Vinca, also known as Vinca minor, periwinkle, and creeping myrtle, is a popular ground cover that gets more popular every year. Established in-ground or outdoor container plants require little or no maintenance to thrive, but there are things you should know if you plan to put them in containers indoors.
Grow Vinca Indoors or Outdoors
Perennial varieties of vinca are hardy, evergreen crawlers that tolerate winter outdoors very well whether in the ground or in a container. They have very specific cultural care needs, including a full-sun location and well-drained soil. They thrive in USDA zones 5 through 9.
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They can grow successfully in containers inside as well if these conditions are met. Vinca minor (common periwinkle) is a good choice to bring indoors, as it only grows to 6 inches high. Exercise caution when bringing vinca plants indoors, however, because the leaves are toxic if ingested. Keep the plants away from children and pets.
Inspect the Plant for Disease
If you are bringing an established outdoor vinca plant indoors for the winter, inspect it for disease while it is still outside. Common problems are canker, leaf spot, stem blight, and root rot. Look for dark brown to black stems, lesions on the leaves, and dark spots.
If you spot an issue, resolve it before you take the plant inside. You don't want all of your houseplants to end up with the same issue. If you are not sure how to treat it, look up the condition online or take a plant leaf into a garden store for help.
Pot Vinca Plants
If your plant involves digging up specimens currently growing in the ground outdoors, you'll need to pot them. Vincas do best in well-drained soil. You can plant the vinca in a good, general-purpose potting mix, one that can stay moist (not wet) and drain well. Mixing in perlite will help provide appropriate drainage.
Caring for Vinca Indoors
For a really happy plant, use tepid water when watering and mist occasionally with lime-free water. (Vincas are vulnerable to blight in cold and soggy soil.) Feed the vinca with fertilizer from spring to fall when plants should be fed every two weeks. Do not offer any fertilizer during the winter.
Give the Plant Sun
While the vinca is indoors, keep it in a sunny room. The plant should get at least a few hours of direct sun every day. They do best when the temperature is warm; indoor temperatures are generally fine. The vinca will not flower unless you give it enough light. The best full sun will be in south-facing windows, but west-facing windows are good too.
Take Cuttings Too
Vinca can be propagated easily from cuttings. Use a mix of half perlite and half moist peat moss. Roots grow from the nodes, so make sure a node is under the surface of the soil. Create a greenhouse effect by putting a plastic bag over the plant and securing it with a rubber band around the rim of the pot. It can be transplanted into potting mix when roots have sprouted, and you can see some new growth.
Plan a Move Back Outside
Although in-ground vinca can survive almost anything, potted vinca is eventually likely to succumb to some kind of disease because the balance between moist soil and good drainage, which is essential to potted plants, is always tricky. You can divide the roots and plant it outside in part sun and part shade, and it will last forever. In fact, it can grow out of control outdoors if you don't keep it in check.