This is also called “Myrtle” this popular ground cover, about six inches tall, sends out runners over the soil surface that root where they touch ground. The handsome, dark green leaves are about an inch long, and the April blooming flowers a cheerful blue. You can find varieties that are white or purple, but I like the old fashioned “Periwinkle blue” the best. There’re also some varieties with variegated leaves. Periwinkle is probably the best all-purpose ground cover around and is hardy to at least Zone 5. Though the plant is said to be native to the West Indies, it first was described in Madagascar. The periwinkle is a perpetual herb with flowers that can bloom throughout the year, but heavily depending on the climate.2

How to Grow Periwinkle

You can grow periwinkle in sun or shade, though some shade is preferable, especially in hot climates. Although it is not fussy about soils and will grow even in poor ones, it likes soil that is moist and slightly acid. I value it for its rather open growth habit, which allows me to interplant it with spring bulbs, but it can be sheared to promote denser growth.

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