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Vinca (Periwinkle) as a Groundcover

I have found Periwinkle (vinca) to be a plant that will live almost under any condition in California. I couldn't get anything to grow in a border along my shady sidewalk and I decided to try vinca. My parents bought a house in 1946 that had a bank of vinca already there. It is in a semi shady spot and my dad never watered it the whole summer, year after year. (I own the house now and the plants are still in great condition.)


I transplanted some out here by the roots and almost none of it died. It is flourishing in the hot sun and shade. We have a well that dries up in the summer if we aren't careful and it uses little water.

We are on 22 acres of oak woodland and the many deer and gophers don't bother it.

  • It will cover up unsightly areas.
  • It tolerates California frost.
  • The only time it acts less favorably than some of my other plants, is that if it is in a clay pot it dries out.
  • I have to trim it back several times a year.
  • It stays green year round.
  • It can grow low or to a height of 3 feet or more.
  • I have it everywhere!

By Rae from Templeton, CA


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By Sarah (Guest Post)
April 26, 20080 found this helpful

Your right nothing kills Vinca! But others should be careful using it b/c it spreads like kudzu. And its really bad to jump over to another flower bed and will choke out all your flowers. It's pretty much impossible to get rid of but works as a great ground covering. I also like lambs ear, its very pretty and soft. Not quite as invasive.

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