Vinca that isn't spreading - Knowledgebase Question

mukilteo, wa
Question by elainemknapp
June 21, 2008
I have a Japanese Maple that had bare ground underneat it (A big space of bare ground). I wanted to put ground cover under it and chose Vinca for its' blue flower. I planted it threee feet away from the trunk/base of the Maple about 8 mos. ago. But it isn't spreading, the plants have an occasional blue flower, and they look healthy, but they aren't spreading. I fertilized them with Miracle Gro, don't see any improvement. Are Vinca slow spreaders or am I doing something wrong? Thank You,
Elaine Knapp

Answer from NGA
June 21, 2008


Vinca can be slow to spread but once it does, it grows nice and thick. I think the underlying problem in your situation is that the tree roots and vinca roots are competing for moisture and nutrients. The tree will get the lion's share because it has many more and much larger roots. This doesn't mean that the vinca won't ever root and spread, it will just take a little longer. Be patient and eventually the vince will create a beautiful planting beneath our maple.

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