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Vinca - Growing Guide
Periwinkles are something that few gardens are without in some form and they are amongst the hardiest, most fool proof and easy evergreen plants to grow. They flower more profusely in sun but are perfectly happy in partial or full shade where they will colonise themselves and create their own mat of groundcover in much the same ways as ground ivy colonises bare earth in shade. Vinca may not be capable of climbing up trees like ivy does but Vinca major can certainly grow up and through adjacent shrubs and on hedges to display its flowers in light well above ground level.
Vinca will grow in absolutely any soil condition. The only real threat is drought which can kill them. If left to their own devices vinca will colonise large areas of a border or bank but you can easily keep them under control by giving large or small growing vincas a severe chop back in the spring. The growing tendrils root themselves as they spread so creating new plants from cuttings is seldom necessary and clumps can happily be chopped up with a spade if you want to spread them more widely in the garden.
Vinca major, greater periwinkle, grows to around 18in unless it has a host to climb up. It has blue-violet or dark violet flowers fairly randomly from spring to autumn. They often have odd flowers in a mild winter as well. The forms we offer of V. major are shown in the photographs below this article.
Vinca minor, lesser periwinkle, grows to between 4 and 8in. It also has blue flowers from spring to autumn and we offer various forms with different coloured flowers and foliage as seen below.