Monday, April 13, 2009

Common Periwinkle - Vinca Minor

What ever you choose to call it, Vinca Minor, Periwinkle or
Creeping Myrtle it is a wonderful ground cover for problem
areas. I have three different types of it in my yard to stop
bank erosion.

(Apocynaceae - Dogbane Family)

Vinca minor is an evergreen perennial ground cover which
only reaches about 6' tall at maturity. It will grow in partial
sun to full shade with a moderate rate of growth. I have found
it will grow in about any soil, even the gravely clay soil around
our garage.
The banking around our garage where dirt was added for a space
to build it was tending to slip and wash away so I planted Vinca
minor, Creeping Phlox and Crownvetch in different sections.

After a few years the Crownvetch wanted to take over everywhere
and I constantly have to pull it up and so now to the Vinca. Both
hard to get rid of because of the rooting system they have.
The Vinca is now trying
to take over my ground phlox and growing
out into the yard so please
be aware that Vinca can be invasive
and may cause problems for
you later so think before you plant it.
It is evergreen so it does look good even in the winter months.

I have a magenta blooming Vinca although it looks faded in the
pictures and a blue or purple one.

I also have a variegated one that dies back in the winter and
then starts back in the Spring. This one I dig up parts of
and add it to my hanging baskets and pots as a filler for summer.
It's root system can become a little invasive also and I have to
pull some up from time to time to keep it in check but it is
in no way as bad as the evergreen strands. It did do the
job it was planted for and keeps the banking from sliding or
washing away, so I have a love hate feeling about the plant.

The evergreen ones are in bloom now and they are pretty while
blooming. This variegated one will bloom in early summer.

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madcobug said...

They are a beautiful flowers. Sounds like ivy when it takes over. Helen

bennie and patsy said...

Sounds like just what we need on a drainage that carries water off of the field behind us.

Tatyana said...

Very good post Lona! I also have Love-Hate relationship with Vinca. It's great for shading the roots of my clematis, but it spreads wildly! It's in bloom now and it's so pretty! You are absolutely right giving a warning withregard to it. The pictures are lovely! Thanks!

Felicia said...

Looks very pretty and useful :)

Outside In said...

Very pretty, my neighbor also has the Vincas in the front yard it's a lovely ground cover.

The Fern and Mossery said...

This is one of the most invasive plants in my yard! Pretty but can be a problem.

Maria Berg said...

I have a Vinca with white blossom.

John said...

amay first time stopping by.I really like the clarity of our pictures.If you dont mind me asking what camera do you use for your shots
Have a great day

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

Helen: Yes, it is just like ivy. Love your photos!

Patsy: If it is in an out of the way spot it will do nicely.

Tatyana: I never thought of using it for shading clematis vines roots.Does it try to crowd out the clematis vine roots?

Felicia: Thanks for dropping by. Your profile picture is so cute.

The Fern and Mossey: They can sure get to be a pain if put in the wrong spot.

Maria: I have never seen one with a white bloom. That would be lovely and bright in the Spring.

John: Hi and thanks for stopping by. I use a Canon Rebel xti 400D and a little Fujifilm camera I keep in my pocketbook.These were taken with the Canon.

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

Cathy: Been enjoying your photo collages of your flowers.

Anonymous said...

It is all nice and it all works and will help hold the hills in place. The flowers are very pretty too.


RainGardener said...

Great post - I just sent it to my girlfriend because she has a bank she needs to plant for erosion. She planted something and it isn't working so I told her she can have all I have that is covering 2 old growth stumps. I want to change them to something else. She'll be glad to hear someone say how good it is for erosion speaking from experience. I kept enough for myself to hang over a couple of raised beds.

Anonymous said...

There are places where Vinca totally fills the need. I've seen it growing solitary in a hanging basket, blooming for early spring cheer. There are some awesome variegated varieties worth growing for the foliage alone. Your photos are dazzling.

spookydragonfly said...

I see your Vinca survived the snow, maybe you're finished with the snow in your neck of the woods? Regardless, very pretty...I love Vinca. I hope that you and yours had a great Easter!