Are you looking for a beautiful and low-maintenance ground cover for your garden?
Look no further than perennial periwinkle! This drought-tolerant plant boasts glossy, evergreen leaves and stunning violet flowers, making it a popular choice for gardeners across the country.
But did you know that propagating periwinkle is easy and can save you money on buying new plants?
In this article, we’ll explore the different methods of propagating periwinkle, from stem cuttings to dividing established plants.
Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just starting out, this guide will help you successfully propagate periwinkle ground cover in your own backyard.
How To Propagate Periwinkle Ground Cover
There are several methods for propagating perennial periwinkle, including stem cuttings, seed germination, and dividing established plants.
Stem cuttings are the easiest and most reliable method of propagation. Cut 4-6 inches off the top of a stem that does not have flowers. Dip the cut end in rooting hormone talc and plant it in a small pot filled with moist potting soil. Keep the cutting in a warm, humid location and water it regularly. In just two to four weeks, the cutting will develop roots and can be transplanted into your garden.
Seed germination is also possible, but it is a slower process. Sow the seeds in a tray filled with moist potting soil and cover them lightly with soil. Keep the tray in a warm, bright location and water it regularly. The seeds will germinate in two to three weeks and can be transplanted into your garden once they have developed several leaves.
Dividing established plants is the quickest method of propagation. Dig all the way around the clump of the plant that you want to transplant and lift it up. The plants have shallow roots, so you will not have to dig too deep. Plant the division immediately at the same level it had been growing. Pat down the soil around the plant roots, then water thoroughly.
Why Choose Periwinkle Ground Cover?
Periwinkle ground cover, also known as Vinca minor, is an excellent choice for gardeners looking for a low-maintenance, evergreen ground cover that can thrive in partial sun to shade. It has glossy, dark green leaves that exude a milky juice when broken and produces beautiful purple, blue or white flowers that bloom in March or April and sometimes again in the fall.
One of the main advantages of periwinkle ground cover is its ability to grow in a variety of soil conditions, although it thrives best in moist, well-drained soil with a pH of 6.0 to 8.0. It also tolerates shade well and can be grown under trees or shrubs where other plants struggle to survive. Periwinkle ground cover is also an excellent choice for hard-to-access sites such as banks.
Another advantage of periwinkle ground cover is its ability to spread rapidly and cover large areas quickly. This makes it an ideal choice for gardeners looking to create a uniform ground cover that requires minimal maintenance. It also helps prevent soil erosion and suppresses weed growth.
Periwinkle ground cover is also relatively pest and disease-resistant, making it an ideal choice for gardeners who want a low-maintenance plant that requires minimal care. It is also deer-resistant, which is a bonus for gardeners who live in areas with high deer populations.
Propagating Periwinkle: A Cost-Effective Solution
Periwinkle ground cover is a popular choice for gardeners due to its hardiness, low maintenance, and attractive blue flowers. However, purchasing enough plants to cover a large area can be costly. Fortunately, propagating periwinkle is a cost-effective solution that can save you money while still achieving the desired coverage.
Stem cuttings are an especially cost-effective way to propagate periwinkle. Instead of purchasing new plants, you can simply take cuttings from an established plant and grow them into new ones. This method requires only a small pot, potting soil, rooting hormone talc, and regular watering. After just a few weeks, you will have new periwinkle plants ready to transplant into your garden.
Dividing established plants is another cost-effective method of propagation. By lifting up an existing clump of periwinkle and dividing it into smaller sections, you can create multiple new plants without having to purchase any additional ones.
Seed germination is also possible, but it requires more time and effort than the other methods. However, if you have the patience and resources to sow seeds in trays and care for them until they are ready to transplant, this can be a cost-effective way to propagate periwinkle.
Method 1: Propagating Periwinkle From Stem Cuttings
Perennial periwinkle, also known as creeping myrtle, is a drought-tolerant ground cover that is highly adaptable and can thrive in full sun or part shade. Propagating periwinkle from stem cuttings is an easy and reliable method that can be done year-round. Here’s how to do it:
1. Cut a 4-6 inch stem with leaves but no flowers from the parent plant.
2. Remove any leaves from the bottom third of the cutting.
3. Dip the cut end of the stem in rooting hormone talc to encourage root growth.
4. Plant the cutting in a small pot filled with moist potting soil. A mixture of sand, peat moss, and perlite can also be used.
5. Water the cutting regularly and keep it in a warm, humid location. You can enclose the pot in a large, clear plastic bag to create a mini greenhouse effect.
6. Open the bag daily to check that the planting medium remains moist. If needed, carefully add water to the soil or mist the cutting.
7. In just two to four weeks, the cutting will develop roots and can be transplanted into your garden.
By following these simple steps, you can easily propagate periwinkle ground cover from stem cuttings and enjoy its glossy, evergreen leaves and violet, pinwheel-like flowers in your garden.
Method 2: Propagating Periwinkle By Division
Another way to propagate periwinkle ground cover is by dividing established plants. This method is especially useful if you already have a mature periwinkle plant in your garden that you want to expand or move to a different location.
To start, wait until autumn when the plant has finished flowering and is entering its dormant phase. Dig all the way around the clump of the plant that you want to transplant and lift it up. The plants have shallow roots, so you will not have to dig too deep.
Next, use a sharp knife or garden shears to divide the clump into smaller sections. Each section should have several stems and a healthy root system. If necessary, you can gently tease apart the roots with your fingers to separate the sections.
Plant each section immediately at the same level it had been growing. Make sure to space them at least 6 inches apart to allow for future growth. Pat down the soil around the plant roots, then water thoroughly.
It’s important to keep the soil moist but not waterlogged during the first few weeks after transplanting. You can also add a layer of mulch around the plants to help retain moisture and suppress weeds.
With proper care, your new periwinkle plants should establish themselves quickly and start spreading to create a lush ground cover in your garden.
Tips For Successfully Propagating Periwinkle
Here are some tips to help you successfully propagate your periwinkle plants:
1. Choose the right time: The best time to propagate your periwinkle is in the spring or early summer when the plant is actively growing. This will give your cuttings or divisions the best chance of success.
2. Select healthy plants: Choose healthy, disease-free plants for propagation. Avoid plants that have yellow leaves, brown spots, or other signs of poor health.
3. Use the right tools: Use clean, sharp scissors or pruning shears to take your cuttings. This will help prevent damage to the parent plant and ensure that your cuttings are healthy.
4. Prepare your planting medium: Use a well-draining potting mix that contains sand, peat moss, and perlite. This will provide the ideal environment for your cuttings to develop roots.
5. Apply rooting hormone: To increase your chances of success, apply rooting hormone talc to the cut end of your stem cuttings before planting them in the potting mix.
6. Provide the right conditions: Periwinkles prefer partial shade and moist soil. Keep your cuttings or divisions in a warm, humid location with bright, indirect light. Water them regularly and mist them if necessary to keep the soil moist.
By following these tips, you can successfully propagate your periwinkle plants and enjoy their beautiful foliage and flowers in your garden.
Maintaining Your Periwinkle Ground Cover: Dos And Don’ts
Once your periwinkle ground cover has been established, it’s important to maintain it properly to prevent it from becoming a pest. Here are some dos and don’ts to keep in mind:
– Water your periwinkle ground cover regularly, especially during dry spells.
– Fertilize your periwinkle in the spring with an all-purpose fertilizer.
– Mulch dry soils to conserve moisture.
– Prune back any overgrowth or straggly branches in the spring.
– Monitor the growth of your periwinkle and remove any plants that grow out of bounds.
– Overwater your periwinkle, as this can lead to root rot and other issues.
– Use herbicides or pesticides on your periwinkle, as this can harm beneficial insects and other plants in your garden.
– Neglect your periwinkle ground cover, as it can quickly become invasive if left unchecked.
By following these dos and don’ts, you can ensure that your periwinkle ground cover remains healthy and beautiful for years to come.