Growing Guide
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Annual Flower, Houseplant

Also known as Madagascar Periwinkle, Rose Periwinkle
Catharanthus roseus
Apocynaceae Family
Synonym: Vinca roseus, Vinca rosa

The source of an invaluable cancer treatment drug, Madagascar Periwinkle is also a garden hit with its glossy green foliage and dainty 5-petaled flowers in shades of pink and white. Good annual flower for part shade.

Site Characteristics
  • full sun
  • part shade

Soil conditions:

  • tolerates droughty soil
  • tolerates low fertility
It prefers warm weather, and will tolerate heat and dryness.

Special locations:

  • outdoor containers
  • indoors as a houseplant - It can be brought indoors as a houseplant when cold weather approaches. Indoors, it should be grown in full sun and kept moist but not soggy.
Plant Traits

Lifecycle: annual

Ease-of-care: easy

Height: 1 to 2 feet

Spread: 1 to 2 feet

Bloom time:

  • mid-spring
  • late spring
  • early summer
  • mid-summer
  • late summer
  • early fall
  • mid-fall

Flower color:

  • violet
  • white
  • pink

Foliage color: dark green

Foliage texture: medium

Shape: spreading mass

Shape in flower: same as above

Special Considerations
  • heat
Special characteristics:
  • deer resistant
  • non-aggressive
  • non-invasive
  • not native to North America - Africa
Growing Information
How to plant:

Propagate by seed, cuttings - Seeds should be sown indoors 3 to 4 months before the last frost, and should be covered with soil because light inhibits germination. Cuttings are best taken in the spring and early summer.

Germination temperature: 65 F to 75 F

Days to emergence: 14 to 21

Maintenance and care:
Pinch back the plants to keep bushy.

More growing information: How to Grow Annuals

Verticillium wilt
‘Mediterranean’ Series: trailing plants are perfect for hanging baskets. 5 different flower color combinations.

‘Apicot Delight’: dainty blooms are flushed with pinkish apricot near the red eyed center, fading to pure white near the margins.

‘Terrace Vermilion’: 1’ tall plants with striking red flowers with white eyed centers.

‘Cooler’ Series: 1’ tall plants are dense and bushy, with 11 different flower colors and combinations.

‘Heat wave’ Series: 10” to 1’ tall plans are basal branching and bushy, with early blooming flowers in 6 different color combinations.

‘Tropicana’ Series: 1’ tall plants with early blooming flowers.

‘Pacifica’ Series: large (2” wide) blooms in 2 different flower color combinations.