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Variegated Vinca Plant

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Variegated Vinca Plant

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Overview

If you have a shady corner that needs brightening, a hanging basket that needs a trailing accent or a bare spot in need of a ground cover, you might like variegated vinca vine. Vinca major variegata, also known as variegated vinca, is an evergreen plant that grows close to the ground in a trailing manner that makes it especially suited for sloping landscapes. It is also used as a hanging basket accent. The vine has thick, coarse green leaves with a yellow or white edge. The plant blooms in the spring with showy blue blossoms; the plant's nickname is periwinkle.

Origins

According to the California Invasive Plant Council, an organization dedicated to identifying plants that threaten California's native plant life, vinca major variegata is considered a native plant in southern Europe and various parts of northern Africa. It was first introduced in the United States during the 20th century as an ornamental vine and medicinal herb.

Characteristics

According to the Backyard Gardener, the variegated vinca vine grows to be about 1 foot tall before it begins to trail downward. It is classified as a ground cover or shrub. The thick, coarse leaves are not appealing to deer and rabbits, so it can be planted in areas where wildlife often eat whatever vegetation is available.

Growing Conditions

Variegated vinca will grow at a relatively fast rate given the right conditions. Fine Gardening, an online gardening resource, says the vine prefers moist soil in sun or partial shade. It can often be found growing along riverbanks as well as in mountainous terrain, CIPC states. These vines require little maintenance other than pruning in early spring to prevent dieback, which occurs when the original root stock can no longer sustain the vine.

Propagation

There are vinca major seeds available for propagation. However, a vast majority of the plants spread or reproduce by sprouting new roots at the nodes along the vine. Therefore, only a small piece of vinca vine is necessary to start a new plant.

Pests and Diseases

Vinca major can be affected by a number of pests including leafhoppers, scale insects and aphids. These insects will infest vinca vines as well as any other foliage planted near it. Other concerns include leaf spot, which is caused by fungi or bacteria. Spraying with a pesticide or fungicide will alleviate these problems.

Keywords: vinca vine, periwinkle, Vinca major variegata

About this Author

Leah Deitz has been writing alternative health and environmental-related articles for five years. She began her writing career at a small newspaper covering city politics but turned to environmental concerns after beginning her freelance career. When she is not exploring the trails and outdoors of the East Coast, Deitz writes for a number of websites including eHow.com, Trails.com and Associated Content.