Madagascar periwinkle (Catharanthus roseus), also known as Vinca, is a beautiful and easy-to-grow plant that originated in Madagascar. It is a popular choice for gardeners due to its vibrant, colorful flowers and its ability to thrive in a wide range of growing conditions.
Vinca is a small shrub that grows up to 2 feet in height and width. The plant produces colorful flowers that come in shades of pink, red, white, & purple. These blooms are usually around 1 inch in diameter & have a distinctive five-petal shape.
In addition to its beauty and hardiness, this beautiful summer flowering plant also has medicinal properties that make it a valuable addition to any garden. The plant contains alkaloids that is useful in treating health conditions, including leukemia, hypertension, & diabetes. It is also used in traditional medicine to treat a range of ailments, including headaches, menstrual cramps, & snake bites.
How To Grow & Care For Madagascar Periwinkle?
- Climate: You can grow periwinkle flowering plants in warm tropical to sub-tropical climates. In cold temperate climates, they can grow as annuals during summer.
- Soil & Potting Mix: They are adapted to grow in wide range of soils. Vinca are so hardy plants, that you can see them growing even within wall cracks. However, for best growth, mix 40% garden soil + 20% cocopeat + 30% dung manure + 10% river sand to prepare potting mix.
- Sunlight: Keep periwinkle in 6 to 8 hours of bright direct to indirect sunlight to get healthy plant growth. During very hot summer days when temperature rises above 35o Celsius, you can shift your plants under shade. It will help in preventing leaf burns.
- Watering: Keep the soil evenly moist, but avoid overwatering because it can lead to fungal diseases. Make sure the soil is well drained. Apply water only when top layer of soil becomes dry.
- Fertilizers: Even if you forget adding any fertilizers, Vincas will keep growing & producing flowers. But to get intense flowering, apply a handful of dung manure + 1 tablespoon onion peel fertilizer or bonemeal once after every 30 days.
- Pests & Diseases: Although, they are tolerant to most of the pests & diseases, but in severe cases aphids or root rot can damage your plant. Use neem oil spray to control aphids. To prevent fungal diseases like root rot, avoid overwatering. During rainy season, shift your plants under shade.
How To Propagate Periwinkle Plant?
When To Propagate: You can propagate them anytime during active growing season which extends from March to September.
How To Propagate: The best way to propagate periwinkle is through division. You can also propagate them from seeds, but they will take more time to develop and flower. To propagate Vinca from division, dig around the base of the plant, take them out carefully. Divide plant into two halves from the portion of new growth. Plant them in the new pot filled with potting soil.
Do not cut plant into two halves, divide from the root portion for propagating Periwinkle plant.