Vinca minor, also referred to as common periwinkle, is often confused with the annual flower that also goes by the periwinkle moniker. Vinca minor, however, is a perennial groundcover; identify aspects of the vinca minor habitat like common growth sites to further differentiate this periwinkle from other plant types. Following habitat needs and preferences makes for successful growth of vigorous common periwinkle.
Vinca minor is native to habitats of Asia Minor as well as Europe, according to the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service. Cultivation of common periwinkle is known to the ancient world. Cultivation in more modern habitats began in the 1920s in France by discoverer E. A. Bowles. Cultivated in the United States, vinca minor should be planted in USDA hardiness zones 4 to 8, according to the University of Illinois HortAnswers.
Vinca minor prefers shaded locations. Whether under the shade of taller trees or in environments that experience few sunny days, successful growth depends on at least partially shaded conditions. Though you may feel the desire to grow this groundcover with grass, the full-sun exposure grass thrives under is too much for vinca minor; common periwinkle and grass compete and you will ultimately lose your periwinkle plants, according to the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service.
Soil and Water
Vinca minor thrives in moist, well-drained soil high in humus. When soil drainage is poor, soil may become waterlogged, causing standing water around common periwinkle plants. Excessively wet sites may lead to diseased plants as wetness provides an ideal environment for fungal infection and often causes problems with water and nutrient absorption.
Vinca minor is often found thriving in deciduous woodlands that provide the shaded conditions common periwinkle prefers. Additionally, vinca minor has trailing stems that can reach up to 2 feet in length. Sloped areas like hillsides also make a friendly home to vinca minor as they provides adequate space for stems to climb down for root formation, according to the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service.
Maintain good air circulation surrounding your vinca minor plants, as poor access to fresh air may lead to stem rot problems, according to the University of Illinois Extension HortAnswers. Additionally, Phomopsis blight is a fungal infection of common periwinkle stems that results from excess moisture. Phomopsis blight causes the appearance of cankers on plant stems that results in the death of shoot plant tissue. Consider application of fungicides such as iprodione for control of severe infection, according to the University of Illinois Extension.