How to Plant a Vinca


Vinca, also known as periwinkle and Madagascar periwinkle, or by its scientific name, Catharanthusis, a heat- and drought-tolerant flower that should not be confused with Vinca minor or Vinca major, which are shade-loving evergreen ground-covering plants. Vinca does well in sunny and dry conditions. It produces flowers all summer long that come in a wide variety of colors. Plant this plant early in the spring after all danger of frost has passed. It is best to wait to plant them outdoors until the temperatures remain higher than 65 degrees F.

Step 1

Clear the area to be planted of all rocks and weeds using the garden rake or shovel as necessary.

Step 2

Dig down approximately 6 inches and turn the soil as you go to break up all soil in the planting area. Remove any roots or rocks you find. The better the soil is prepared, the better the growing condition of the soil will be.

Step 3

Place a 1- or 2-inch layer of composted materials on top of the soil and sprinkle on the recommended amount of fertilizer according to the package directions. If you do not have composted materials, use a planting mix that is recommended for planting flowers or vegetables. Vincas do not required a lot of nutrients to grow, but they do need well-draining soil, so include sand or planting mix if your soil is clay-based.

Step 4

Turn the soil mixture to mix the layers together. Dig into the dirt and rotate each shovelful until all of the mixture has been distributed throughout the soil. Rake the surface smooth.

Step 5

Purchase healthy plants at the garden store that have dark green, shiny leaves. If you are planting from seed, use plants that are at least 15 weeks old. This allows for the plant to be established and ready to be planted outdoors.

Step 6

On an overcast day or in the early evening, dig holes the width and depth of the pots that the plants came in, and space them between 6 to 12 inches apart. Do not plant closer than 6 inches apart; six inches is recommended if you want them to form a thick ground covering quickly.

Step 7

Remove each plant from its pot and place it into a hole, tamping the dirt around it. Each plant should be planted at the depth that it was in the pot, not any deeper. Tamp the dirt gently around the plant to secure it in place, but don't compact the area too tightly.

Step 8

Water the new plants with a gentle spray from a garden hose. Water the area thoroughly and repeat the watering after about a minute. This will allow the water to drain off and distribute more evenly before being applied again, achieving a thorough and well-dispersed area of moisture.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden rake
  • Garden shovel
  • Low-phosphorous fertilizer
  • Composted organic materials or flower planting mix


  • Growing Beautiful Vincas
  • Growing Vinca
  • 2002: The Year of the Vinca

Who Can Help

  • How to Grow Annual Vinca Catharanthus
Keywords: plant Catharanthusis, how to plant vinca, Madagascar periwinkle

About this Author

Robin Lewis is a freelance artist, designer and writer. Her articles have appeared in newspapers, national magazines and on several self-help areas of the Web. Lewis specializes in gardening articles, publishing frequently on a variety of websites.