Annual Flowering Vinca
Host: Gary Bachman, Ornamental Horticulture Specialist
Annual flowering vinca is one of those plants that really brighten up our Mississippi summer landscapes today on Southern Gardening.
Annual flowering vinca has both attractive foliage and gorgeous flowers. The foliage is a glossy dark green and has a prominent rib in the middle of the leaf. This makes for a fantastic background to show off the purple, red, pink and white flowers. In 2007 the Titan series was selected as a Mississippi Medallion Winner and these plants have lived up to this designation. Titan has an upright growth habit, reaching 16 inches tall and 12 inches wide. Its flowers are bigger than those of other annual vinca. This series has 11 flower colors including apricot, dark red, pink, white, blush and lavender. In 2012 All-America Selections introduced Jams ‘N Jellies. This vinca has flowers which are a deep, dark purple and have a velvety appearance. The nearly black flowers have a bright white eye. These have performed very well in the Mississippi State University trial gardens in both Poplarville and Crystal Springs. Vinca will always flower and grow best when planted in the full sun in raised landscape beds. The raised bed helps to achieve optimum soil drainage. This is important because flowering vinca does not like to have “wet feet” and in these conditions will develop root rot problems. You should always wait to plant until the soil temperatures have warmed up. Planting in cool soil will also encourage root rot problems.
Annual flowering vinca are drought tolerant once established. But this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t maintain consistent soil moisture. Always be prepared to apply supplemental water during the summer season. Using drip irrigation is a great way to irrigate during dry periods. I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman for Southern Gardening.