Vinca, Madagascar Periwinkle
Scientific Name: Catharanthus roseus (L.) G. Don
Synonym: Vinca rosea
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Recommended Temperature Zone:|
sunset: All zones as annual
USDA: All zones as annual
Frost Tolerance: Semi tender, needs a protected area
Heat Tolerance: Resistant if receiving only morning sun
Sun Exposure: Light shade in Phoenix
Origin: Madagascar, Mauritius
Growth Habits: Perennial to 2 feet high (60 cm)
Watering Needs: Regular water
Propagation: Seeds, occasionally by cuttings
As many other plants of the dogbane family, the Vincas are poisonous, although mildly. There are also 2 drugs extracted from it: vinblastine (used in the treatment of Hodgkins' disease) and vincristine (used in the treatment of leukemia).
These Vincas can survive winter, but they might look leggy and ragged, growing slowly in the spring. Depending how protected they are, it might be best to just replacing them. Check for snails and slugs
They need warmth, and limited water and fertilizer to bloom abundantly, instead of just growing.
Start inside at 70-85°F (21-29°C). The seeds take one to 3 weeks to germinate, and then grow slowly. Plant after 10 weeks, 12 inches apart (30 cm).