Periwinkle flower

Periwinkle flower

What is it and features

The Pervinca fiore is the Italian name of Vinca minor, a perennial herbaceous species of the Apocynaceae family. Typical of Europe and Asia Minor, and naturalized in North America, it is widespread in the Italian peninsula along the hedges, in cool and shady areas from the sea to the mountains. Its stems, emerging from a long rhizome, creeping and lying down, have simple, elliptical-lanceolate, dark green and shiny leaves. It blooms from February to June and appears among the first early species as soon as winter is over. The Periwinkle flower loves moisture, however they do not thrive if the growing medium is wet. Consequently, in the hot season it is advisable to do frequent watering, without however creating stagnant water or soaking the soil. In winter it is necessary to suspend or reduce the water supply based on the climate.


How to grow it

The periwinkle flowers, inserted in the axil of the leaves, are of a typical blue color called periwinkle blue: in many cases the shade of the corolla turns into pure white or darkens towards violet. The regular-flowered Periwinkle is tubular with five obliquely cut laciniae in a completely characteristic way. The fruit consists of two independent follicles. Periwinkles are widely cultivated in gardens, especially in the Vinca minor species, with flowers of 2 cm in diameter. Vinca major is also cultivated, with flowers of 4-5 cm in diameter, and Vinca difformis, whose flowers have an intermediate size compared to those of the other two species. The plant must be grown in a sunny area or at most with partial shade exposure; moreover it does not fear the cold.

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The soil and fertilization

The Periwinkle flower grows without problems in any drained soil, even if it prefers a slightly acidic substrate. It is advisable to add woodland and peat soil to the leaf soil and to avoid sandy and too dry soils. The results are obtained with a moist, light, medium-loose and rich in nutrients soil. The fertilization of plants belonging to this species is not a necessary operation. At most you can spread granular fertilizer for flowering plants on the ground at the end of winter. Alternatively, liquid fertilizer can be administered every 15 days in the same period of time together with water for watering. It is advisable not to add in excessive quantities very nitrogenous fertilizers because they can cause scarce blooms and too abundant vegetation.


Periwinkle flower: Widespread species and parasites

In the gardens there is also Vinca herbacea, a species from southeastern Europe. Vinca rosea, of African origin, is common in greenhouses and can only be kept outdoors in southern Italy. The Vinca minor variety is also endowed with medicinal properties: the leaves and young stems contain astringent principles and are used in the treatment of dysentery and congestion. The Periwinkle flower can be attacked by rust, which causes reddish spots on the leaves. The leaves can also be affected by the red spider, which causes them to yellow and die: the defoliation has a significant effect on the aesthetic appearance of the plants, however it is good not to use acaricides. In fact, the parasites are hardly eradicated and the problem returns the following year. For this reason it is best not to place Periwinkles near roses and other sensitive plants.


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