Vinca Minor Fertilizer for Best Results

By adding an appropriate vinca minor fertilizer, this thick ground cover plant will offer brighter green color and may produce more blooms in spring and early summer. Vinca minor, often referred to as periwinkle or creeping myrtle, is a trailing ground cover that takes over an area over time. It spreads by sending new roots out along the main stems, much like a strawberry plant. What makes this plant popular, however, is the evergreen foliage and white or purple blooms that arrive early each spring and last through much of summer.

Where to Grow Vinca Minor

Vinca minor is often grown where a thick evergreen ground cover plant is desired, as it will overtake an area and choke out any weeds that would have grown in the spot. Like other similar low-growing plants, it helps to prevent erosion and requires very little maintenance to thrive. In fact, this trailing plant is considered invasive, so it is best used in a location where it is free to roam. Partial sun to shade is preferred, and fertile soil that does not stay too wet or get too dry is best. A planting bed with full sun is generally a bad idea, since this will cause the plant to appear weak, often due to soil that is too dry for the plant’s shallow roots. Vinca minor will grow well from zone 3 to zone 8.

Growth Habit

Vinca minor hugs the ground, remaining six inches or less above the soil, and it makes a suitable under-planting option for taller shrubs or areas filled with trees. While each plant will remain short, it will gradually fill in an area three feet wide or more due to it’s rooting green stems. These new roots will soon become established and further the reach of the plant with new stems. The plant grows at a medium rate, which is above average for an evergreen ground cover.

photo by tonyhall via Flickr, CC BY-ND 2.0Vinca Minor Blooms

The flowers produced by Vinca minor are usually purple, though white is another color that is common. Other colors are sometimes available, usually in the pink to red color scheme. The common name periwinkle that is often used to describe the plant is derived from its natural flower color. While the plant will produce flowers throughout the growing season, they are most prevalent in early to mid spring, and tend to be sparse but persistent throughout the summer.

Vinca Minor Fertilizer Requirements

The good news is that Vinca minor is widely adaptable to grow in a variety of locations, and will do fine in sand, loam, or clay as long as there is sufficient protection from the hot sun and the roots are given adequate moisture. The pH level of the soil is not usually an important factor in plant health. However, an annual treatment of a balanced fertilizer can result in more appealing green evergreen color in the leaves and may also improve the quantity of flowers. A simple application of fertilizer with equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium will do nicely.

When to Fertilize Vinca Minor

Since it is mostly a spring flowering plant, an application of fertilizer in early spring is generally the best time. The main growing season for the stems of the plant are during spring and early summer, so this is the prime season for feeding. If a repeated application is desired due to a dull green color of the foliage, early summer is another good option. This tends to be just after the blooming period but still in the middle of the season’s plant growth, where it can benefit from the added boosts.

photo by schaefer-rudolf via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0Tips for Spreading Fertilizer

A liquid fertilizer is a good choice, since the plant grows in a thick mat, making granular fertilizers sometimes difficult to reach the intended location. As with any application of this type, the fertilization process is best done during morning hours and away from any extremes in heat, sun, or wind.

Planting Periwinkle

If you are ready to give Vinca minor, or periwinkle, a try, it is likely to be an option for purchase at any major plant nursery. To fill an area within a season or two, opt for one plant about every foot in the garden bed. If you select a proper location and supply an acceptable vinca minor fertilizer in spring, you should expect a beautiful ground cover to fill in nicely.