Vinca minor plants are also referred to as creeping myrtles or periwinkle flowers. They are purple flowering plants, tough and pest-free. They stand 3 to 6 inches off the ground and can spread quickly to become a ground cover of your yard and keeps weeds off.
Detailed Steps to Growing Vinca Minor
1. Sowing of Vinca Minor seeds
Get the seeds of Vinca Minor from either local gardening stores or an online supplier. The seed packs are sold at $5 for 25 seeds.
2. Fill jiffy pots with seed starting mix or peat moss
The diameter of the jiffy pots should be up to 2 to 3.5 inches. Vinca Minor does well in fresh, warm, and humid soil. Therefore, peat moss is the best bet for growing Vinca Minor; it is a water-saturated, partially decomposed form of soil.
Peat moss can be gotten from gardening stores and local department stores; it is sold at a range of $10 to $40, based on the brand and size.
Jiffy pots are recommended because; they are made of wood pulp and peat moss and are 100% biodegradable. They can
begotten from online suppliers or local gardening stores at $1 for a 10-pack.
3. Carefully place the jiffy pots in a metal container filled with water.
The metal container should be filled with water to about 2-4 inches. The idea here is to expose the seeds to prolonged contact with water, which will make them swell. You can then place the seeds into a standard pot when they are well moistened.
4. Put the already swollen peat into plastic pots 2.36 inches deep.
When the moss has swollen after absorbing water, carefully place it inside a plastic pot instantly. This is because swollen peats are susceptible to fungal growth when left in water.
5. Layer the seeds over the peat.
Spread the seeds over the soil; cover them with peat moss of approximately 0.25 inches, then spray the soil using a spray bottle.
6. Cover each pot with plastic wrap or a Ziploc bag.
Open a Ziploc bag and gently layer each pot through the opening of the bag. With a cup, some water into the pot, cover the Ziploc bag, and keep it on a window.
What the Ziploc bag does is trap moisture which helps the seed to germinate. You can also use a glass container in the absence of a Ziploc bag to sow your seeds. You should start by arranging pebbles at the bottom of a cloche container to serve as drainage.
Then gently lower the plant on top of the arranged pebbles and cover the lid of the container. Finally, place it at a bright location that is not directly under sunlight to prevent producing too much heat.
Choosing a Suitable Planting Location
1. The ideal temperature to plant Vinca Minor should be between 24 to 38o (75-100oF).
The best region for growing it is hardiness zones 4-8. Periwinkle thrives well in 24 to 30oC at daytime temperatures and at night temperatures of 20 to 240C. While temperature is an important factor, periwinkle is a hardy plant and thus, can thrive at different temperatures.
2. Use proper spacing of at least 3 feats gap when planting.
Do not overcrowd Vinca Minor during panting. They are shallow-rooted and trailing plants and so can easily turn into intrusive plants. Also, do not plant vinca minor close to natural areas as they could easily disrupt the local habitat.
3. Choose a planting location that has 3-6 hours of daily sunlight.
Your idea planting location should have partial sunlight, which could be intermittent or continuous. Excessive sunlight decreases the potency of your periwinkle plant.
How to Cultivate Your Plants
1. Apply 2 inches of organic matter to loosen the soil.
With a gardening shovel, dig into the soil (about 3 to 6 inches). Add some quantity of organic matter like compost and mulch over the surface of the soil and mix it using a hand or electric mixer.
The compost helps to improve drainage, supply the soil with nutrients and help to loosen the soil. The trailing roots of Vinca Minor need enough space to grow well.
2. Prick the plants after 3 to 6 weeks.
The term pricking in this context denotes the process by which seedlings are removed from the pots or trays after germination.
Carefully hold the leaves of the seeds and use a dibber or pencil to separate the plant from the compost. A dibber is used to make holes in the ground. Place the roots on the pencil or dibber to save the roots.
The seedlings should always be lifted singly and should not be held by their stems or roots to avoid damaging the plant.
3. Create a plant space of 6 to 8 inches apart.
The trailing root nature of Vinca Minor makes it spread and cover the ground. When planting them, ensure to give them adequate space, especially when you are planting them for ground coverage.
Vinca Minor can grow up to 4 to 6 inches above the ground when they are mature. The plant has an average diameter of 3 feet.
How to care for Vinca Minor
1. Water the plants with just enough water to keep them moist
Ensure to adequately water the plants, especially during their first season of planting. It helps to promote the proper rooting of the plants.
The frequency of watering should depend on your location; water daily for a sunny spot, skip watering on rainy days, and wet spot.
2. Prune the plant to check invasion.
Regular pruning of vinca minor during spring helps to keep the plant healthy cut off dead, damaged, or dying leaves with pruning shears.
When pruning, try to maintain branches with buds; it helps your plant to keep sprouting. Note that cutting the plant is only necessary where the growth has become invasive.
3. Fight grey leaf spot disease and rust with selective removal of pesticides.
Vinca Minors are naturally tough and resistant to most pests and diseases; however, they are susceptible to rust or diseases under certain conditions.
For instance, periwinkles located in high humid areas are susceptible to rust, which requires being treated with pesticides.
Grey leaves spot diseases are conspicuous during the early stage of the plant; they can be mitigated by cutting off the affected region of the plant.
Ensure that your plants are properly spaced to avoid congestion and allow adequate air circulation. And finally, if possible, do not plant your periwinkles in humid areas. Thank you so much for your time reading this article if you have questions please kindly leave your comment below and I’ll be happy to write back to you.