Variegated Vinca Is The Houseplant Your Space Is Missing

No green thumbs are required.

Vinca Vine
Photo: JillLang / Getty Images

Variegated vinca goes by many names. It's a variegated form of 'Vinca major,' or greater periwinkle. It's also known as bigleaf periwinkle (Vinca major 'Variegata'), and the "variegated" part of its name means that the leaves of the plant exhibit markings of different colors.

When planted outdoors, it's an aggressive spreader, but when tended inside, it makes a lovely and easy-to-care-for indoor plant. In addition to its obvious good looks, there are a few other reasons it makes for a great houseplant—read on to learn why we love this elegant vine.

Why Variegated Vinca is a Great Houseplant

Beautiful Leaves

Vinca vine has big leaves with a distinctive appearance. The leaves of variegated vinca have central patches of deep green, edged in white and varying shades of light green. These patches look like brush strokes painted across the leaf's surface and are stunning.

Produces Pretty Flowers

In addition to their year-round leaves, vinca vines also bloom. Small lavender, blue, or purple flowers appear on the vine in early-to-late spring. The flowers are shaped like pinwheels and have five petals each.

It's a Perennial

Those pretty variegated leaves last all year, and their flowers reappear yearly. It's a reliable source of green garden color and adds year-round green as a houseplant.

Care is Easy

This plant doesn't require a green thumb to maintain. It's pretty hardy and thrives in various environments. The 'Vinca major' is tolerant of even difficult soils. Vinca vine grows just as well in full sun as in the shade and is drought resistant—a big plus for hands-off gardeners.

How To Care for Variegated Vinca

Soil

Variegated Vinca adapts to most soil environments, but to start growing this plant, add some organic peat moss or compost mixture to help improve soil drainage and nutrients.

Since plants grow vertically, choose an area where it can spread, preferably near a structure to help the vine to grow freely. The hole should be at least two times the size of the root ball—cover the root top to meet the top of the soil level.

Water

When first planting, water until the roots are well-established. Continue to keep Variegated Vinca well-watered by maintaining moist but well-drained soil. Apply water to the roots instead of the entire plant. It helps to water earlier in the day to allow the afternoon sun to dry the vine's leaves and prevent disease or mold from forming.

Sun

Variegated Vinca grows well in partial to full sun. In partial sunlight, growth might not be as extensive, but in areas where the sun is plentiful, be sure to trim back as necessary to encourage healthy, manageable growth.

Things To Caution About Variegated Vinca

It's Considered Invasive

Not everyone loves vinca because it's aggressive and spreads rapidly, especially when planted in deep shade. It is a reliable groundcover species. Since considered invasive, some states call for moderate management of the plant outdoors.

It's Mildly Poisonous

When ingested, vinca leaves are mildly poisonous, so keep them away from children and pets.

Check out our tips for planting vinca in containers.

Do you have a vinca vine growing in your home? What's your favorite hardy houseplant?

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles