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Perennial Vinca Care

Perennial vinca often gets confused with the more common, upright hardy annual flower seen in gardens and flower boxes. Perennial vinca refers to a low ground cover exhibiting dark green leaves and light-to-medium blue flowers appearing in spring. Other names for perennial vinca include periwinkle, creeping myrtle and vinca minor. Perennial vinca offers the gardener an easy-to-grow plant that can handle shady locations in the landscape. Add this beautiful evergreen perennial to your landscape for low-maintenance beauty year-round.

Select a good location for perennial vinca in the landscape. Choose a site in partial to full shade with plenty of room for the plant to spread outward.

Turn over the soil to a depth of 6 to 8 inches using the spade shovel. Break up dirt clumps and smooth the garden surface using a rake. Work carefully under shade trees to avoid damaging roots lying close to the surface. Turning over the soil aerates the dirt and will encourage spreading of roots from your newly planted vinca. Perennial vinca lays shallow roots but healthy soil will promote the success of your plants.

Pour a 2-to-3-inch layer of peat moss onto the garden surface and mix it into the loosened garden soil. Peat adds organic matter and improves soil water retention.

Loosen each individual perennial vinca plant by compressing the outside of the plastic pot or fiber pack. Carefully extract each plant from its container by lightly pinching the main stem between your fingers. Life the plant out gently. If tangled roots prevent easy extraction, carefully cut the outside of the plastic transplant pot or fiber pack using garden shears or a utility knife.

Dig shallow holes about 3 inches apart for small plants. Space plants to allow for growth since this ground cover will fill in quickly by shooting out runner roots into the garden surface.

Place the vinca in the planting hole, fill the hole in with soil and firm the dirt with your hands. Water near the base of the plant instead of simply wetting the leaves to help the plant become established.

Place a 2-to-3-inch layer of mulch on the planting site to help retain moisture and keep soil temperatures even. Adding mulch after initial planting makes this task easier since adding mulch around mature plants can be difficult.

Monitor the perennial vinca for the first growing season to ensure proper watering. After this point, the plant becomes established and more tolerant of less water and more neglect.

Prune perennial vinca to control growth using gardening shears. Schedule these pruning sessions for immediately after the plant begins blooming in the spring.

Control growth by digging up sections of the ground cover for transplant elsewhere. Easy transplant requires simply digging up a few trailing vines, checking for roots and moving the perennial vinca to a new location.

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