No green thumbs required.
Vinca Vine
Credit: JillLang/Getty Images

Variegated vinca goes by many names. It's a variegated form of Vinca major, also known as 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 planting. 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.

Vinca vine has beautiful leaves.

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

Vinca also produces pretty flowers.

In addition to their yearround 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.

Vinca vine is a perennial.

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

Vinca vine is easy to care for.

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

Vinca is considered invasive.

Not everyone loves vinca because it's an aggressive, rapidly spreading vine, especially when planted in deep shade. That quality makes it a reliable groundcover species, though it is considered invasive, which has prompted some states to call for moderate management of the plant outdoors.


The leaves of vincas are considered mildly poisonous when ingested, so be sure to keep away from children and pets.

Check out our tips for planting vinca in containers as well as more information on Vinca major (greater periwinkle) and Vinca minor (common or dwarf periwinkle).

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