Vinca minor

Status: In stock

Product ID#: vbowl
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Local Pick-up Waterloo, WI
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Product Description
Sun Exposure Part Sun/Shade, Shade
Bloom Time Spring, Summer
Soil Conditions Normal
Flower Color Blue, Purple
Mature Plant Size (H x W) .5-1' x 1-1.5'
The Vinca minor “Bowles” Variety is an improved form of the common Periwinkle with larger azure-blue flowers and glossy dark green leaves. Bowles Periwinkle thrives even in partial shade, making it an ideal ground cover for those tricky, shady spots in your garden. It's known for its vibrant purple flowers that bring a lively splash of blue to your summer garden.

This Vinca minor, also known as the creeping myrtle, or the dwarf Periwinkle botanical plant, prefers well-drained soil and benefits from mulching to keep weeds at bay until it spreads sufficiently. For the best display of its blue summer flowers, a light pruning in early spring is recommended. Bowles Periwinkle is a hardy choice for adding long-lasting color and ground coverage in less sunny areas.
  • sunshade Part Sun/Shade, Shade
  • Mature Plant Size (H x W) Mature Plant Size (H x W): .5-1' x 1-1.5'
  • Bloom Season Bloom Season: Spring, Summer
Key features
  • Attracts Bees
  • Deer Resistant
  • Drought Tolerant
  • Salt Tolerant
  • Attracts Butterflies
Planting Care

Planting & Care for Bowles Periwinkle Groundcover

  • Choose Bowles Periwinkle (Vinca minor) for an outstanding ground cover in shady areas, highlighted by its striking blue flowers.
  • Expect it to reach a height of 6 to 8 inches in well-drained soil.
  • Space plants 4-5 feet apart for optimal ground coverage.
  • Apply mulch to control weeds until the plants fully spread.
  • Utilize these Periwinkle plants for tough-to-fill spots. Its evergreen trailing stems will look fine year-round and make a good ground cover for shrub plantings.
Planting Groundcovers/Vines
  • Planting bed should consist of 6-8" of topsoil, well mixed with approximately 2" of peat moss.
Pruning - After Planting
  • Groundcovers/Vines – no pruning is needed right away.
Pruning - Throughout the Season
  • Pruning time is in early spring.
Watering - After Planting
  • Plants typically take approximately 6 weeks to establish new roots in your soil. During this period, water plants as often as every 2-4 days at the start and at least a minimum of once per week.
  • Beyond the 6 week establishment period, water once per week, unless rains occur.
  • Stick your finger into the soil around 3” to check soil moisture.
Watering - Throughout the Season
  • After the first season, plants should only be watered during extended periods without rain.
  • How do you know if your plants need water? The easiest way to tell is to touch the soil around the roots. If you can feel moist soil, there is no need to water. If it is dry, give it a good soaking with the hose end (no nozzle) watering the soil only, and not the leaves.
  • Stick your finger into the soil around 3” to check soil moisture.

Frequently Asked Questions

Discover helpful gardening tips and insights in our FAQs, featuring McKay Nursery's Bowles Periwinkle.

1. How does Bowles Periwinkle differ from Vinca Major?

While both belong to the same family, Bowles Periwinkle (Vinca minor) and Vinca major differ in size and habitat preferences. Vinca minor is smaller, with leaves typically reaching 2 to 4.5 cm in length, and prefers shadier spots. Vinca major, or greater Periwinkle, has larger leaves, up to 9 cm in length, and tends to be more aggressive in spreading. It can tolerate more sunlight compared to Vinca minor.

2. Where should I plant Periwinkle?

Plant Periwinkle in areas where you need ground cover to control erosion, underplant trees, or cover shady spots where grass won't grow. They thrive in partial to full shade, making them ideal for woodland gardens or north-facing gardens.

3. Can Periwinkle grow in poor soil?

Yes, planting Periwinkle in poor soil and even in partial shade can still yield successful growth, as these plants are remarkably resilient. They tolerate a wide range of soil conditions, from slightly acidic to alkaline. However, they prefer well-drained soil and may struggle in waterlogged conditions.

4. How fast do Periwinkle plants grow?

Periwinkle plants grow at a moderate to fast rate, quickly establishing themselves and spreading to form a dense ground cover. The exact speed of growth can vary based on conditions such as soil quality, light, and water availability.

5. Is Bowles Periwinkle invasive?

Periwinkle plants grow at a moderate to fast rate, quickly establishing themselves and spreading to form a dense ground cover. The exact speed of growth can vary based on conditions such as soil quality, light, and water availability.

6. Can the Common Periwinkle be used for medicinal purposes?

The Common periwinkle (Vinca minor), including Bowles Periwinkle, has been used in traditional medicine for various purposes. However, it's important to note that it contains alkaloids that can be toxic if consumed in large quantities. Always consult a healthcare professional before using it for medicinal purposes.

Embrace the Charm of Bowles Periwinkle with McKay Nursery

Discover the beauty of Bowles Periwinkle at McKay Nursery, where over a century of horticultural expertise ensures the highest quality purple flowers for your garden. This exceptional ground cover thrives in partial shade, offering a lush carpet of vibrant purple blooms and glossy foliage. With our commitment to robust, healthy plants and customer satisfaction, we invite you to explore our collection online. For any assistance, please reach out to us at [email protected] or 920-478-2121.

Planting & Handling Help

Download our Planting and Handling Guide below to plan for a successful arrival and install of your plants. Be sure to water all plants as soon as they arrive and every day until you’re ready to plant. Keep any bare root bundles in a shady, cool spot with the roots covered at all times.

Learn More

Watch our videos on handling bare root plants, how your order is prepared for shipment and more.

Plant Sizing

What is the difference between Containers, Grow Bags, Bare Root, and Balled & Burlap (B&B)?

Shipping Times

Our FedEx and local shipping times depend on two factors, one is by the region and the second is the type of product being shipped. For example, small fruits are only shipped in spring, but majority of our perennials are shipped from spring until fall. Keep in mind the dates below act as a general guide. Due to unpredictable weather, staffing, inventory and industry demands these timelines can change. Therefore, we cannot guarantee any of these times.


Shipping Dates by Region*


Northern Cold Region: April 22nd - November 7th

Northern Region: April 15th - November 7th

Middle Region: April 1st - November 7th

Southern Region: March 15th - November 7th

Local Delivery (small radius from Waterloo, WI): April 22nd - November 7th


Shipping Dates by Season*


Spring Shipping: Region Start Date (above) - May

Fall Shipping: September - November


Due to unpredictable weather, these times may vary. Some varieties are exceptions due to heat and plant health reasons. Enter your shipping zip code at the top of this page and be sure to check the shipping information on each product before you add it to your cart. If the product is too large or restricted in your state, you will not be able to checkout with that item in your cart.