Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Vinca Fills the Gaps

By Skeeter
Recently I talked about Vinca and Periwinkle and getting the two confused. Now that I have finally decided how to handle the name calling in my Georgia Garden, I will show you the one I call Vinca.
Vinca has a beautiful Periwinkle bloom which I adore in the spring time.
My parents have a ton of this stuff growing in their Tennessee garden and I asked dad for a pluck of the pretty. Well, a pluck I got as he passed along 3 springs of the plant in a pot for me to add to my garden.

I tested the Saints temper by having him help me pick up this stump I spotted along the roadside. Obviously it had fallen off a truck while on the way to the landfill near our home. I planted the Vinca sprigs by the stump along with a Spider Plant that returned after I had tossed it into the woods from what I thought was a winter death. I learned that Spider plants will return in our mild climate. To the back of the stump are what materialized of the sprigs when planted in 2005. By March of 2006, I could see sprouts coming up from the vining of the previous year along with the returning Spider plant.
By June of 2006, I knew I would have lots of Vinca in time as it was really starting to spread.
May of 2007 and the Vinca continues to spread.
The Spider plants have had babies and they are spreading as well.
I failed to snap any progress pictures for the year 2008 but here is the same area now in 2009. A blanket of fallen leaves make a nice mulch on top of pine straw.
We also added a few Ostrich Fern this year but they did not fair too well and I don't expect to see them next year.
OJ kitty loves to creep around in the Vinca and stalk birds. Unfortunately, he catches one on occasion. Bad kitty!

I have heard many bad words where Vinca is concerned with its taking over. So far, I am happy with the Vinca and seem to be keeping it at bay from the Patio areas. I believe the trick to planting invasive plants is to know they can be invasive and give them plenty of room to roam.

I am so happy with my Vinca that I plan to take sprigs and move them to where we have erosion around the run-off creek to keep the soil in place. The deer do not seem to eat it at all and I do enjoy their spring flowers and little to no care from me.

Now forgive me dad for the unkind things I was thinking of you when only passing along 3 little measly sprigs of your Vinca! I now believe you about how quickly VINCA FILLS THE GAPS, In the Garden...


  1. I love this area! I bet it is just beautiful when in full flower.
    Your dad must of know how wildly vinca spreads and didn't want to overwelm your gardens. It's just lovely.

  2. I love Vinca. I like to use it trailing out of my window boxes. In fact, I use it to trail out of lots of my containers. I like the spider plant to. I never thought to grow it in the ground though--great idea!

  3. Yes it is important to give "invasive" plants their own area to really appreciate how they can "fill in the gaps." Very nice area here!

  4. I agree that the important thing with invasive plants is to know that and plant them accordingly. I've had a similar experience with some lamium. I didn't realize how much they would spread when I planted them in my shade garden. I've been digging them out ever since. But I've been moving them to an area in front of a tree where nothing will grow, and I'm so happy to see them spreading out and filling up a bare spot.

  5. Your advice is MOST sage. Knowing a plant is invasive and giving it room and the right place is the best way to handle the plant IF you must plant it. I have to agree vinca is a pretty little thing but not for me here. I can't fight it all the time. Your idea of it and the spider plants covering the stump was ingenious!

  6. Rose, I have to agree with the lamium-it is taking over my woodland garden. Urgh!

  7. Skeeter,
    Three went a long way, baby! I ama amazed at how fast it spreads. Love your old tree stump, or "snag"
    Great find. OJ is adorable.

  8. Good morning, I agree with you. Plants get the name 'aggressive' because they are planted in the wrong place. These plants are almost always dependable, quick to increase and often very beautiful. The prefect low maintenance plants for the right spots.

  9. I love the idea of the spider plant and the stump. Looks great!

  10. Great job on saving the stump. Makes a great spot to plant around and saved a bit in the landfill. You killed 2 birds with one stone. Hope OJ does not do that.

  11. I hate Vinca. I put some where I thought it could romp a bit, but it hid weed seedlings, smothered nearby plants & generally made a nuisance of itself. I've gotten it out of my garden, but it escaped and is now trying to make its way back in from the other side. I'd rather have a better behaved groundcover, such as Wild Ginger.

  12. Dawn, this is one of the first flowers to bloom for me in the spring! I love the purple pretties so much and only wish they would hang around longer but a spring bloomer they are. My dad knew of the spreading habit as he had a pot on a stump with Vinca. It dropped one sprig and he has a yard full of it now!

    Meadowview, I would never think of a Spider Plant in the ground either! It was a fluke of a discovery! I tossed the hanging plants from the front porch into the woods. They died down in the winter then returned in the woods in spring! They took root in the woods! I dug them out and put them into this area and also the shade garden I started this year…

    Darla, I think having a large area for invasive is the answer to the question, “How does one enjoy the beauty of an invasive plant”…

    Rose, I was not sure what lamium was so googled it to find out I think I have that weed growing in my grass at times! I never thought of it as a plant and now my eyes are open to its beauty. Well, I have always thought it was pretty just not in my grassy yard. There is a yellow one which likes the shade and I like purple and yellow together, hum, my brain is wondering today…

    Tina, I like the way you agree with me, here today. Subtle, very subtle girl. LOL. I spotted that dried stump on the roadside and kept my eye on it for two days. I kept mentioning it and the Saint would moan as we drove by. I finally TOLD him to stop and I was going to get it. He agreed if I wanted it, I was getting it but then the sweetie helped me get the heavy thing into the bed of the truck! I had no idea what I was going to do with it but it was just calling out to me to take it. This just kind of came to mind one day after dad gave me the Vinca. And yes, the Saint likes what I did with the stump and even helped me get it into place. Ah, the things we put our men through for our vision…

    Rosey, Yep, I wanted to let everyone see just how fast this stuff can grow! And now I find it growing even quicker as more and more trails of vines are rooting. This is kind of a warning blog today as I am giving fair warning to anyone wanting to plant it. I am happy with it but in time, like when I am out clipping it from the patio, I may not be happy with it. OJ is my little buddy from next door, he has been an inside cat lately so have not seen him much…

    Marnie, You see my point today! Yippee, I hear so much about invasive plants being such bad plants but as you say, Planted in the right place, they can flourish and be the plant they were intended to be…

    Janet, Thanks, the Saint was not sure about it at first but now, he agrees it was worth all the whining I did until he stopped to assist me in getting the thing from the roadside into my yard. Wow, that was a long sentence. I am still on pain medication and it takes control over my body… lol….

    Jean, you are so right, Killed two birds with one stone! Now funny that saying coming from you when I know how you love your birds. lol… I know just a saying and this Southerner is full of them….

    MMD, I see the wild Ginger is deer and rabbit resistant! This plant may work well in my garden. I see something similar to this in the woods and wonder if it could be wild ginger. Hum, I may have to dig some out and see if it will grow in my shade area. I don’t like to remove stuff from the woods as it never seems to make it once transplanted. I may give this a try though…

  13. Now Skeeter, you know 'subtle' would never be a word used to describe me:) Your advice was right on. Better?:)))))))

  14. Hi Tina,

    Your post proves that patience is a virtue when it comes to plants. I love your progressive photos. It is a lovely area.

    I like your point about invasive plants, that if you plant them in the right place, you can enjoy them.

    Isn't it always true that "Father Knows Best" ?

  15. It looks like you have a good place for vincas. I'm sure enjoying what they planted at the school I work at. They were just planted a few weeks ago, and are blooming.

  16. Thanks Skeeter, I now won't plant vinca in my garden. Can't run around pulling it out all the time. I had thought about putting it in some pots.
    I have Spider plants all over in the ground here. I had had them hanging under the over hang of the house & of course they bloomed & dropped the tiny seeds so I have a mat of them growing in the ground.

  17. I really like the variegated leaves on this vinca. Definitely was the right plant for the right place, it looks very nice there.

  18. I loved how it spread so quickly! The photos were amazing. Many thanks.

    Greetings from London.

  19. Tina, you are too funny girl :)

    Azplantlady, yep, Father does know best…

    Cornergardener, Glad you are enjoying the blooms…

    Lola, I found baby Spiders and Wandering jew in the planter under the front porch also! I dig them out and transplant them elsewhere…

    Vuejardin, OJ kitty is my buddy but belongs to the neighbors. He is a cutie for sure…

    Catherine, Thanks, I like the variegated also as it adds interest to a plant that only blooms during the spring. So,two colors during the rest of the year being green and white…

    A Cuban, Thanks, I was sad I did not have any pictures from last year though…

  20. I have Vinca like yours (variegated Vinca major), and the smaller leaved Vinca minor. Vinca minor was all over the place when we moved here, and it still is, although we have dug bushels of it. It takes over a bed so it really has to be handled with a firm hand. The variegated Vinca major is especially pretty in hanging baskets and pots; I'm sure you have seen it that way. Some people take it out and plant it in the ground for the winter, then come spring, put it back in the basket or planter. The worst problem I have had was with the basic all green Vinca major that came galloping across the property line from elderly neighbors' yard. It was traveling across my place and had gotten a foot deep. Rodents lived & nested in it during winter where it grew around some trees and shrubs. They gnawed, girdling our ginkgo tree, killing it. I dug down in the vinca ground cover to see what was wrong with the tree. I hate to use chemicals, but we had to spray several times to get rid of it and it still comes up in hidden places. We really have to stay after it.

  21. Hello Barbee! Sounds like you have had your troubles with Vinca. Sorry for loosing your Gingko, they are awesome trees. Those darn little critters. Yes, I see Vinca in baskets often and I should hang some myself some time...