11:32 This plant is related to the blue-flowered periwinkles, Vinca spp., but produces white, pale violet, or pink star-shaped flowers with a deeper- colored throat. The oval leaves are bright green and shiny, and flowers are produced in profusion at the tips of the stems.
This periwinkle forms a rounded, shrubby plant with a flowering season that lasts for the whole of the summer into fall.
Catharanthus roseus aroused much interest some years ago when its wild form was found to produce a drug useful in the treatment of leukemia. It is not demanding and is available at garden centers in spring. It fairly easy to raise from seed and can be a good outdoor annual. Shiny, healthy-looking oval leaves have a light-colored midrib.
Star-shaped flowers, with slightly reflexing petals, are about lin/2.5cm across and are often carried in large numbers.
Seedlings produce the healthiest, most free- flowering plants.
A well-grown plant can quickly fill the a5-in/13-cm pot. Repot as necessary to keep the plant growing strongly. FACT FILE
HEIGHT About 10in/25cm.
POTTING MIX Soil or soil-based medium.
PROPAGATION Sow seed in a warm sheltered spot in late winter or early spring, or in a warm greenhouse in winter. Soft-tip cuttings can be taken in spring and early summer.
REPOTTING Move vigorous plants into pots one size larger as necessary.
KEEPING PLANTS Not easy to bring into flower again, so plants are often discarded after flowering.
Catharanthus Roseus Apocynaceae MADAGASCAR PERIWINKLE PLANT CARE
- Bright light with some direct sun will encourage good flowering.
- Moderate warmth with a minimum temperature of about 60°F/16°C.
- Keep the soil moist throughout the flowering period and mist the leaves occasionally.
- Apply a standard liquid fertilizer every 10 to 14 days.