Vinca, also known as Periwinkle or Myrtle, is a beautiful and versatile plant that can add color and texture to your garden. This hardy annual is easy to grow and maintain, making it a popular choice for both novice and experienced gardeners alike.
Vinca is native to Europe and western Asia, but it has been naturalized in many other regions of the world, including North America. This plant is typically grown as an annual, but it can also be grown as a perennial in warmer climates. Vinca is a low-growing plant, reaching a height of 6 to 18 inches and spreading up to 2 feet in diameter. Its leaves are glossy and dark green, and its flowers come in a range of colors, including pink, white, lavender, and red.
Benefits of Growing Vinca:
One of the benefits of growing Vinca is its hardiness. This plant can tolerate a wide range of growing conditions, including full sun or partial shade, and a variety of soil types, including clay and sandy soils. Vinca is also drought-tolerant, making it an ideal choice for hot and dry climates.
Below are some of the benefits of vinca that have been studied:
Vinca alkaloids are used in the treatment of certain types of cancer, such as leukemia, lymphoma, neuroblastoma, Wilms tumor, and Kaposi sarcoma. They have a marked cytotoxic effect and can shrink tumors.
Vinca alkaloids extracted from the pink periwinkle plant have a hypoglycemic effect and can lower blood sugar levels. This makes them potentially useful in the treatment of diabetes.
Lowering Blood Pressure:
Periwinkle can lower blood pressure, which may be beneficial for people with high blood pressure.
Vinca alkaloids have been studied for their potential in treating respiratory disorders like asthma, bronchitis, and COPD.
Alleviating Depression and Anxiety:
Vinca contains alkaloids that can have a calming effect on the nervous system, making it a potential natural treatment for depression and anxiety
Vinpocetine, found in the lesser periwinkle Vinca minor, is an excellent vasodilator and cerebral metabolic enhancer with proven benefits for vascular-based issues including cerebral infarction, vertigo and acute hearing disorders.
Treating Cognitive Decline:
Vinca contains a compound called vincamine, which has been shown to improve cognitive function and memory in people with mild cognitive impairment.
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Best Choice for Gardeners:
Vinca is also an excellent choice for gardeners who want to add texture to their gardens. Its dense foliage and low-growing habit make it a great groundcover plant. Vinca can be planted in between larger plants or used to fill in bare spots in the garden. It also works well in containers, hanging baskets, and window boxes, where it can spill over the edges and create a cascading effect.
When it comes to planting Vinca, there are a few things to keep in mind. This plant prefers well-drained soil, so be sure to amend heavy soils with organic matter before planting. Vinca can be planted from seed or purchased as transplants. If you’re planting from seed, be sure to start them indoors about 10 to 12 weeks before your last expected frost date. Transplants can be planted outdoors after the last frost date.
Vinca requires minimal maintenance once established. Water regularly, especially during dry periods, and fertilize once or twice during the growing season with a balanced fertilizer. Deadhead encourages the flowers to do more blooms.
One thing to be aware of when planting Vinca is its tendency to become invasive. This plant spreads by runners and can quickly take over an area if not kept in check. To prevent this, be sure to plant Vinca in a contained area or regularly trim back the runners.
In conclusion, Vinca is a versatile and hardy plant that can add color and texture to your garden. With its range of colors, dense foliage, and low-growing habit, it’s an excellent choice for groundcovers, borders, and containers. And with its ability to tolerate a wide range of growing conditions, Vinca is an ideal plant for gardeners of all levels of experience. So if you’re looking to add some visual interest to your garden, consider planting Vinca – you won’t be disappointed!