Vinca trouble

deborahb_gardenerJuly 29, 2012

I have some vinca annuals in a pot.

Half of them have shriveled and died. Too much sun at the beginning, then too little.

Now I've placed them where they get about 4 hours of afternoon sun.

They have started to seed and they look limp and miserable.

Should I be cutting out the seeds? A wonderfully knowledgeable lady at Lowes recommended it, but I am not sure.

Also, if you see leaves totally limp, should you be cutting them off?


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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

most likely.. they are so root bound.. that the pot cannot hold enough water.. to get them thru the day ... leading to the wilting ...

and yes ... once annuals go to seed.. they rarely perform to expectation.. so snip out the seed pods.. and repot them ..

or get rid of them.. and wait until the fall flowers come out in a month or so ... sometimes.. it isnt worth the effort.. to 'save' something way past its prime ..

not every plant.. can make it all the way thru summer.. performing at Olympic levels ...


    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 4:33PM
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Thank you Ken.

So wilting does mean they are not watered enough?

Because I read elsewhere that they should not get too much water or they will rot.

They came in a potting mix that is very aerated--I am not sure if that is best at the end of the day. It certainly has humidity in it, but I am not sure that is enough.

My neighbor has them planted in the garden and they are doing swell.

I, on the other hand, have a brown hand, not thumb....

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 5:36PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

tip one out of the pot .... and find out if there is any media left in the pot..

you can NOT overwater a pot.. that has no media to hold the water ...

i am picturing a rather large plant.. in the pot you bought it in 3 months ago ... and its so rootbound.. that when you water.. i flows right thru the roots ... basically not giving the plant.. what it needs ..

or post a pic.. so i can see what we are talking about ...


ps: plants in pots.. grow in potting MEDIA ...

soil is mother earth..

and dirt is what is all over you.. when you play in either of the above ...

so the question is.. why your pots media.. can not hold enough water.. for the plant to make it thru the day ... not necessarily whether you water it enough ... make any sense???? let me put it this way.. you can water a rock all day long.. but it is still going to dry out ... it would need to be in a media to hold the water.. to stay damp.. just like roots .. also.. this time of year.. black pots get really hot.. and the pot itself.. should never be in sun ... otherwise.. you cook out whatever water is in the pot ...

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 7:18PM
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In the summer, potted vincas need to be watered just about every day. Don't worry about over doing it right now. You might repot with a medium that holds water better, too. Plants are potted in a very loose medium because they get watered every day in nurseries. I remove that when I repot them, or I'll have to water too much.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 7:36PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Catharanthus roseus ('annual' vinca) is a tender perennial and will not begin to die once it has flowered. Most people grow it AS a disposable annual but it really is a perennial. The advice given you from the big box store is not accurate.

Plants wilt when there isn't enough water traveling up the vascular system from the roots to the leaves. Reasons for that include underwatering, overwatering, root rot, and systemic vascular disease.

No one in this forum can tell our original poster how often to water. That depends entirely upon her own set of circumstances....type and size of container, porosity of potting medium, temp. and humidity, just to name a few of the variables.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 10:25PM
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Lots of wisdom in this group!

Ken: it IS a black pot! And once I put my finger in to check for moisture and the soil was HOT! That's one reason i put it in the shade originally. I meant to write about that. So task no 1 is to repot in a light colored pot.

eahamel: When repotting, I will mix in some proper soil, as it is indeed to aerated.

And maybe that solves the questions posed by rhizo_1.

I do have to say that already, putting it where it got more sun (one of the reasons for shading it was exactly noting how hot the soil was) after watering yesterday and the stalks look stronger.

But I really don't like throwing away all those seeds. Does it make any sense to put them in the same soil underneath? I only have half the plants that came in the pot to start with.

And what about the wilting leaves, usually close to the base of the plant? I am harming the plant by cutting them off?

Thanks all!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 10:53PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

the seeds from a named cultivar.. most likely.. will not come true to mom ...


    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 9:13AM
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Deborah, it's okay to plant the seeds. I've seen them coming up on their own in beds with vinca. The color might not be a worry for you - it wouldn't for me, but the good thing is, you'll get good vincas from the seeds.

Rhizo is right, vinca isn't an annual. I've had one large pot for about 2 years now, and they've been in bloom almost that entire time. I didn't expect them to survive the winter, but our winter was very mild last year.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 6:21PM
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mxk3(Zone 6 SE MI)

Are you sure you not overwatering? Vinca does not like too much water, and rot can be a problem.

Agree with Rhizo re: too many variable to make a call re: should water every day. My pots do not need watering every day unless it's scorching heat, and even then I can get away with every other day, as I don't use straight potting medium.

Anyway, the soil in your pots may be hot, but is it dry or moist?

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 7:58PM
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We are doing much better!

More sun and more water seem to have done the trick.

When heat cools down, I will repot, mixing with some denser medium that holds water better.

Thanks all!

Who knows, at this rate, maybe they'll stick around next year!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2012 at 4:24PM
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