How to Prune Vinca Vine
Vinca vine is a fast-growing perennial vine. It grows best in the shade, which makes it the perfect choice for planting under trees and shrubs where other ground covers and grasses might not do as well. Vinca vines produce small bluish-lavender blooms in the spring, which earned it the nickname of “periwinkle.” While vinca is a relatively no-care plant, it can be quite invasive if totally ignored. Periodic pruning can help to control the spread of this vine.
Pull the end of the vine up from the ground. Vinca spreads along the top of the ground and sends out new roots from the nodes (the thicker parts) along the stems. To make sure that you get this new growth cut away, pull the end of the vine completely out of the ground, thereby pulling any new roots out of the soil.
Cut away as much of the vine as desired. After you have pulled up the desired length of the vinca vine, just cut off the vine at the end of the section.
Discard the vinca vine in the compost bin or trash. Do not just throw the pieces of vinca vine on the ground. They will take root, and you will have more vinca than when you starting pruning.
The types of vinca you grow dictate when and how to prune the potentially invasive plants. Perennial periwinkles (Vinca major, Vinca minor), suitable for U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 7 through 9 and 4 through 8 respectively, spread by leaf nodes that root wherever they touch the soil. They spread from seed, which they produce with abandon. To keep perennial periwinkles looking their best, prune them back every two to three years. Shear the top of the periwinkle, keeping the blades as level as possible to create an even surface. Rake up and bag the debris for disposal, and wipe the shears off with a clean towel. Pinch back perennial periwinkle stems any time they begin creeping beyond their designated area. Simply grasp a stem between your thumb and forefinger and pinch it off to the desired length. Pinching back encourages bushy new growth. Regular deadheading encourages the plant to bloom right up until frost.
Use vinca in place of grass in shady areas where grass does not grow well. You can control the spread of vinca by planting it where it has natural barriers, such as a sidewalk or driveway.
You can easily cut back vinca with a weed trimmer; however, this will not remove the roots growing along the stems. If you want to control the spread of your vinca, pulling it out of the ground is your best option.
- Use vinca in place of grass in shady areas where grass does not grow well.
- You can control the spread of vinca by planting it where it has natural barriers, such as a sidewalk or driveway.
- You can easily cut back vinca with a weed trimmer; however, this will not remove the roots growing along the stems. If you want to control the spread of your vinca, pulling it out of the ground is your best option.
- Sharp pruning shears
- “Perennials for Every Purpose;” Larry Hodgson; 2003
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Vinca Major
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Vinca Minor
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Catharanthus Roseus
- University of Arkansas Division Of Agriculture: Pruning Ornamental Plants
- University of Florida IFAS Extension: Disinfecting Pruning Tools
- Yardener: Caring for Periwinkle
- Colorado State University Extension Chaffee-Park County: Rock and Alpine Gardening
- Midwest Gardening: Deadheading Annuals