay a damp newspaper over the tray because germinating seeds of vinca require total darkness. Place the seeds where temperatures are around 80 F. (27 C.).
Check the tray daily and remove the newspaper as soon as seedlings emerge – generally two to nine days. At this point, move the seedlings into bright sunlight and room temperature is at least 75 F. (24 C.).
Our Favorite Vinca ( Periwinkle )
Vinca does not like cold, or even cool, temperatures or an abundance of moisture; both conditions existing outdoors in spring. Starting indoors, you control the environment.
Plan to sow the seeds 10 to 12 weeks before your average last frost in spring. Fill a shallow container or a flat with individual cells with a seed-starting mix. Moisten the mix and let it drain.
Sow seeds in rows in the container or 3 to 4 seeds per cell. Cover the seeds completely with 1/4 inch of the mix; press the mix down lightly and spritz the surface with water to moisten it and settle the seeds. Vinca requires total darkness to germinate; if light reaches the seeds, fewer of them will germinate. Cover the container with a sheet of black plastic or slip it inside a black plastic trash bag (instead of the usual clear plastic bag you use for other seeds, such as petunias and geraniums). If you can, set the container on a heating cable or mat to maintain a temperature of 77 degrees F (25 degrees C) in the media. Seeds will germinate in one to two weeks. Immediately remove the plastic cover and place the container in your sunniest window or in a fluorescent-light garden. Grow the plants at 70 degrees F or higher.
Don’t overwater or overfeed the seedlings. Remember that vinca is drought tolerant. Water when the planting medium dries, but before the plants wilt. Fertilize about 10 days after the seeds have germinated. Use a water-soluble fertilizer that is low in phosphorus (the second number on a plant food label: 10-4-3, for example) and preferably obtains most of its nitrogen (the first number on the label) from a source other than ammonium nitrate.
When seedlings are about 2 inches tall, snip off all but the strongest plant in each cell at soil level. Space plants in flats about 2 inches apart. Transplant them to individual 2-1/2-inch pots when they reach about 3 inches tall and have at least three to four true leaves. Provide good air circulation by not overcrowding the plants. Provide high light levels, a southern window for example, to avoid “stretched” or leggy plants.
Fertilize again in two weeks.
Keep the plants indoors until soil and air temperatures outdoors are consistently above 65 degrees F.
Vinca branches naturally so you do not need to pinch out the growing tips to create a full, bushy plant.
JF791 CoraCascade Violet Vigorous trailing plants are evenly covered with extra-large, glowing magenta blooms, filling large beds, landscapes and baskets without bald spots. Plants grow well even in less-than-ideal conditions and are excellent for areas with extended periods of hot, dry weather. Height: 6-8″. Spread: 32-36″.
CoraCascade are F1, Vigorous trailing plants for baskets or beds, patented phytophthora resistance, heat and humidity tolerant JF792 CoraCascade Polka Dot Vigorous trailing plants are evenly covered with extra-large, white with red eye blooms, filling large beds, landscapes and baskets without bald spots. Plants grow well even in less-than-ideal conditions and are excellent for areas with extended periods of hot, dry weather. Height: 6-8″. Spread: 32-36″.
CoraCascade are F1, Vigorous trailing plants for baskets or beds, patented phytophthora resistance, heat and humidity tolerant TRN956 Tattoo Black Cherry Swirls of cherry and raspberry airbrushed with black tones.
Large rounded blooms with airbrushed look, well branched, green leaf, love heat, specimens in display pots or garden, grows 12″ tall. JF682 Tattoo Papaya Sort orange tones with inky black eye.
Large rounded blooms with airbrushed look, well branched, green leaf, love heat, specimens in display pots or garden, grows 12″ tall. TRM855 Mediterranean Peach Apricot peach color. Trailing Vinca, better than the old Carpet series, heat resistant, for baskets or groundcover, XP Quality, grows 12″ tall. TRM857 Mediterranean Strawberry Strawberry color. Trailing Vinca, better than the old Carpet series, heat resistant, for baskets or groundcover, XP Quality, grows 12″ tall. W249 Little Mix This is a fabulous performer for the hot summer garden. For hot southern, desert climates or a hard to maintain spot near a concrete wall or driveway,this is your ground cover plant! It seems to perform the best when other plants are wilting from the heat.
Begins blooming extra-early with big flowers in dazzling colors, and it continues right up until fall frosts. Little Mix has blooms that are 2 inches across and the colors range from white to deep rose with tones in-between. The blooms have a large center eye with a contrasting color and are just gorgeous.
The foliage is uniform and neat with shiny leaves. It’s many uses include: edging the front of the bed or border, baskets, containers and an excellent ground cover plant. TRM860 Pacifica Bold Mix Mix of Cranberry, Really Red, Deep Orchid, Orange colors. 1-1/2″ flowers, overlapping petals, mounded habit, dark green leaf. Grows 12″ tall. TRM862 Jam N Jellies American Pie Mix Mix of strawberry red, white, and blackberry, provide your own crust. Grows 15″ tall. 3192 Cooler Series Peppermint Vinca ( Periwinkle ) White with red eye. Cooler Series Vinca feature 1½” flowers, overlapping petals, mounded habit, dark green leaf, grows 10″ tall, blooms in 14 weeks. Grow as annual. 3202 Victory Blue Vinca ( Periwinkle ) Purplish blue with white eye, rare color, patented. Victory Series feature large 2″ flowers, dark green leaf, compact habit, field trial award winner North and South, a major advance in Vincas, brilliant hot colors, grows 10″ tall, blooms in 13 weeks, grow as annual. 3204 Victory Deep Pink Vinca ( Periwinkle ) Deep Pink with white eye. Victory Series feature large 2″ flowers, dark green leaf, compact habit, field trial award winner North and South, a major advance in Vincas, brilliant hot colors, grows 10″ tall, blooms in 13 weeks, grow as annual. 3205 Victory Lavender Vinca ( Periwinkle ) Lavender blue with white eye, patented. Victory Series feature large 2″ flowers, dark green leaf, compact habit, field trial award winner North and South, a major advance in Vincas, brilliant hot colors, grows 10″ tall, blooms in 13 weeks, grow as annual. 3207 Victory Pure White Vinca ( Periwinkle ) Pure snow white, patented. Victory Series feature large 2″ flowers, dark green leaf, compact habit, field trial award winner North and South, a major advance in Vincas, brilliant hot colors, grows 10″ tall, blooms in 13 weeks, grow as annual. BM54 Pacifica Apricot Vinca ( Periwinkle ) Soft peach with dark red eye. 1½” flowers, overlapping petals, mounded habit, dark green leaf, grows 10″ tall, blooms in 14 weeks, grow as annual.
Periwinkle Seed – Vinca Rosea Little Mix Ground Cover Seeds
USDA Zones: 3 – 10
Height: 8 – 10 inches
Width: 24 – 36 inches
Bloom Season: Summer through fall
Bloom Color: Mix
Growth Rate: Fast
Environment: Full sun
Foot Traffic: Light
Soil Type: Moist, well-drained, pH 6.1 – 7.8
Deer Resistant: Yes
Temperature: 65 – 70F
Average Germ Time: 10 – 14 days
Light Required: No – complete darkness to germinate
Depth: 1/4 inch
Sowing Rate: 2 – 3 seeds per plant or approximately 2,000 seeds covers 50 square feet
Moisture: Keep seeds moist until germination
Plant Spacing: 6 – 9 inches
Note: For detailed directions for indoor and outdoor planting, please
Care & Maintenance: Periwinkle
Periwinkle (Vinca Rosea Dwarf Little Mix) – This fabulous performer for the hot summer garden is grown from Periwinkle seeds. For hot southern, desert climates or a hard to maintain spot near a concrete wall or driveway, Vinca Periwinkle is your ground cover plant! It seems to perform the best when other plants are wilting from the heat.
This annual begins blooming extra-early with big flowers in dazzling colors, and it continues right up until fall frosts. The mix of blooms are 2 inches across and the colors range from white to deep rose with tones in-between. The blooms have a large center eye with a contrasting color and are just gorgeous. The foliage is uniform and neat with shiny leaves. Periwinkle uses include: edging the front of the bed or border, baskets, containers and an excellent ground cover plant.
Grow Vinca Rosea seeds indoors 6 to 10 weeks before the last frost is expected. Cover the flower seeds with 1/4 inch of potting mix, spray with water to moisten and press down lightly. These ground cover seeds will not germinate in any sort of light, so cover trays or containers with a black plastic sheet or a newspaper. Lift the plastic or newspaper regularly to moisten by misting. Once the seedlings emerge, they need bright light. At about 2 – 3 inches tall, transplant the strongest plants into individual pots. The Periwinkle plant can be moved outside once the temperature is consistently above 65F degrees. Directly sowing Vinca seeds is not recommended, but if you choose to direct sow, follow the same steps as above. Wait until danger of frost has passed and temperatures are consistently warm, and prepare the soil well so that it is light and fine.
Shake ‘n Seed – We are now offering shaker bottles filled with our seed starting matrix: rich soil, gardening sand, water absorbing crystals, and starter fertilizer. This not only helps dispense your seed, but it gets it off to a great start! Simply remove lid from shaker bottle, add seed from packet, put back on lid, shake the bottle vigorously for 15 seconds, and then shake your way to beautiful new plants! Use Shake ‘n Seed over good quality soil, and then gently water to keep seed moist until it sprouts. Great for ground covers or mass planting flower seeds.
Periwinkle For Sale Online
Periwinkle is for sale online throughout the year. Periwinkle is a delightful – and very popular – evergreen and groundcover plant also known by the name Vinca. As such, there are two different varieties. Vinca major and Vinca minor. Vinca major grows taller and produces larger flowers than Vinca minor, but is not winter hardy. Vinca Minor is smaller and winter hardy, sporting beautiful white, blue, violet or red-purple flowers during spring. With their stunning dark green, white veined or gold-leaf leaves (depending on the variety you purchase), this maintenance free groundcover plant looks fabulous wherever you plant it. It grows well in shady gardens and is a very efficient weed suppressor. Combine perennial Periwinkle with Hosta, Polygonatum or Hortensia for stunning border display. Periwinkle keeps weeds down in your garden and flower borders. It is a great garden asset.
Propagate Periwinkle by taking softwood cuttings. It is very simple to do. Vinca minor cuttings root easily as soon as they buried in soil. Plant the cuttings in your flower border or under a shrub or tree. The best time to propagate periwinkle by taking cuttings is in May, June or July. This attractive, perennial plant is an evergreen that suppresses weeds. It is also non-invasive. Tip: The more sun the plants receive, the more profusely they bloom.
It is not necessary to prune Periwinkle. If you wish, you can cut your plants back during spring. This is to retain its shape. The best time to prune Vinca is the end of March or early April. Do not prune every year to ensure good flowering plants.
How to Gather Vinca Seed
vinca spring flowering carpet image by starush from Fotolia.com
Vinca, also called common periwinkle, is a low growing annual plant with small five-petal flowers that are most commonly purple or white, though pink, rose and red are also found. It is an annual that self propagates from seed and can spread quickly. Vinca grows best in full sun but can adapt to partial shade. The pretty flowers and dark green leaves makes vinca popular as a flower garden border or planted in pots on a sunny deck or patio. Plant several colors in the same pot and enjoy a bright array of flowers.
Clip the seedpod from each stem when it turns from green to a light tan color. The seedpods are between 1.5 and 2 inches long and are found just under the flower in the fall.
Slit open the seed pot using a thin sharp knife. Cut along the seam, being careful not to damage the single large oblong seed inside.
Place the seeds on a paper towel in a sunny place for two to three weeks. Seeds must be completely dry before storage to prevent molding. The seedpods can be discarded.
Put the seeds in a paper bag and store in a cool dry place for the winter. A temperature of 40 to 45 degrees F is ideal for seed storage.
Remove your vinca seeds from storage in the spring when the last frost has passed. Plant them in the ground in a cool shady place or in pots for your porch or deck.
Plant profile: Vincas
It may seem like a nana plant but the humble vinca is a plant that fits the climate-change bill. Our summers are relentless, this autumn has still felt like summer, our winters are getting warmer and we need to find plants that will flower through summer and continue through to winter.
Although vincas are known as summer-flowering annuals, they are actually biennials and will flower for you all through autumn into winter. Prune back by 50 per cent at the beginning of spring, liquid fertilise and they will start flowering again at the end of spring.
Vincas come in an array of colours these days and make wonderful, colourful bedding plants. They only grow to 15-30cm and some of them have a trailing habit making them a great plant for walls, out on the verge or for edges of garden beds. As long as they get as much sunshine as possible they will be happy.
The cascading varieties of the Cora Cascade vinca include Polka Dot, with a profusion of soft pink single flowers with a red centre. Other colours include lilac, magenta, cherry and strawberry.
They are also available as deep red, purple/black and pure white-flowering plants.
When they are mass planted along a drive they look stunning. I have seen them planted up in the Pilbara along roadsides where it gets to 40C regularly and they just keep on flowering.
The only pests that attacks them are aphids. Spray with an eco-oil or pyrethrum to keep them under control.
A Shopper’s Guide to Vinca
Vinca is a classic, old-school plant that’s earned its place in our gardens. While most vinca varieties are easy to grow, it’s important to choose the best for your space because there are annual and perennial types. Here’s a guide to selecting the best varieties for you yard — and choosing the healthiest vinca plants available at your local store.
The first thing to know about vinca is that there are actually two different categories of plants that commonly go by this name – annual (tropical) and perennial (hardy) vinca.
If you’re looking for big, bold color for sunny spots, the annual vinca varieties are probably for you. These plants have the botanical name Catharanthus and are bred from a heat- and drought-tolerant, sun-loving species from Madagascar.
These plants typically have pinwheel-shaped flowers in festive shades of lavender, pink, red, and white. They thrive both in garden beds and borders, as well as container gardens and their low-water, heat-loving nature have made them popular plants for just about every climate.
Plant breeders have developed both upright-growing varieties and trailing varieties. Upright varieties can grow between 1 and 2 feet tall, depending on variety, and ideal for mass plantings; mixing with other heat-loving annuals such as angelonia and pentas; or mixing with perennials to provide constant color in summer while the perennials cycle in and out of bloom.
Trailing vinca varieties are particularly well-suited for hanging baskets and container gardens, but can also be good annual groundcovers in beds and borders.
Most annual vinca varieties are good for attracting bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and other pollinators. And they’re also typically deer and rabbit resistant.
Varieties of Annual Vinca
There are many series of annual vinca available, many with a full range of colors. Some that have done particularly well in our Trial Garden include:
Cora: The Cora vinca collection features many colors, and both trailing and upright varieties. They’re known for their disease resistance.
Soiree Kawaii: Kawaii varieties offer a very different look; they produce many smaller flowers, giving the plants more of a wildflower look.
Valiant: Valiant vincas are large plants with extra-large flowers that are perfect for planting an eye-catching display.
Vitesse: Easy-care and beautiful, Vitesse vincas are especially easy to grow.
Perennial vincas are typically low-growing groundcovers that thrive in shaded or partly shaded spots. They have the botanical name Vinca and are bred from species native to Europe. There are two main species grown: Vinca major and V. minor.
Perennial vinca varieties have pinwheel-shaped springtime flowers in shades of lavender, purple, and white. Many offer outstanding variegated foliage that provides year-round interest (or nearly year-round in especially cold-winter areas). Because they’re shade-loving groundcovers, perennial vincas are particularly well suited for woodland gardens, planting along slopes, and as a turf alternative. It typically stays less than 6 inches tall and can spread 4 feet or more. Vinca minor is hardy in Zones 4-8.
As you might guess from the name, Vinca major is larger than its cousin. V. major is often used in container gardens where its large trailing foliage adds a softness to hanging baskets and mixed pots. It is also not as winter hardy; Vinca major survives in Zones 7-9.
Note: Vinca minor is considered invasive in some areas; check for local restrictions before planting it.
Shopping for Vinca
Once you know the type of vinca you’re looking form, we have tips to make sure you get the best-quality plants from your local garden center. When shopping for vinca, make sure plants have lush, dark green leaves. Watch out for plants that have pale green or yellowing leaves; this is often a sign that the plant was stressed. (One common form of stress is overwatering; vinca, especially the annual varieties, hate having their roots stay wet for extended periods.)
It’s typically better to buy plants that aren’t in bloom — that way the vinca can put more energy into getting established in your outdoor space rather than splitting its energy between becoming established and blooming. But, because vinca comes in a range of colors and the plant tags often get put in the wrong pots buy hurried shoppers, you may want to select plants that are flowering to get the exact shades you want.
Another step to take to ensure you’re getting a healthy plant is to gently pull the plant out of its pot. The roots should be firm and white; if they’re yellow or brown and soggy, the vinca may be suffering from root rot. Also look to see that the plant isn’t too rootbound, with roots filling the soil and densely circling the perimeter of the pot. The more rootbound the vinca, the more likely it is to be stressed.