Vinca minor has excellent ground cover capability

Vinca minor is at home in sun or shade.

Vinca minor is at home in sun or shade.

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The word ‘rampant’ can be a bit of a worry when it’s applied to a garden plant.

So if you have a bit of shady (or sunny) land where you think a ground-coverer is needed, but you don’t want to have to spend time ripping up a ‘rampant’ species, choose carefully when you opt for members of the Vinca (periwinkle) family.

Pick V major and you will probably regret it, although in the right place it is a very useful and reliable plant, suppressing weeds and providing round-the-year foliage and occasional, but not particularly outstanding flowers. But V minor is a different matter altogether. And the variegated version, with green leaves edged with white, and lovely little blue flowers, will grace just about any garden.

Vinca minor’s leaves, flowers and growth rate are about two-thirds those of its bigger brother, so in comparison to major, it grows relatively slowly. It’s also easy to handle and very easy to propagate. It will thrive in just about any soil and situation.

This little one is well suited for growing in sun or shade. It produces lots of glossyish evergreen leaves all year round and flowers intermittently from August to January. This is an excellent ground-cover plant; it can be used as under-planting for shrubs, roses and in any odd corner of the garden that requires some permanent greenery.

And it will grow in most soil types – as long as it has good drainage at all times.

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