Perennial periwinkle in flower beds – 30 wonderful ideas for inspiration
Also known as Myrtle. This is probably the most popular evergreen groundcover, forming a dense mat of glossy dark green leaves, studded with bright blue flowers in spring. Very shade tolerant, the leaves will sometimes scorch in too much sun.
Tolerates dry shade once plants are established. Stems root into the ground readily, and the new plants that form may be easily moved to a new location in spring or early fall. Mowing the patch low after blooming every couple of years will help to keep it thick and weed resistant. Plant 4 to 10 plants per square yard. May be considered invasive in some areas, do not discard unwanted plants in compost or in natural areas where these can become established.
How to grow periwinkles
Periwinkles are tough and easy to grow, thriving in all but the most extreme soils and situations. Lesser periwinkle (Vinca minor) is usually the best choice for gardens, forming neat mats of growth that look good all year and keep weeds at bay. The prostrate-growing shoots of lesser periwinkle root where they touch the ground and gradually spread to form dense carpets of foliage. Space the plants between 30-50 cm apart, depending on how big the plants are on purchase and how quickly you want to cover the ground.
How to care for periwinkle
Plant periwinkle in autumn or spring if possible. If the soil is poor, improve it by digging in well-rotted organic matter first. Plant with the top of the rootball level with the ground, firm the soil around the roots and water in thoroughly. If planting periwinkle in spring or summer, keep well-watered during dry spells until established.
Periwinkle grows readily in all aspects from sun to shade but will flower much more freely in good light. Being one of the relatively few plants to thrive in shade, it’s extremely useful to grow in groups under trees or shrubs. Periwinkle also makes excellent ground cover for hard to access sites such as banks. For best results grow periwinkle in moist but well-drained soil, although it will grow in all but extremely dry or waterlogged ground.