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  HOME AND GARDEN » Annuals  


vinca2.jpg (37460 bytes)Vincas are very tough, resilient flowers that thrive in hot summer weather. Sometimes called Madagascar periwinkle, vinca has deep green foliage that smothers out weeds and non-stop flowers that shed cleanly so they never need trimming. Not long ago, vincas were only available in white and lilac, but now you will find a much broader selection of colors. To prevent possible diseases, do not plant vinca in the same spot year after year. Also, avoid planting until the weather is dependably warm in spring--at least 2 weeks after the last frost.


vinca.jpg (20716 bytes)When properly fertilized, vincas will bloom continuously from the time they are planted until frost. When planting vincas in beds, cultivate the planting site at least 8 inches deep and mix in a 2-inch deep layer of flower planting mix, compost, or other type of organic matter. Just before planting, mix in a timed-release fertilizer that contains all three primary plant nutrients. A high middle number in the fertilizer analysis, such as 11-40-6, indicates extra phosphorous, which will help the plants develop extensive roots.

Vinca blooms prolifically in summer heat, and you may not need to fertilize plants a second time to keep them healthy. However, if growth slows or you notice older leaves turning yellow, fertilize your vincas lightly with 17-17-17 containing timed-release fertilizer. Sprinkle this "booster feeding" into the soil between the plants and water well. When growing vincas in containers, fertilize them more often by sprinkling a teaspoon of fertilizer per plant atop the soil in the pots about once a month.




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