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is there hope for my Vinca minor?

(16 Posts)
NotAnEMERGENCY Thu 16-Feb-17 11:56:27

I planted 6 Vinca minor 'Atropurpurea' in Nov. They were delivered in 9cm pots. I planted 3 at one end of the border and 3 right at the other end. I think the slugs must have got to them as in one corner they seem to have had their leaves munched within a couple of weeks. The other 3 lasted a lot longer with leaves but are now also looking rather pathetic. (I don't know how much of this is simply due to the winter.)

Three of them are now completely leafless (see 1st pic), two of them have 1 or 2 leaves and the 2nd pic shows the plant that's doing best. What are the chances of them recovering? If I have't seen any new growth by a certain month should I give up? (Which month?)

handslikecowstits Thu 16-Feb-17 16:18:38

I doubt slugs have eaten the leaves as they don't like Vinca normally but obviously something has had a feast or the plant is dead.

Plant 1 looks dead but I'd wait until March or April before digging it up. It might sprout a few leaves then. Plant 2 is fine.

I'd wait until next month and give them a feed with a general fertilizer and wait. If nothing happens with plant one then sling it.

handslikecowstits Thu 16-Feb-17 16:30:09

I'd also go to the "dead" plant and try to snap a bit off. If it snaps easily and the wood is brown then it's dead. If it's bendy and green, it's still alive.

Mrsmorton Thu 16-Feb-17 16:33:02

There are much less aggressive ground covering plants that look lovely... are you using it for a particular area or time of year etc?

NotAnEMERGENCY Thu 16-Feb-17 16:58:58

Hands: Thanks for the comments. I'll try snapping a bit off - that's a good tip.

Mrsmorton: I'm a novice gardener and am generally on the look-out for things that grow fairly fast as my new border still looks very empty! I wanted something evergreen. I've got clay soil, full sun/part shade. Colour scheme is purple/blue/pink/white. I tend to prefer dark green foliage rather than light green/yellowish/variegated. Vinca apparently has a long flowering period, which is a bonus. Any suggestions welcome!

llangennith Thu 16-Feb-17 17:05:51

Be grateful if your Vinca died. Once it gets hold it's impossible to get rid of.

handslikecowstits Thu 16-Feb-17 17:22:10

Mrsmorton and llangennith make a good point about Vinca's rampancy. In my experience however, Vinca major is the real thug. I have vinca minor La Grave in my garden and it's fine there because it's a woodland area and I don't mind if it runs away. It can swamp other plants by producing runners which root into the soil. There are other evergreen groundcover plants which aren't as potentially invasive. See this article by Val Bourne who is one of my favourite garden writers:

AstrantiaMajor Thu 16-Feb-17 19:14:01

Vinca is one of the easiest plants to propagate. Late spring, if you lay the stems on the ground and hold down with a stone or metal hoop it will root where the stem touches the ground. This is why it spreads and why some people advise against it. You can snip the rooted stem and plant it elsewhere or leave it to grow. I cut up metal coat hangers to make hoops as they push easily into the ground.

If I buy 9cm pots of plants in Autumn I pot them on into large ones and plant them in the garden I. early spring. If it is exceptionally wet or frosty I can move them to a more sheltered position. The unpredictable weather, rain, frost and insects can make these baby plants vulnerable. I find that nurseries often sell these 9cm pots at bargain prices in autumn to get rid of their stock. It is a good way to save money but they do need a bit of extra care.

MewlingQuim Thu 16-Feb-17 19:18:14

I've tried vinca in my garden 3 times - 3 varieties including atropurpurea. All dead. Fuckers.

I wanted invasive ground cover <sobs>

ApplesTheHare Thu 16-Feb-17 20:41:16

This thread is scaring me.

I've just bought 3 Vinca minor for a bare, shady bank hoping it will spread and cover the area fairly quickly. I bought the minor variety having read that the major is uncontrollable but minor is OK. Have I been horribly naive??

AstrantiaMajor Fri 17-Feb-17 08:19:47

My Vinca Minor was fine on a shady bank. I think it is a really pretty plant. I think that the mistake made by the OP was to plant a baby into cold ground. I don't think you have made a mistake, just give it the right conditions until it is established. Like a lot of plants, wet is more damaging than cold.

JeNeSuisPasVotreMiel Fri 17-Feb-17 08:30:04

I have Vinca minor on a shady bank and it's fine. Spreading just about the amount I need it to.

I've had to control and clear Vinca major from gardens and it's a different beast altogether. The two plants shouldn't go under the same reputation.

I agree, planting plugs out in November was a mistake - they should have been potted up and grown on in a protected area until the spring.

ApplesTheHare Fri 17-Feb-17 18:05:34

Thanks Astrantia and JeNe that's reassuring about how it works for shady banks. I've never had a bank before this new house so I'm finding my feet with it.

NotAnEMERGENCY Tue 16-May-17 13:41:38

Just thought I'd post an update for anyone googling for advice/reading this in the future. All 6 plants have new growth on them. Two of them only started reviving themselves right at the end of April but they are all alive and two of them have produced flowers so far.

MrsBertBibby Tue 16-May-17 14:17:30


ApplesTheHare Wed 17-May-17 18:41:06

Woohoo, great news. I also love an update, people don't post enough of them IMHO.

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