Periwinkle, or Greater Periwinkle, is a ground covering vine that grows very fast. It does not spread via seed but instead spreads itself along the ground by sending out shoots. As a result, anyone wanting to start a Greater Periwinkle would do well with even a small piece of the original plant. It does very well at elevations of up to 4,000 feet.
The Greater Periwinkle is named for its 2" full pale blue-violet flowers that begin blooming in April and continue to thrive in some regions until September. Its vines have oval-shaped leaves that are dark green to yellowish or may have dark centers with lighter edges. Originally introduced into the US as a decorative plant, it now grows so well across the country that is in considered an invasive species in some regions.
Vinca major is an excellent plant to add to a garden, especially if that garden is surrounded by open spaces. It is both deer and drought resistant. It stays as healthy in full sun as it does in full shade or partial sun. It does well not only as a ground cover, but also in hilly areas, and makes an excellent cover for a retaining wall. Periwinkle does not do as well in dry or sandy soil, so care should be taken that it is kept moist, especially when grown in bright, sunny areas.
Purchasing Greater Periwinkle is relatively straightforward. Most nurseries ship the plants in bare root bundles, though some gardeners prefer to propagate the plants from cuttings or dividing segments of the vine's roots. Gardeners should always take note that not only do these vines spread fast and quickly grow into a dense mat of foliage, but they also spread fast, too. It just takes 100 plants to cover more than 200 square feet of space.