Southwest Gardening forum: Vinca major, anyone?

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Name: Alma
Phoenix & Cottonwood, AZ
USDA zone 9b, Sunset 13 & ??
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tomatofreak
Feb 2, 2012 12:25 PM CST
Invasive is sometimes a lovely word. As when you have an ugly patch of ground you'd like to cover and make green. A corner of the yard you know you'll never get around to doing anything with. Well, c'mon over and dig some vinca! It really is pretty, takes nothing but water to make it happy and has a happy lavender flower. I am trying to reduce its footprint in my front yard for the first time in years. Any takers?
http://www.google.com/imgres?hl=en&biw=1280&bih=559&gbv=2&tb...
Alma
In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. – Thomas Jefferson
Name: Becky (Boo)
Phoenix, AZ 85022
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Boopaints
Feb 2, 2012 10:05 PM CST
I'm in an apartment or I would be over with a back hoe. I love Vinca Major!
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tropicbreeze
Feb 3, 2012 1:05 AM CST
It's a bit of a mixed bag here. I had some for years in one area growing reasonably well until I started to mulch a lot for the benefit of some other plants. The Vinca died out. But I had put some in another area of bare ground but it's struggling to survive there.
Name: Alma
Phoenix & Cottonwood, AZ
USDA zone 9b, Sunset 13 & ??
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tomatofreak
Feb 3, 2012 9:04 AM CST
Weather Bug says it's gonna be a hot day in Noonamah, 93 degrees. How hot are your summers, generally? Ours are getting hotter and hotter, but the vinca doesn't seem to mind as long as it gets a drink now and then. My summer irrigation schedule is every two weeks and I don't water in between unless it starts to burn. Maybe it just wants a bit o' water?
Alma
In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. – Thomas Jefferson

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
tropicbreeze
Feb 3, 2012 7:21 PM CST
Alma, we're equatorial here, so the weather goes a bit different to where you are. Our lowest day maximums and our highest night minimums are in summer. Winter the day maximums are higher, night minimums lower. Spring has hottest days and hottest nights. Autumn isn't usually quite as hot as spring. This is all on average, of course.

It all revolves around our rains. Winter is dry season so hot and sunny but lower humidity. As summer gets closer (spring) it gets hotter with much higher humidity. But summer is the rainy season so the rain cools it down. Although sunny days during summer can get very hot and humid. Autumn the rains ease off so it gets hotter again

So we're in heat zone (NOT cold zone) 14, meaning 350 days per year of equal to or over 30C (86F). But average temperatures are increasing here as well. It appears to be a worldwide trend.

The fact that the Vinca grew okay before I heavily mulched does make me suspect that the very poor bare soil in the newer area was more of a culprit in its demise. Also, my soil won't hold water. The irrigation is set to twice daily for much of the year, after sunset and just before sunrise. But that's because I work away from home for a couple of weeks at a time.
Name: Alma
Phoenix & Cottonwood, AZ
USDA zone 9b, Sunset 13 & ??
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tomatofreak
Feb 4, 2012 10:25 AM CST
Very interesting, Zig. We're in heat zone 10, but with our low (relatively) humidity, our summer temps are more or less like a drying oven. I do wish that plant growers would tag their plants with heat zone info since USDA cold zone tags are often useless here. When you say your soil doesn't hold water, does that mean it's sandy and runs through - a la Florida - or that it runs off?

Boo, you do know this plant will grow in a pot or basket? It's quite lovely for a balcony where it will trail over the edge.
Alma
In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. – Thomas Jefferson
Name: Sherry
Northern California
Sunset Zone 17
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Pacific Northwest Seed Starter Region: California Plant Identifier
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wcgypsy
Feb 4, 2012 10:37 AM CST
It looks beautiful hanging waaaay down out of a basket, especially the variegated form. Here it's very useful as a tough, drought resistant ground cover in shade. I've seen it covering hillsides beneath oak trees and it's great for that....I'm Sunset Zone 23, SoCal, subtropical.
I could be wrong...
and.....
"maybe I should have kept my mouth shut....."
Name: Alma
Phoenix & Cottonwood, AZ
USDA zone 9b, Sunset 13 & ??
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tomatofreak
Feb 4, 2012 3:20 PM CST
Here is the variegated variety growing over a wall. Beautiful. http://www.google.com/imgres?hl=en&biw=1280&bih=559&gbv=2&tb...
Alma
In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. – Thomas Jefferson
Name: Susie
Phoenix AZ (Zone 9a)
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Aguane
Feb 4, 2012 5:06 PM CST
Just stopped by and saw the vinca talk. Boo, I have some variegated started in a pot if you'd like to give it a try. I have the 1 1/4 inch flowers blooming now, too.

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[Last edited by Aguane - Feb 4, 2012 5:07 PM (+)]
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tropicbreeze
Feb 5, 2012 6:20 PM CST
tomatofreak said:Very interesting, Zig. We're in heat zone 10, but with our low (relatively) humidity, our summer temps are more or less like a drying oven. I do wish that plant growers would tag their plants with heat zone info since USDA cold zone tags are often useless here. When you say your soil doesn't hold water, does that mean it's sandy and runs through - a la Florida - or that it runs off?


Alma, the 'soil' is like a fairly fine lateritic gravel. Deeper down is yellowish clay-like stuff that sets like concrete in the dry season, but is fairly mushy in the wet season. None of it holds water, although wet season the water table is very high so it doesn't matter so much.
Name: Becky (Boo)
Phoenix, AZ 85022
finding joy one day at a time!
Charter ATP Member Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Art Purslane Garden Ideas: Master Level
Region: Southwest Gardening Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: United States of America Birds Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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Boopaints
Feb 6, 2012 12:57 AM CST
Susie, I'd love it! We can try anyway!
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