Periwinkle – Vinca Minor
Vinca Minor, the Dwarf Periwinkle
The common name for vinca minor is lesser periwinkle or dwarf periwinkle and sometimes creeping myrtle. It is a rapidly spreading ground cover plant usually 4 to 8 inches in height but sometimes reaching as much as 16 inches. It is a low maintenance plant well suited for erosion control in shady to partly shady areas. Most varieties bloom profusely in early spring and sporadically throughout the growing season with violet-purple blooms or white, pale purple, or deep violet-purple in some cultivars. Most plants have glossy dark green leaves, but some varieties have variegated leaves.
The plant's stems will root at nodes, which will make the plant spread quite a bit, so be careful to keep the plant contained, otherwise it may interfere with other plants or the lawn. Creeping Myrtle is a low maintenance plant if the soil is moist, otherwise, if the land and temperature are hot and dry, it is best to water 3-4 times weekly. The flower colors of Creeping Myrtle range from blue, white and purple, along with smooth green leaves. Creeping Myrtle make excellent ground cover underneath shaded trees along lawns.
USDA climate zones: four through nine
Plant height: four to twelve inches
Soil type: dry to moist but requires frequent watering in dry soil
Sun: shade to partial shade, full sun with frequent watering
This plant spreads rapidly and can become invasive. The USDA recommends that you consult your state Department of Natural Resources before planting it to be sure of its status in your state. It can be a valuable ground cover but has little value for grazing or browsing. It does not tolerate frequent foot traffic. Planting can be done whenever adequate moisture is available. Fertilizer will aid in vigorous growth, but the use of this plant for erosion control on slopes and hillsides means that concern for fertilizer runoff must be considered. Indiscriminate use of fertilizers is a significant source of pollution worldwide