Vinca Minor 2nd Year

angelamarakJuly 5, 2009

Hello. We planted some vinca minor on our front lawn two years ago, since we wanted a groundcover instead of grass and it's a generally shaded area. I am concerned, because after 2 years now, it is not filled in nearly as much as I think it should be. It was planted professionally by a landscaping service, so I am sure the number of plants was/is sufficient. Is there anything I can do? I normally do not water it, so maybe that's the problem? Should I be fertilizing it or using Miracle Gro or something? There are some areas where it is spreading very, very nicely and others where it's just not filling in. It is flowering, also. Thanks in advance.

Angie

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topie

Hi angelamarak,

Just wanted to ask a couple of questions so I can picture the conditions where your Vinca is growing:

When you say you planted your Vinca "on your lawn", were you hoping the Vinca would "fill in" an area that is currently covered with grass, or sparse grass patches?

Or do you just want the Vinca to fill in some areas of bare ground in a garden bed that used to be your lawn prior to the landscapers prepping the soil for planting?

    Bookmark   July 6, 2009 at 1:05PM
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angelamarak

Hello. We have a very small fornt lawn, It had grass, which the landscapers tore out. we wanted a groundcover that would fill in the entire lawn that grows well in shade. It is spreading slowly in most areas, but in some spots the vinca is just dying and not spreading. So, some of the lawn looks lush and then there are some very sparse areas.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2009 at 7:11PM
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topie

OK, great, that's good the landscapers removed the grass.

Does the area you want to grow Vinca get very damp/wet when it rains? I know there are yards that verge on swamp-like conditions at times.

If so, one possible reason why your Vinca is not doing well may be root rot. I know Vinca doesn't like "wet feet", and actually tolerates dry conditions fairly well once it's established. For example, our Vinca is in an area on the west side of our house, which is dry, gets hot, baking sun in the afternoons, is never watered by us, and the Vinca is doing fine.

I would select a Vinca that is not doing well and gently pull up the foliage to check the stems at the very base of the plant right where it comes out of the soil. If the stems look black or discolored, or have white fungal growth on them, your Vinca may have root rot.

If you want to explore the plant further, you can extract it entirely from the soil and check if there is an unpleasant or even foul odor coming from the roots. If so, this may be a sign of root rot also.

Root rot or "Vinca Wilt" is caused by a fungus. There are anti-fungal chemicals to treat this, however, the fungus can remain in the soil in the form of spores for months or even years, and any Vinca you may add back to the area may still be susceptible.

If you do spot symptoms of root rot, you may want to contact the landscaping company to see if they would help remedy this problem.

Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   July 7, 2009 at 3:33AM
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