I seem to have a love-hate relationship with the variegated vinca vine. I know its invasive tendencies, but I still admire it for its hardiness, its striking blue-purple flowers, and its lovely variegated foliage.
Because of its intense blue flowers and leaf variegation, I have grownVinca major 'Variegata'
(also called bigleaf periwinkle) in containers for many years. but it is sometimes tricky to keep this plant containerized, given the fact that it will take root anywhere it touches the ground. The vine is frequently used for erosion control in large areas where there is shade or partial shade, and it has escaped cultivation in many places.
Even though it has been declared an invasive species in California and other states, it is not invasive in all areas where it grows. Just as many other non-native plants, its ability to invade an area is determined by location and planting situation. In some parts of the country, vinca vine has escaped cultivation and invaded natural woodland areas. In other parts of the country, it has remained an aggressively spreading, shade-loving groundcover that can be controlled by cutting back the new shoot growth every year or by mowing over the area.
Some ideas for replacing vinca vine with natives in a large area or on a slope include native grasses, such as Bouteloua dactyloides
(buffalograss) and Bouteloua gracilis
(blue grama). These attractive grasses are short and do not require mowing.