Monday, June 11, 2012


Not long ago if you planted a vinca in Houston you were giving it a death sentence. Tiny white crosses would need to go along with your periwinkles. That all changed with the 2008 introduction of the Cora series; a strain that is resistant to aerial Phytophthora (click to read the hilarious article by Steve Bender!)
 I've been very reluctant to grow these ubiquitous, 'everywhere you look'  plants, but that all changed as of today.
Isn't this beautiful?  It's by a landscaper we have here in Houston. And it's not in a home garden. It's in a small park on the corner of Bunker Hill and Gaylord Street near Memorial City Mall.
With the addition of a couple of native grasses, agaves and some rock walls you'd have a nice cottage garden.
And those red flowers in the front are? 'Cora' vincas.
There are seven colors in the series. And, if you're like me, you won't rest your trowel until you try them all.

Vincas are not my favorite flower, but this pink with a white center along with a number of shades of lavender and violet have caught my interest.  

Here's the lavender. I really like this with the feathery, silver gray Artemesias.
This combo alone would be worth keeping these Vincas around. I think I might be over my Vincaphobia.

The 'Cora' Apricot blends well with reds like this scarlet Penta.

The white looks nice with anything. I've got it by some silver plants.
This one's called Vinca 'Titan Punch'. Where are my sunglasses?

The lowly Vinca blooms all summer and asks for nothing special. I think with some creativity and if I use them sparingly, I can get them to blend in with my cottage garden look. We shall see.
They look fabulous with yellow Melampodium and both like heat and humidity.

The upright, delicate Angelonias could round out this type of garden.

Here's the purple variety of Angelonia I've planted up at our church gardens.
My gardening Pastor still has a bad case of Vincaphobia so I'll just have to pray she starts to like them.
(Or I could just sneak some into the beds!) LOL

Vinca 'Apricot' in a pot adds a bit of charm. Most of my early summer garden has finished blooming, so Vinca might be one of the few that will bloom all of July and August.

In closing, I'll take you back to that landscape that changed my mind.
 Here's some graceful Angelonia and a yellow Melampodium
 flowing between purple Loropetalums. This is quite a feat to have this much blooming in mid-June here in Houston.
Yep, hot, humid Houston might actually become a city of flowers!

Thanks for stopping by! Hope you got your flower fix for the day.
And if you've already grown these, please tell me if they made it through the summer. Thanks.

Welcome back, Vinca!


  1. Isn't it great whenever horticulturists find plant strains that are more resilient to local conditions? :)

  2. Love the Vincas! Had them in Mobile and the hotter the better for the ones we had! And it gets HOT, in Mobile! When a new gardener asks what to plant in a sunny garden, I always say "plant Vincas". they don't care how mean you are to them. I have too much shade now to have them. Enjoyed seeing yours-Carol

  3. Well, I learned something new. Now I will be looking for this series. They are very pretty, and I like that you've shown them with companions, too.

  4. What a pretty bed David. I love your Vinca's. I have to admit I have only grown them once. Seems I always go for Impatiens instead. I think I should have went for Vinca this year because it looks like a hot dry summer ahead.

  5. I've struggled to grow tender Vinca varieties here in the UK, so I'll add these to my wish list. If they ever make it across the pond, I'll give them a try.


I always appreciate your comments & questions! Happy Gardening from David/ Tropical Texana

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