Growing Periwinkle

Vinca minor, the “dwarf periwinkle”, is one of the groundcovers. In general, however, the plant is also referred to as “lesser periwinkle” or “myrtle”. With its long stolons it covers even large areas and forms beautiful, blue-violet flowers. You can enjoy this wonderful flower from spring to the end of the summer.

Plant Profile

  • Order: gentianales
  • Family: dogbane (apocynaceae)
  • Subfamily: rauvolfioideae
  • Genus: periwinkle (vinca)
  • Species: dwarf periwinkle (vinca minor)
  • Growth form: perennial prostrate shrub
  • Blossom: blue crown with yellow stamens
  • Flowering period: from early March to June (late bloom until autumn)
  • Origin: Europe

Whether in the garden or in parks, the dwarf periwinkle is a real eyecatcher. The plant is not only available in blue-violet, but also in many other colours. The unpretentious soil plant reaches a height of about ten centimeters. It thrives in different locations, such as under trees or on slopes. With Vinca minor you can cover your garden in an efficient and beautiful way.

In general, the dwarf periwinkle is believed to originate from the Mediterranean and Southern Central Europe. Later, the Romans brought this beautiful plant with them, spreading it throughout Europe. Later on, vinca minor was introduced in Northern Europe and the British Isles under the name “Gartenflüchtling”. In North America the plant is even growing in the wild. Today the “dwarf periwinkle” is very popular, so it is not surprising that the plant is often seen.


The dwarf periwinkle is not only a real eyecatcher, but also quite unpretentious when it comes to the care. The plant can thus also be easily cultivated by beginners. The evergreen leaves as well as the long lasting blossom splendor make the dwarf periwinkle something very special. In addition, the plant is very robust and not particularly prone to pests or diseases.


Vinca minor prefers a half schady or shady place. However, the beautiful plant is difficult to grow in completely dark spots. With regard to the soil, the dwarf periwinkle does not make any great demands. It grows in all circumstances, in permeable, fresh, warm and humid soils. The soil may also be slightly acidic or chalky. Only heavy as well as compacted soils are completely unsuitable for the dwarf periwinkle.


The sowing of the dwarf periwinkle is quite difficult for beginners. In addition, seed is rarely sold in the stores.

For sowing, the procedure is as follows:
  • prepare jiffy pots as well as transparent ziplock bags
  • place the jiffy pots in a container with some water so that they swell
  • then you can put the swollen peat into pots with a size of about six centimeters
  • spread the seeds onto the peat and cover them with about two millimeters of the substrate
  • then place each pot in a ziplock bag with some water
  • close the bag and place it on the window sill
  • if you do not have ziplock bags on hand, it is also possible to sow under glass

When the temperatures are between 24 and 28 degrees in the day and between 20 and 24 degrees in the night, the germination conditions are perfect. The young plants are then pricked after about three to six weeks. When pricking, you should maintain a distance of about two to three centimeters between the plants.

Already towards the end of May you can put the plants in a bed. However, in order to successfully extract the dwarf periwinkle from seeds, all conditions have to optimally harmonize with one another. Because of this, dwarf periwinkle are mostly not cultivated from seeds.


Spring is the best time for the planting of vinca minor:
  • remove existing weeds at the chosen spot
  • afterwards, the soil should be well loosened so that the small roots can grow quickly and safely
  • if you have some, you should also mix some mulch or well-rotten garden compost to the soil
  • now remove the pot from the root ball and dig a plant hole
  • then place the vinca minor in the center of the hole and use the soil to fill it up to it’s half
  • afterwards, you should thoroughly slurry the hole with water and add the remaining soil

Optimal planting distance

When you finally plant the vinca minor into your garden, it is advisable to keep a certain planting distance, so that the dwarf periwinkle will delight you with a magnificent growth and a beautiful bloom. For example, you should only use ten to twelve plants on one square meter of area if you want the area to become green quickly. If a quick greening is not so important to you, then you can also safely use fewer plants.


Vinca minor can be completely or partially replanted without problems.

Proceed as follows:
  • carefully remove the chosen part of the plant from the soil
  • to do this, use a small garden shovel or a similar tool
  • shake off the old soil
  • if necessary, remove rotten or damaged roots
  • place the vinca minor to the desired location as described under “Planting” and pour it well
  • it won’t take long until the plant grows well and makes you happy with its fast growth and flowering


Cutting of the dwarf periwinkle is not necessary. Only in the case of unwanted, too strong multiplication, you may cut it back. In doing so, the plant easily tolerates a very strict cutting.

Cutting procedure:
  • cutting should ideally be done in March
  • cut the dwarf periwinkle to just above the ground
  • when cutting, you should ensure that as many branches as possible are kept with closed buds, so that they can sprout again
  • the more branches you leave, the more bushy the plant grows
  • if desired, you can use cut-off parts as cuttings for multiplying the beautiful plant
  • if no multiplication is desired, dispose the cut pieces via the organic waste


The perfect time to divide the plant is in spring. To do this, proceed as follows.
  • dig out the chosen plant first
  • then divide the root ball into different pieces
  • however, you should make sure that each part has a sufficiently large piece of root
  • afterwards, you can put the individual pieces right to their final locations and pour them well
  • it will not be too long until the replanted parts will please you with beautiful growth

You may need:

  • «Little Mix» - Organic Periwinkle Seeds

  • Category: Flowers | Rating: 0.0/0
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