Growing Instructions for Vinca


Vinca (Catharanthus), which is native to Madagascar, is grown as an annual in most regions and often called periwinkle or Madagascar periwinkle. These easy-to-care-for plants produce strikingly colored flowers such as bright pink, lavender blue, deep rose, apricot, burgundy and scarlet from late spring until the first frost. Vinca border plants can grow 8- to 18-feet tall while the ground cover trailing varieties can spread 2 feet. Being drought tolerant and needing virtually no care to thrive make Vinca a great plant to grow for any type of landscape and gardener.

Step 1

Select a location to grow your vinca that receives full sun all day with some afternoon shade in southern areas with warmer temperatures. Plant in late spring after the chance of frost has passed and the temperatures are warming up.

Step 2

Prepare the soil before planting. Vinca likes lightly acidic soil with a pH of 6.0-6.5 that is well-draining. Till the ground down to 6-inches deep and add a 1-inch layer of compost or dried manure; work in well.

Step 3

Dig a hole for each plant that is the same size as the root ball. Space border plants about 8 to 10 inches apart and ground cover plants 6 to 8 inches apart.

Step 4

Place the plant in the hole so it sets at the same level it was grown at in the gardening container. Fill in with soil and firm over.

Step 5

Water plants well after planting so the soil is soaked but there is no standing water. Use drip irrigation to water and water infrequently, once a week or so, once well-established.

Step 6

Add a 1/2-inch layer of mulch around the plants to conserve moisture in the soil and control weeds. Use bark chips, shredded bark or pine needles.

Step 7

Feed your flowers once a month with a balanced water-soluble fertilizer such as 5-5-5. A granular food can also be used as long as it is watered in well after applying.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not water overhead.

Things You'll Need

  • Acidic soil
  • Compost
  • Fertilizer
  • Bark chips


  • Colorado State University Extension: The Year of the Vinca
  • Floridata: Vinca Major
Keywords: growing vinca, growing instructions vinca, vinca periwinkle flowers

About this Author

Residing in Southern Oregon, Amy Madtson has been writing for Demand Studios since 2008 with a focus on health, pregnancy, crafts and gardening. Her work has been published on websites such as eHow and Garden Guides, among others. Madtson has been a childbirth educator and doula since 1993.