Plant Speed Date: Vinca minor

(Plant Speed Date is a series in which I attempt to introduce you, the reader, to as many plants as possible in a short period.)

Hello, My Name Is: Vinca minor

My Friends Call Me: Periwinkle, myrtle

Turn ons: Medium to rich well-drained soil, average moisture, shade

Turn offs: Full sun, being told to keep my runners to myself

What I Do For a Living: Make a fabulous ground cover (USDA Zones 4-9), fill weird shady holes that would otherwise go bare, make deer look for something else to eat, conquer my foes by spreading throughout an entire shaded lawn or wooded area.

My Best Features Are: The cute little flowers I produce in spring. Usually they’re blue-purple, but I offer varieties you wouldn’t believe. Also, I’m smaller and tougher than my big sister, Vinca major.

My Exes Would Tell You I:

  • Killed their lawn. A total lie – grass doesn’t even like the kind of places I love to grow.
  • Refused to leave after multiple attempts at eviction. Totally true. There’s no getting rid of me, but why would you want to? I’m your woodland true love, baby. My only real enemy is glyphosate, but who wants that in their yard? Not us!
  • Bloom for like five minutes a year. It’s not MY fault you don’t pay attention when I’m telling you spring is coming. Next time, stop ogling that daffodil with the big pistils.
  • Stole their car. Pfft, don’t leave the keys in the ignition next time, BRAD.

How to Make Me Yours: Find a patch some neighbor has planted and grab some runners in the spring. (Asking permission is nice, I guess – I never ask permission for anything.) Or buy plants at a local nursery.


Fund future plant speed dates here.