Trailing vinca (annual) - have you grown it?

stevation(z5a Utah)July 9, 2008

When I redesigned my long flowerbed in the backyard this year, I put some more annuals in it for better constant color. Things are growing pretty well, except for this trailing Vinca I found at the nursery. I was excited to find it -- I didn't know there was a trailing annual kind of Vinca, and the color worked well for my plan. So, I bought a whole flat of them, but after six weeks, they still pretty much look like this:

Is there some secret to getting these Vincas to grow well? Their leaves are a little yellow, so maybe they're averse to the alkaline soil. I've been giving all the flowers in this bed a dose of Miracle-Gro about once a week, and the others are responding pretty well. Any ideas?

By the way, I finally posted some more photos on my garden blog -- mostly from things blooming last month. There's a really cool photo of my Ruby Meidiland roses, and they're really doing well! You can check it out at www.valleygardens.com. Azura prompted me to get on the ball by posting there about wanting to see some new stuff (thanks!). I have not kept up with it as much as before, because I'm *extremely* busy this year, trying to do all the construction work to finish my basement.

Anyway, can you help me with the Vinca problem???? Thanks!

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Azura(z5 CO)

WOW!!! The barrage of photos on your updates are STUNNING!! I love the Princess Bride reference and your neighbors are crazy for not wanting willow cuttings. I've often wondered if rooted willow cuttings will do well here in Colorado. Thank you so much for the update. Your gardens and photography skills are amazing.
Back to the vinca... I have never been very successful at growing vinca here in Colorado. Ive always hypothesized that its a problem with the alkaline soil because they grow well in the pacific northwest soil which is more acidic. But its just a theory! How alkaline is the soil in Utah?

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 10:33PM
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stevation(z5a Utah)

Thanks Azura. Yeah, the Princess Bride is probably my favorite movie of all time. If only I could have given that clematis a big chocolate-coated pill to bring it back from being "mostly dead!"

And yes, the soils here in Utah are probably just like Colorado. Most of us in the west deal with alkaline soils. Many people around here complain about clay, too, but it's nothing like the clay we had in Sacramento. My ground is mostly rocky underneath the topsoil and compost I've put in. So, yeah, I think the alkalinity is probably an issue, since the yellowish leaves are also a sign of iron chlorosis, which is related to the alkaline soil.

I have seen vinca annuals grown around here, but maybe those beds were highly amended. I do know it's always in the nurseries, but maybe the trailing kind (which I'd never seen before) is more sensitive than the regular vincas.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2008 at 12:47PM
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vic_zn5

Hey Stevation, I don't know a thing about the vinca, but I just had to comment on your blog.......

WOW!! And DOUBLE WOW!! Your gardens are just beautiful!

If I were closer to you I would take some of those willow cuttings off your hands for ya! :)

Thanks for sharing!
Vic

    Bookmark   July 10, 2008 at 1:44PM
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stevation(z5a Utah)

Thanks, Vic! I think I need to post something in the Utah forum or in a local community forum to get rid of those willow cuttings. I'll probably use four or five of them myself, but I have dozens.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2008 at 4:00PM
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emagineer(z5 CO)

Steve,
You know that I lived in Alpine for 7 years. My garden was the best ever there and corn grew beyond with huge ears and sweetness. In CO I have yet to grow a garden comparible.

The soil here is not the same, very few rocks unless in the mt. forest. In UT the ground seemed to breed rocks in the spring. Tilling was combined with throwing rocks into piles. Your area is close to the mountains and most of the homes were built without grading huge areas of earth.

Sometimes I think the problem with most of our soil is due to the building process. They remove so much earth that we are left with nothing else to do but add plus feet of amendments. Getting back what once was takes years. Of course this wouldn't be the case for those that live rural.

Willows: I rooted 5 small curly limbs in water this spring that came off from the wind. They rooted in a week and I planted at that time. Doing really well and have grown double their size.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2008 at 8:07PM
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vic_zn5

Well Steve, if you don't find a home for them I would be more than happy to send you postage if you would ship them. I would offer you a trade, but after looking at your pics, I am pretty positive that I would not have anything that you don't already have!

I'm sure if you tried craigslist or freecycle they would be gone in a matter of hours!

Vic

    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 1:56AM
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stevation(z5a Utah)

Vic,

I wouldn't know how to package them if I mailed them. I know willows are tough, but I think it would be hard to keep the roots from drying out, and when they've been submerged in water like this, those roots are probably pretty dependent on constant water right now.

I'd love to help, but I'm not sure it's a good idea. I will send an email to my full neighborhood list (it's a pretty cool neighborhood to have a listserv!) and maybe post on my city discussion forum (cool city, too!).

    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 11:59AM
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vic_zn5

Oh, that's ok Steve! It is a pain in the butt to pack and ship plants!

You do have a pretty cool neighborhood! That would be a neat way to get info out to ppl about things!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2008 at 12:31AM
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