Growing Periwinkle as ground cover

Periwinkle is a perennial herb that blooms flowers all year round. Its flowers normally vary in colors ranging from yellow-green to lavender. This plant is normally used as an herbal or ornamental plant. As an ornamental plant, periwinkle is used as a flower bed.

If you are looking for bedding plants, growing periwinkle as a ground cover is a good choice. They only grow at 4 inches at the most and can expand up to 8 feet across. Which is ideal for ground cover plants.

Types of Periwinkle

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There are two species of periwinkle or vinca: the vinca major, which grows in the wild mostly and has bigger plants and flowers,  and the vinca minor which is commonly used as ground cover. The latter is also known as common periwinkle, dwarf periwinkle, myrtle, and creeping periwinkle. Vinca minor is a trailing subshrub that spreads in the ground and it occasionally scrambles but doesn’t twine or climb. Which makes it a good bedding plant.

Where can you grow periwinkle?

Periwinkle plants are easy to grow and care for. It is a low maintenance plant that requires well-drained but moist soil, plenty of sunlight and warm temperature. This plant is highly tolerant to heat so planting them anywhere that gets over 65 degrees Fahrenheit will ensure a healthy flower bed.

What type of soil works for periwinkle?

white periwinkle
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Common periwinkle thrives best in a well-drained and acidic soil. Especially, if you need vigorous growth for a large area to cover. However, it can thrive in many types of soil and conditions.

How to plant periwinkle as ground cover?

how to grow periwinkle as ground cover
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Planting periwinkle from seeds is an easy process as long as you know what you’re doing. However, it grows slowly so patience is key.

1. Prepare the flat by filling it with 2.36 inches of seed starting mix. A flat is a nursery plant tray which is made of plastic usually. It is made to facilitate watering and transporting plants. When choosing flats, make sure to get the flat with individual cells for easier transporting.

2. Put 3 to 4 seeds in each cell and cover it with 1/4 inch of seed starting mix. Press down the soil lightly and moist the mix by spraying water into using a spray bottle. Avoid overwatering it. Cover the flat with black plastic to block any light but maintain a temperature of 77 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. Once the seeds germinate, remove the black plastic cover. This should take place between 1-2 weeks. Place the flat to a location where the seedlings can get full sunlight and a temperature above 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

4. Water the sprouts lightly. Keep the soil moist but avoid overwatering it. After 10 days from germination, add 10-4-3 fertilizers. Cut off unhealthy leaves or plants in each cell and leave at least the healthiest plant.

5. Once the plants are at least 3 inches tall, prepare the transfer to the ground. Dig a hole in the ground enough for the periwinkle roots to fit. Keep at least 8 inches of space between the plants. This will periwinkle enough space to grow.

6. Loosen the soil in the ground before transferring the seedlings. Add mulch and compost into a 2-inch layer over the soil surface and till it.

7. Remove your seedlings carefully from the flat. Hold the leaves and avoid holding them by their stems or roots to avoid damage. Avoid breaking any roots as much as possible. And plant them on the ground as soon as possible. Water the plants immediately and keep the soil moist but not soaking wet.

Aftercare for periwinkle

ground periwinkle
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The periwinkle is a low maintenance plant as long as it gets partial sunlight. However, adding extra care help any plants reach their maximum growth.

1. Water the plants daily. Always keep the soil moist but soggy. You can skip watering during the rainy season.

2. Prune your periwinkle plants when necessary. Periwinkles are naturally invasive so use pruning shears to cut any dead leaves or damaged parts of the plants.

3. Apply pesticide when necessary. Periwinkles are highly resistant to most pests and diseases but rust can be a problem for places with high humidity. As an alternative, always remove any leaves that have brown or black patches right away.


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