Add Annual Vinca Flower to Gardens and Containers

Updated: Jan. 13, 2021

Need a free-flowering plant that tolerates heat and humidity? Annual vinca is a great option for your garden.

In the crushing humidity and heat of a southern summer, there aren’t a whole lot of flowers that can thrive. Natives are the best option, but some bedding plants can fit the bill. Annual vinca flower is one great example, and you don’t have to live in the muggy south to enjoy this pretty charmer.

Vinca Flower Size and Color

Annual vinca flower is a compact plant, growing to about 15 inches by 15 inches. The shiny green leaves are set off by the multiple five-petaled blooms, which appear continuously. Vinca is available in a range of shades including, white, pinks, red, purple, and lavender. Some of my favorites have contrasting center colors, such as pale pink with dark pink in the center.

Annual Vinca

Vinca Flower Care

Vinca needs little maintenance, and deadheading isn’t required. They do well in full sun to part shade, and can tolerate some drought, although they flower best with regular watering. Check out the top 15 easy flowers anyone can grow.

Is Vinca an Annual or Perennial?

Grow vinca as an annual in zones 2 – 8, and as a short-lived perennial in zones 9 – 11. Some varieties self-seed and return the following spring. Learn the difference between annuals and perennials.

Where to Buy Vinca

Buy vinca as bedding plants at your local nursery in the early summer in northern areas, and spring through fall in the Deep South. You can also start them from seed. Try some cultivars not commonly available at stores, like Tattoo Black Cherry Vinca, which is a gorgeous vibrant reddish-purple.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail On vinca flowersCourtesy Jim Werner
Eastern tiger swallowtail on vinca flowers

Vinca Vine Flowers

Trailing vinca is a wonderful plant for containers or as ground cover. Butterflies will visit annual vinca flowers for nectar, although it’s not necessarily their preferred plant in the garden. Check out 6 go-to flowers you should plant in your butterfly garden.

Vinca and Periwinkle

Annual vinca is one of those plants that cause a lot of confusion regarding common names. Annual vinca is also known commonly as periwinkle or Madagascar periwinkle. Other flowers are also known by these names. Though they’re all related, each behaves differently.

Annual vinca’s botanical name is Catharanthus roseus. Annual vinca was once called Vinca rosea, but it’s been determined to be a different genus from true vincas like Vinca major and Vinca minor, both of which behave more like a flowering ground cover. These two are also commonly known as periwinkles and can be invasive.

Confused? That’s why knowing botanical names can be so helpful.

Annual Vinca