I Think I Messed Up Planting Flats of Vinca

Joined: September 6th, 2009, 11:45 pm

May 17th, 2016, 12:29 am #1

Wife likes the look of Vincas in the front. I have never seen anything go to the flowers, but I have to please the wife. I threw a little Espoma organic 5-3-3 in the holes before planting the small plants. That is what one can do when planting big things, but perhaps these were too small for that. All was fine the first week, now some are beginning to shrivel up. At first I thought it was from the strong sun the other day. Watered it with the sprinkler for a long time. Today even more are getting limp.

Not sure what to do. Water it more because it is looking like it needs it? Water it several times a day hoping it will dilute the fertilizer? Dig them up and rinse and move them a few inches?

Could this caused by anything else?

Any ideas?

Thanks

Ken
Central NJ
usda zone 6b
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Joined: September 6th, 2012, 5:01 pm

May 17th, 2016, 2:09 am #2

Let 'em die and tell the wife they didn't work? lol...

These are on the list to become an Official Noxious Weed here in Washington. They spread from cuttings people throw in the woods, or on the edges of people's gardens, and spread from there. NOT something I would put anywhere near my own garden, especially as I have been battling runners from a neighbor's garden for years with little success. They are pretty, and bloom early, but like you I have never seen much of anything visit the flowers. So... invasive, forms a monoculture that chokes out it's neighbors, and doesn't attract much of anything? Pretty is as pretty does, and this one does nothing for me.
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Joined: June 21st, 2006, 1:24 pm

May 17th, 2016, 5:43 am #3

Wife likes the look of Vincas in the front. I have never seen anything go to the flowers, but I have to please the wife. I threw a little Espoma organic 5-3-3 in the holes before planting the small plants. That is what one can do when planting big things, but perhaps these were too small for that. All was fine the first week, now some are beginning to shrivel up. At first I thought it was from the strong sun the other day. Watered it with the sprinkler for a long time. Today even more are getting limp.

Not sure what to do. Water it more because it is looking like it needs it? Water it several times a day hoping it will dilute the fertilizer? Dig them up and rinse and move them a few inches?

Could this caused by anything else?

Any ideas?

Thanks

Ken
When we first moved into our house, I tried to get this plant going. As you all know, it is very difficult to get anything growing and keep it growing in chilly Wisconsin. We weren't so much into hummingbirds way back then and didn't know much about gardening either. Well, after 18 years, it has become a little invasive and, of course, hummingbirds don't visit it---it's an ornamental groundcover and a very invasive one at that, especially in warmer climates (very few things are truly invasive here in Wisconsin---too cold and too short of a growing season.)

Unless your soil is very poor, there probably isn't a need to fertilize when planting something like this (groundcovers are typically very tough plants that will grow almost anywhere.) Maybe the fertilizer burned the roots of such a small, new plant. It took us quite a few years to get this going too.

This link may help a little:

http://www.bluestoneperennials.com/VIBO ... d=ARWPMEYv

Note that the plant likes moist soils.

Keeping your better half happy is so important, but it's too bad she doesn't like a different plant.

Good luck Ken.
Madison, WI
Zone 5a
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Joined: August 9th, 2009, 11:58 pm

May 17th, 2016, 6:19 am #4

Wife likes the look of Vincas in the front. I have never seen anything go to the flowers, but I have to please the wife. I threw a little Espoma organic 5-3-3 in the holes before planting the small plants. That is what one can do when planting big things, but perhaps these were too small for that. All was fine the first week, now some are beginning to shrivel up. At first I thought it was from the strong sun the other day. Watered it with the sprinkler for a long time. Today even more are getting limp.

Not sure what to do. Water it more because it is looking like it needs it? Water it several times a day hoping it will dilute the fertilizer? Dig them up and rinse and move them a few inches?

Could this caused by anything else?

Any ideas?

Thanks

Ken
I have a feeling that the "Vinca" that Ken planted is actually Catharanthus roseus.

The plants that Brett & Kathi are speaking of have to be either Vinca minor or Vinca major. Both of those true Vinca can be invasive in many climates, especially V. major. Catharanthus roseus, on the other hand, thrives in tropical climates so seems an unlikely invasive for the Seattle or Wisconsin climates.

Ken, if you have Catharanthus roseus, I'm afraid that you likely have a Phytophthora infection. Some sources say it is a fungus while others call it a water-mold. No matter what the name, it is a destructive disease that is fatal to Catharanthus roseus. It spreads by spores and flourishes in wet soil. Planting Catharanthus roseus in wet soil, over-irrigating, or an excess of rain sets up the perfect conditions for the disease to run rampant. Also, planting Catharanthus roseus too early in the year while the soil is still cool will also give the disease an edge. Catharanthus roseus likes drier, warm soil.
http://www.plantanswers.com/vinca_perriwinkle.htm

If this is what you've got, then irrigating is only helping the disease to grow. The infection will probably continue to rapidly spread from one plant to the next in a domino effect as the spores spread. You'll likely need to pull them all out and dispose of them in the trash. The spores are now in the soil so don't bother trying to replant as they will become infected, too. If you have your heart set on them, there are a few resistant varieties, such as 'Cora'. I've grown 'Cora Apricot' before and it performed really well and has a lovely color. There are several nice color choices in the line.

You may want to try something like dwarf Pentas lanceolata as a replacement. They come in similar colors, similar heights, like sun, and won't mind a bit of extra water. As a plus, some varieties get some attention from the hummingbirds and butterflies (not as much as the taller varieties, but some.) I'm sure there are some other great alternatives, but I'm too tired to think of them right now!

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news if it is a case of Catharanthus roseus with Phytophthora.

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Joined: May 21st, 2013, 12:09 am

May 17th, 2016, 7:43 am #5

Wife likes the look of Vincas in the front. I have never seen anything go to the flowers, but I have to please the wife. I threw a little Espoma organic 5-3-3 in the holes before planting the small plants. That is what one can do when planting big things, but perhaps these were too small for that. All was fine the first week, now some are beginning to shrivel up. At first I thought it was from the strong sun the other day. Watered it with the sprinkler for a long time. Today even more are getting limp.

Not sure what to do. Water it more because it is looking like it needs it? Water it several times a day hoping it will dilute the fertilizer? Dig them up and rinse and move them a few inches?

Could this caused by anything else?

Any ideas?

Thanks

Ken
Ken, I suspect Danita is right in guessing you planted what we call the annual vinca not the true vinca and that she is also probably right about what it's problem is. I get why Cathy wants it, it is a very pretty bedding plant.

I also agree with what Brett had to say about the two real vinca. It is a horrible pest and very difficult if not impossible to eradicate. Currently it is completing the destruction of a wonderful shade garden because I don't have the extra work days required to dig out every last snip of it.

You might want to go back to the nursery where you bought the plants and tell them what happened.
Southern New Jersey
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Joined: September 6th, 2009, 11:45 pm

May 17th, 2016, 9:39 am #6

Wife likes the look of Vincas in the front. I have never seen anything go to the flowers, but I have to please the wife. I threw a little Espoma organic 5-3-3 in the holes before planting the small plants. That is what one can do when planting big things, but perhaps these were too small for that. All was fine the first week, now some are beginning to shrivel up. At first I thought it was from the strong sun the other day. Watered it with the sprinkler for a long time. Today even more are getting limp.

Not sure what to do. Water it more because it is looking like it needs it? Water it several times a day hoping it will dilute the fertilizer? Dig them up and rinse and move them a few inches?

Could this caused by anything else?

Any ideas?

Thanks

Ken
Oh drats!!! I planted 10 flats!

I did a little reading on it and it states to yank them out right away if it has it. States to use a fungicide on the area only if it is confirmed. Is it possible that this could be from the fertilzer and not phytophthora? If so I guess I would have nothing to lose by giving them some time to recover.

Still have some of a flat unplanted and they look fine. I water those everyday, but of course they have plenty of drainage. The soil in the ground has not been overly saturated, just the opposite actually.
Central NJ
usda zone 6b
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Joined: May 21st, 2013, 12:09 am

May 17th, 2016, 1:13 pm #7

Wife likes the look of Vincas in the front. I have never seen anything go to the flowers, but I have to please the wife. I threw a little Espoma organic 5-3-3 in the holes before planting the small plants. That is what one can do when planting big things, but perhaps these were too small for that. All was fine the first week, now some are beginning to shrivel up. At first I thought it was from the strong sun the other day. Watered it with the sprinkler for a long time. Today even more are getting limp.

Not sure what to do. Water it more because it is looking like it needs it? Water it several times a day hoping it will dilute the fertilizer? Dig them up and rinse and move them a few inches?

Could this caused by anything else?

Any ideas?

Thanks

Ken
I guess it is possible but Espoma is such a mild and slow release fertilizer I sometimes think you could pour on a whole bag and do no damage. It has been an interesting spring, so cold that lots of warm weather stuff has just been sitting there waiting for the weather to change. In my own garden the cold has been bad for the Porterweed Adrienne gave me. I hope it survives.
Southern New Jersey
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Joined: May 22nd, 2008, 11:02 am

May 17th, 2016, 1:31 pm #8

Wife likes the look of Vincas in the front. I have never seen anything go to the flowers, but I have to please the wife. I threw a little Espoma organic 5-3-3 in the holes before planting the small plants. That is what one can do when planting big things, but perhaps these were too small for that. All was fine the first week, now some are beginning to shrivel up. At first I thought it was from the strong sun the other day. Watered it with the sprinkler for a long time. Today even more are getting limp.

Not sure what to do. Water it more because it is looking like it needs it? Water it several times a day hoping it will dilute the fertilizer? Dig them up and rinse and move them a few inches?

Could this caused by anything else?

Any ideas?

Thanks

Ken
Ken,

I have found that "Vinca" (Catharanthus roseus) is sometimes "tricky", when first planted. Too much ANYTHING seems to disturb them sometimes, until they "take" and start growing. They may just be having problems now because it's been so chilly and wet. If it is Phytophthora, a lot of watering is not the thing to do - unfortunately we tend to water, when plants droop! So be careful on the watering and liquid fertilizer (but your Espoma probably didn't hurt anything). For all the above reasons, I usually buy a few extra plants so I can fill in later, if some die. But once they "take", they are usually problem-free.

My own "theory" on the Phytophthora is that it's less a case that these plants are "sick" but more a case that Phytophthora is just "around" everywhere and when Vinca plants are weakened by too much rain / over-watering, they may suffer from it. But I suspect the same plants, if not subject to too much water / cool temps (at planting time), may not get it (or will not die from it). And again, once they establish, they are pretty tough and rarely have problems.

They are not considered invasive here on the East Coast so there's no problem planting them. They are, of course, not a hummingbird plant but I still plant a few sometimes because they add some color.
Wilmington, Delaware (USDA Zone 7a)
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Joined: June 21st, 2006, 1:24 pm

May 17th, 2016, 4:51 pm #9

Wife likes the look of Vincas in the front. I have never seen anything go to the flowers, but I have to please the wife. I threw a little Espoma organic 5-3-3 in the holes before planting the small plants. That is what one can do when planting big things, but perhaps these were too small for that. All was fine the first week, now some are beginning to shrivel up. At first I thought it was from the strong sun the other day. Watered it with the sprinkler for a long time. Today even more are getting limp.

Not sure what to do. Water it more because it is looking like it needs it? Water it several times a day hoping it will dilute the fertilizer? Dig them up and rinse and move them a few inches?

Could this caused by anything else?

Any ideas?

Thanks

Ken
We have the other vinca (major and minor), not the one that Danita mentions.

Ken, I think you should call the nursery where you purchased the plants and explain the problem and see what they say or suggest. This is a plant that takes a while to get going and it may not appreciate the current spring weather conditions, even in your warmer zone, but talking to the nursery is the best thing to do since their response will be based on their specific plants and your local weather conditions.
Madison, WI
Zone 5a
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Joined: September 6th, 2009, 11:45 pm

May 18th, 2016, 1:06 am #10

Wife likes the look of Vincas in the front. I have never seen anything go to the flowers, but I have to please the wife. I threw a little Espoma organic 5-3-3 in the holes before planting the small plants. That is what one can do when planting big things, but perhaps these were too small for that. All was fine the first week, now some are beginning to shrivel up. At first I thought it was from the strong sun the other day. Watered it with the sprinkler for a long time. Today even more are getting limp.

Not sure what to do. Water it more because it is looking like it needs it? Water it several times a day hoping it will dilute the fertilizer? Dig them up and rinse and move them a few inches?

Could this caused by anything else?

Any ideas?

Thanks

Ken
Thanks everyone!

I'll let you all know what happens.

Ken
Central NJ
usda zone 6b
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Joined: September 10th, 2011, 4:19 pm

May 19th, 2016, 12:45 am #11

Wife likes the look of Vincas in the front. I have never seen anything go to the flowers, but I have to please the wife. I threw a little Espoma organic 5-3-3 in the holes before planting the small plants. That is what one can do when planting big things, but perhaps these were too small for that. All was fine the first week, now some are beginning to shrivel up. At first I thought it was from the strong sun the other day. Watered it with the sprinkler for a long time. Today even more are getting limp.

Not sure what to do. Water it more because it is looking like it needs it? Water it several times a day hoping it will dilute the fertilizer? Dig them up and rinse and move them a few inches?

Could this caused by anything else?

Any ideas?

Thanks

Ken
I like annual Vinca for it's ability to handle summer heat in pots. Planted some the other day and it soon wilted apparently because of wind. A night in the garage allowed them to snap back. Last year the earwigs ate them up later in the season. I put a stop to that with Bonide systemic, and they recovered well.
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