Hardiness: USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 °C (-30 °F) USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 °C (-25 °F) USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 °C (-20 °F) USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 °C (-15 °F) USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 °C (-10 °F) USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 °C (-5 °F) USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 °C (0 °F) USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 °C (5 °F) USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F) USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F)
Sun Exposure: Full Sun Sun to Partial Shade Light Shade Partial to Full Shade
Danger: Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested
Bloom Color: Medium Blue Purple White/Near White
Bloom Time: Mid Spring Late Spring/Early Summer Mid Summer Late Summer/Early Fall Mid Fall Blooms repeatedly
Other details: May be a noxious weed or invasive Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Soil pH requirements: 6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic) 6.6 to 7.5 (neutral) 7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
Patent Information: Non-patented
Propagation Methods: By dividing the rootball From softwood cuttings From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse From seed; stratify if sowing indoors By simple layering
Seed Collecting: Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed
On Mar 9, 2013, HeidiKHandmade from Vancouver, WA wrote:
Have it and can't get rid of it! My mother thought that since the flowers were so pretty, we should plant it in the front flowerbeds...huge mistake! It choked out a young hibiscus tree and my five-year-old winter daphne...and the roses are shooting for the stars to get above it!
Yes, vinca can be aggressive, but I am grateful for that, given the difficulty of getting anything to grow under my Norway maples or in the dirty fill (old nails, broken crockery, etc.) around my 1885 house. Vinca provides some of the latest and earliest green in a northern garden, and the blue flowers are lovely in May. It's not that hard to restrain -- just use a grub hoe rather than a spade! Having said that, I would not grow this plant if I lived where it could escape into a woodland. I am letting vinca duke it out with anemone sylvestris, another thug.
On Jul 21, 2012, rosepetal2 from Danvers, MA wrote:
I have a 50+ year crab apple in the middle of my rose garden that died , but I kept the tree's three 14 ft trunks as they are artfully twisted and provide support for Dutch Belgium honeysuckles. I created a 10 ft raised bed around the trunks and planted creeping Periwinkle/Myrtle. It is spectacular when combined with the honeysuckles gracing the three dead trunks. As with other "invasives" I found a little fore thought in planting in a contained area pays off dividends...Z6
On May 26, 2012, NJChickadee from Egg Harbor Township, NJ wrote:
This is one of those alien plants that aggressively overtake and destroy native plants upon which our native wildlife depends. I came close to planting this after finding it at my local Garden Shop, but…
On Sep 3, 2011, soldiersong from North Plains, OR (Zone 8a) wrote:
For me this is the perfect hanging basket perennial. Have lovely leaves year round, blooms in winter, spring and again in late summer. It does not seem to need a lot of water, nor full sun. It grows happily with afternoon sun for about four hours. All I do is water about once a week and trim the leaves when it gets too long. Its been happily keeping me from replacing hanging basket plants for about three years and holding. Not spectacularly showy, but steady, attractive and year round interest. That works for me!
On Jun 13, 2011, EvilPlot from Calgary , AB (Zone 3a) wrote:
Was gifted a packet of seeds last year and sprinkled some in the flower bed on the North facing side of the house last autumn and forgot all about it. Was doing some weeding yesterday and *SURPRISE!* they have established well! Pretty impressive especially for a North facing, USDA zone 3a!
On May 7, 2011, Lilac_jewel from Nelson New Zealand wrote:
Though this pretty weed is a bit invasive,it is a wonderful looking plant from spring to autumn,and children love to suck on the ends of flowers to extract the sweet nectar,then open the flower to find the tiny 'Fairy Toothbrush'.
On Jan 11, 2010, feathervisions from Port Chester, NY wrote:
A lovely ground cover - pretty and requires little effort. Although some people find it invasive, I have found it no problem by simply mowing it down. Deer, when extremely hungry have been seen pulling at it, but they prefer other greens.
On May 24, 2009, magicfrizbees from Lewis Center, OH wrote:
Great ground cover under trees where grass won't grow - we always called it Myrtle. First to bloom in the spring (same time as the crocuses). Bees love it (mostly bumblebees at that time of year). Easy enough to contain if you keep up with it. I have entirely removed it from some beds - it can be done.
On May 14, 2009, ihug98trees from Mount Pocono, PA wrote:
Extremely invasive, smothers everything in its path. It forms an impenetrable network of spreading rhizomes that are impossible to pull up. A terrible plant for North American gardeners when there are so many native alternatives.
On May 1, 2009, lshields from Sag Harbor, NY wrote:
Using it as a ground cover in hosta, lily, and black eyed susan beds from deep shade to full sun. Is much more interesting than mulch and keeps the weeds down.
Didn't grow quickly the year it was planted but took off the next spring, flowering in both sun and deep shade. Works well for this purpose. Evergreen in zone 6.
On Jun 13, 2008, tinabeana from Greenville, SC (Zone 8a) wrote:
I have both vinca major and minor in my yard. Vinca major is the much more invasive of the two, growing over it's smaller sibling anywhere the two meet. Let me put it this way: you know a plant is invasive when it chokes out the baby bamboo that's randomly growing in your flower bed... I've pulled out a pile that overflowed a wheelbarrow, but unfortunately that was just one 10 x 2 ft area.
Living tendrils are difficult to remove from the ground, as they have an extensive and spidery root system. Any root that remains with most assuredly grow into a new plant. As hard as they are to deal with, they're still easier than the dead tendrils found underneath: these dry into cord-like whips that seem even more tightly rooted than their living counterparts.
To be so invasive, v.major reacts very poorly to the hot and dry summer days in my area: the thin leaves wilt easliy leaving me with mounds of what almost look like wilted lettuce greens. While I like the larger flowers of v. major, I much prefer the foliage on v.minor: the leaves are smaller, more closely spaced, darker, and hold up better in the summer.
I have v. minor growing in areas of full sun, part sun, and shade. V. major seems to keep mainly to part sun and shade in my yard.
On Jun 1, 2008, WNYwillieB from Buffalo, NY (Zone 6a) wrote:
Now, I live in Buffalo, as well, yet I find it perfect for those hard to grow, dark areas under the shrubbery, etc., which took forever to fill in. I find lily of the valley and H. cordata to be far worse invaders. Caveat Emptor. I guess a little bit of research can go a long way.
On May 12, 2008, Jsorens from Buffalo, NY (Zone 6a) wrote:
Extremely invasive in my area, smothers everything in its path. It forms an impenetrable network of spreading rhizomes that are impossible to pull up, and it's somewhat resistant to Round-Up due to its waxy foliage. A terrible plant for North American gardeners when there are so many native alternatives.
Undeniably attractive, this plant is a pretty evergreen groundcover.
The flowers are apparently not attractive to insect pollinators and subsequently receive very few visits, if any. Foliage is toxic to herbivores and if the occasional seed is produced it is too small to be of interest to any wildlife. It does, however, provide cover (but not food) to various small animals. Overall, Vinca has very low ecological value.
Unfortunately it has a propensity to escape into shaded woodlands where it may crowd out native species. People planting this species should keep this in mind..
On May 25, 2007, kevanrijn from Parkersburg, WV (Zone 6b) wrote:
I have this as a ground cover in a completely shaded area where the ground is wet all the time and the soil is heavy clay. It does just fine and, in five years, has hardly spread. Perhaps such unhospitable a site has kept it from being too invasive.
On Feb 21, 2007, fabooj from Los Angeles, CA (Zone 10b) wrote:
I bought this plant last summer on a suggestion from a friend. I had a very shady area and wanted flowers. This plant did not let me down. I put it in a planter with a foxtail fern and both have done well, even surviving outside in our recent freeze. The only reason I haven't given it a positive is the lack of blooms. The last flower died in Sept. '06 and I finally just got one the other day. Odd because everywhere else I see it, it's always blooming.
On Feb 18, 2007, Bellisgirl from Spokane, WA wrote:
My mother and father have had this plant in their yard for almost twenty years now. It is extremly hardy and evergreen; wonderful all year round. Has pritty periwinkle flowers in the spring. Forms a large green carpet that is abour six or more inches tall. It is not what id call invasive, though it is hard to get rid of if you do not make sure to dig up all the roots. Has no problems with drought.
vinca minor is a fantastic evergreen perenial groundcover for zone 6. With snow protection it probably will survive even colder extremes. It blooms in spring after the crocus and with the daffodils.
The common periwinkle is a dark green leaf with purple/pink flowers. Variegated varietes and pink or white flowering VM are available. I have found that keeping the speading nature of the plant in check is relatively easy with regular edging and monitoring.
Even when my lawn browns in mid summer, the VM is glossy green and fabulous. I am surprised it is not grown more often as a groundcover.
On Jun 3, 2006, wheatwb from Thousand Oaks, CA wrote:
We love this plant and have had it on our back hill (45 degree slope) for the past 20 years. We are now experiencing a massive dieoff. After some research, we believe it is a fungus brought on by too much rain over the past two years. I believe it flourishes with less water. We're hopeing to save what was once a lush hillside. So lush that our Springer Spaniels would almost disappear it the foliage as they traversed the hillside. Their constant maneuvering on the hill never hurt the plant and their "paths" would spring back within a couple of days. If anyone has a recommendation to bring back the lush growth, please advise. Thanks
On May 12, 2006, heavenlybubbles from Kitchener, ON (Zone 5b) wrote:
Neutral because it doesn't like being contained, and I have a large family of snails living under its dark canopy, but its quite pretty and grows/flowers nicely in those hard to fill shady regions. You will have to trim it back every-so-often.
I first heard of Periwinkle when a child touring Crawford Lake, a conservation area on the Niagara penisula in Ontario (canada). What draws people to this park is the reconstructed15th century Iroquoian Village. However, if you take a hiking tour you discover that a rich family of Euopean settlers (the Crawford's) bought the land near the beginning of the century and the lady-of-the-house planted the non-native periwinkle on the shore of the lake. That patch of periwinkle is still there covering the forest floor (its quite beautiful). So, the lesson is that periwinkle can and will grow for at least a 100 years without fail once established. Talk about long term landscaping!
On Mar 22, 2006, centralva from Richmond, VA wrote:
Periwinkle, in the midatlantic ,was used as a ground cover/
marker for family graveyards on farms.Since tillable land was at a premium, most families located there graveyards in shady untillable areas.[usually between clumps of big trees]Periwinkle grows well in dappled shade and is much lower in maintence than grass.Its also, once established, much more reliable as a marker than cloth tied to a tree,which will rot.
We've had very good success with this plant as a ground cover in fairly deep DRY shade. Also grows well just about anywhere, although, I've never tried it in the blazing sun.
Great plant for the garden and grows good in containers.
On Feb 14, 2006, beatfive from Fredericksburg, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:
I have had very good results with Vinca Major in my alkaline soil. It grows on a moderate slope with semi-shade and I keep the soil moist with water from my air-conditioner drain. It requires very little maintenance and I fertilize spring and fall. I have planted Spanish Bluebells in the Vinca and what a show they put on in the spring.
Vinca will grow anywhere, which is always a plus. I love it planted with the daffodils; the yellow and purple really compliment each other. Don't let it spread where you don't want it. It is easy to keep from establishing, but once it is established, it is hard (but not impossible) to get rid of.
My information says that it is hardy in zones 3-10. Other names include Dwarf Periwinkle, Trailing Myrtle, and Violet of the Sourcerers.
On Aug 31, 2005, Erynne from Hillsburgh, ON (Zone 5a) wrote:
A very happy plant here in Mississauga, Ontario (Z5b). Vinca minor was already established when I moved in a month ago and already I've replanted it to a spot with a bit more sun. It doesn't seem to mind the replanting at all and in fact has thanked me by filling out a bit more. The blooms are violet in color.
Here's what I found on the web with regards to the name "Flower-of-Death" (kinda creepy):
"In folk belief, any vine of vinca brought into the house was unlucky unless it had at least seven flowers on it. One of the folk-names of Vinca minor is "Flower of Death" because it was woven into a band worn by dead children, & planted in particular on the graves of infants, while in medieval times it was woven into crowns to be worn by criminals on the way to execution. In the 1600s it was called "Joy on the Ground," perhaps because it was also associated with love-making & the bond of marriage. Other British folk-names include Cockles, Cut-fingers, Blue-buttons, Pennywinkles, Creeping Myrtle, or in Scotland, Wilk. Playing off Periwinkle as meaning a little sea snail, the names Wilk & Cockle allude to sea animals. In Italy it has been known as Centocchio, the Hundred Eyes, alluding to its floweriness."
On Apr 22, 2005, SudieGoodman from Broaddus, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:
FOR: 433kfj from Klamath Falls, OR
Are you saying Vinca Major came out fifteen years ago?
I planted rooted plants in my North flower bed. It has done very well for the past five years.
I wish I knew why Vinca Minor is also called Flower-of-Death.
I 've had Vinca Minor in another garden. However, I prefer the larger blooms. Mine are the size of a half dollar and deep blue. Blooms all summer. Leaves stay green year round.
I've not had any fungi, pests, or difficulty with Vinca Major. It is easy to grow.
On Apr 15, 2005, Breezymeadow from Culpeper, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:
This is currently the only groundcover I grow. It's cheery violet-blue flowers, while most prevalent in springtime, can be found here & there nearly year-round. Performs respectibly & politely everywhere from full shade to full sun - although of course full shade plants will have fewer (sometimes no) flowers. The fact that it's evergreen is also another plus.
The plant itself has an airy vining spread to it. It's not a climber, nor is it as thick, suffocating, or aggressive as English Ivy or Virginia Creeper. It's also very easy to propogate, & fills in garden areas quickly & neatly. Probably most important for a groundcover, it is very easy to control.
On Apr 14, 2005, CaptMicha from Brookeville, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:
I really like this plant. In the spring, currently mid April, the wood's ground errupts into purple flowers. It's very attactive and I don't notice it ever crowding any other plant out. It seems completely harmless... even though I don't think I'd be able to get rid of it all even if I wanted to... which I don't.
We've been mowing in the woods, to get rid of biennial weeds, for a few years now and a lot of the Vinca has disappeared.
On Nov 20, 2004, 433kfj from klamath falls, OR (Zone 6a) wrote:
I've seen this plant growing in people's yards around here for years, but never outside of cultivation. Many of the places seem to be very old, I.E. around turn-of-the-century (the one before this last one!) I was allways confused about the true identity of it because it had so many popular names, and the vinca "major" and "minor" didn't help any. I've decided the one around here must be the "minor" because of the rough conditions I've seen it in and the fact that it has been around so long. We have'nt had a really cold winter in a while, so "major" is possible if planted in the last 15 yrs or so, but I'm sure the old plantings are "minor" as we have had very severe cold winters in the past. The pictures of either, to me, look identical and I think I would have to see them together in person to see the difference. I bought some kind of miniature variety awhile back, thinking it might be the true "minor", but it was much smaller than the established vinca around here, survived several winters in little plastic pots, and was labeled "VINCA MAJOR", which still confuses me. Anyway, I think a start from any of the old, established plantings is quaranteed to be "minor", and to do well no matter what. P.S. The small variety was a BOWELS variety (love the name) and has since passed into the great beyond because I forgot to water it while it was still in its tiny little plastic pots. :(
On Apr 19, 2004, ben_f from University Park, PA wrote:
I came across the flower of death in the summer of 2003, I have yet to try it until now. My experience with it was overall very positive. It really bloomed firmly when I wanted it too. The person I was with at the time didn't received it very well. She said it was painful to even think about, I'm not sure what her problem with it was. Therefore, my experience is neutral. I recommend the flower of death to anyone with some experience in the field. Caution: don't try it unless you know what you are doing, the flower of death is a very mysterious thing, ya know, like the wind or something.
On Apr 18, 2004, ACHunter from Elmore, AL (Zone 8a) wrote:
My mother had this growing in the woods beside her house. I pulled up a piece of it with roots and replanted in my yard. It seems to be doing well. No flowers yet although hers was flowering at the time I pulled a piece of it off. Maybe it only blooms in spring here.
On Jan 10, 2004, smashedcricket from Phoenix, AZ wrote:
Native to the woodlands of Europe and North Africa. Spreads out very nicely and sometimes can become an invasive weed. Flowers best in indirect sunlight. Perfers shade rather than full sun. Soil should be moist, well drained and fertile. Try to avoid overhead irrigation as much as possible because stem blight fungus could potentiality kill the plant. Stem blight usually occurs during peroids of cool wet weather. Maintain good air circulation. Very hardy. Prefers warm weather.
A hardy perennial groundcover, not to be confused with Madagascar periwinkle or vinca major. Vinca minor is hardy to zone 3 and once established can handle extreme drought as long as it's planted in shade.
Blooms are typically blue or blue-violet but can also be found in red-violet and white. Flower forms can be single or double. Leaf color is typically dark green but new variegated forms are also available.
On Mar 10, 2001, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:
An excellent evergreen groundcover with dark green foliage, the perennial periwinkle should not be confused with the bedding plant, Madagascar periwinkle (Catharanthus roseus).
Flowers are purple, blue or white depending on the cultivar, and bloom in mid-spring. Spreads by sending out long trailing and rooting shoots, which make new plants.
This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:
Elmore, Alabama Phoenix, Arizona Prescott, Arizona Scottsdale, Arizona Sedona, Arizona Anderson, California Castro Valley, California Cerritos, California Granite Bay, California Los Angeles, California (2 reports) Mission Viejo, California Rocklin, California Silverado, California Thousand Oaks, California Aurora, Colorado Clifton, Colorado Federal Heights, Colorado Highlands Ranch, Colorado Norwich, Connecticut Bartow, Florida Cape Canaveral, Florida Lauderdale-by-the-sea, Florida Zephyrhills, Florida Aldora, Georgia Athens, Georgia Burr Ridge, Illinois Cherry Valley, Illinois Chicago, Illinois Jacksonville, Illinois Lasalle, Illinois Marshall, Illinois Niles, Illinois Washington, Illinois Indianapolis, Indiana Macy, Indiana Newburgh, Indiana Melbourne, Kentucky Bogalusa, Louisiana Leesville, Louisiana Bangor, Maine South China, Maine Brookeville, Maryland Cresaptown-bel Air, Maryland Dundalk, Maryland Westminster, Maryland Bridgewater, Massachusetts Danvers, Massachusetts Taunton, Massachusetts Dearborn Heights, Michigan Detroit, Michigan Novi, Michigan Owosso, Michigan Pinconning, Michigan Romeo, Michigan Royal Oak, Michigan Fridley, Minnesota Lake George, Minnesota Minneapolis, Minnesota Mathiston, Mississippi Brunswick, Missouri Evergreen, Missouri Piedmont, Missouri Warrensburg, Missouri Four Corners, Montana Sparks, Nevada Nelson, New Hampshire Vineland, New Jersey Chilili, New Mexico , New York Buffalo, New York Cayuga Heights, New York Country Knolls, New York Croton-on-hudson, New York Gates-north Gates, New York Port Chester, New York Boone, North Carolina Cary, North Carolina Cincinnati, Ohio Fort Jennings, Ohio Glouster, Ohio Haviland, Ohio Lewis Center, Ohio Ottawa Hills, Ohio Youngstown, Ohio Brush Creek, Oklahoma Deschutes River Woods, Oregon Klamath Falls, Oregon North Plains, Oregon Oakland, Oregon Greensburg, Pennsylvania Johnsonburg, Pennsylvania Laflin, Pennsylvania Millersburg, Pennsylvania Prospect Park, Pennsylvania Warrior Run, Pennsylvania Waverly, Pennsylvania West Goshen, Pennsylvania Conway, South Carolina Greenville, South Carolina Broadland, South Dakota Lafayette, Tennessee Abilene, Texas Amarillo, Texas Arlington, Texas Briarcliff, Texas Clarksville, Texas Fredericksburg, Texas Frisco, Texas Grand Prairie, Texas Houston, Texas Huntsville, Texas Rochelle, Texas San Angelo, Texas San Antonio, Texas Elwood, Utah Fruit Heights, Utah Taylorsville, Utah Broadway, Virginia Herndon, Virginia Norfolk, Virginia Oakton, Virginia Richmond, Virginia Suffolk, Virginia Alger, Washington Brady, Washington Edmonds, Washington Kalama, Washington Lakewood, Washington Millwood, Washington Spokane, Washington (2 reports) Town And Country, Washington Vancouver, Washington Parkersburg, West Virginia Watertown, Wisconsin