12 Things You Should Know About Periwinkle Flowers
Periwinkle flowers are one of the most popular varieties among gardeners for many reasons.
Periwinkle, or vinca minor, is a fast growing specimen. Its waxy leaves are emerald green and the delicate blooms it produces are lovely – with colors covering a spectrum from white to deep red, and including hues of pink and blue. It grows thick, like a shrub, and works great as a groundcover. It grows to be anywhere from a foot to two feet tall.
Without further ado, here are twelve reasons why periwinkles can make a great addition to your yard or garden.
1. Periwinkle flowers will thrive in shade as well as sun, and will grow in areas where many other species will fail. If you have an area that is inhospitable to most plants, like a too-sunny area with poor soil, a periwinkle might be the perfect thing to plant.
2. Vinca is very prolific and thinks nothing of taking over an entire area, choking out any other plants in its path. For this reason, it’s best to plant them where there are no nearby specimens that will have to compete for space and nutrients. It sends out runners, which take root and form another cluster. If you don’t want your periwinkle to spread, you’ll have to be vigilant about cutting it back. On the positive side of this, the thick blanket of periwinkle will choke out weeds as well.
3. Another way you can keep better control of your vinca is to use containers. Vinca is as beautiful bulging out of window boxes as it is cascading from hanging baskets.
4. Left to grow, periwinkle will create a lush groundcover that is beautiful and low maintenance. It is a great border plant for outlying areas of a property. Again, the key is to keep tabs on your vinca patches if you don’t want them to spread past certain areas.
5. Obviously, the periwinkle is a hardy species. In fact, it can easily live for decades. There have been reports of specimens still blooming well after their hundredth birthday.
6. Extremely versatile, periwinkles are hardy from zones 3-10.
7. Pansies tend to thrive near vinca patches when you make the effort to keep a small area cleared for their tiny rootballs. Yellow and orange pansies look especially striking next to the blues and pinks of periwinkle flowers.
8. Folklore holds that vinca is unlucky when brought into the home unless the sprig has at least seven flowers on it. Since it blooms so readily, you’d be hard-pressed to find a sprig without that many - so don’t worry too much about this.
9. In the 17th century, periwinkle was believed to have a connection with marriage and consummation – and was a part of many wedding ceremonies.
10. Some other names for periwinkle flowers are: cockles, blue buttons, pennywinkles, creeping myrtle, wilk, and cutfingers. In Italy, they are called centochhio – “the hundred eyes” – probably because of the impressive mass of blooms that peer out from the plant’s foliage.
11. It can be propagated easily – either from a cutting, seed, or through transplanting. It loves to reproduce, so you won’t have to help it along much.
12. All vinca plants are toxic to animals so you don’t have to worry about any critters munching on your periwinkles.