The Q&A Archives: Vinca Vine

Question: I have had some lovely vinca vines growing in my plant boxes this year outdoors-I live in the lower Adirondacks-zone 4 and would like to know how to winter them over-also a good method to store dahlia bulbs and begonia bulbs,too!Thanks!

Answer: Vinca major and Vinca minor are perennial groundcovers and should withstand your winter weather. Vinca rosea (Catharanthus roseus), or Madagascar periwinkle, is a tender perennial which is often grown as an annual in cold-winter climates. You can save seeds to sow in the garden in spring, or sow them in pots now and grow as a houseplant over the winter months. If you can dig up the entire plant, complete with roots, you may have success in keeping your existing plant indoors during the winter. Most plants are discarded after flowering, though.

Dahlia tubers can be dug after frost kills back the foliage. Leave the tubers intact and store in dry sawdust or peatmoss in a cool, dark location. Check periodically to make sure they aren't shrivelling up during the storage period. In the spring, when the weather warms, you can divide the tubers, leaving a sprout and a small portion of the original stem on each division. Plant when the soil is warm. Begonia tubers are stored dry, in trays or boxes, in an unheated place. When new pink buds sprout, pot them up and begin watering regularly.

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