How Do I Plant Creeping Myrtle or Vinca Minor?

plant-creeping-myrtle-vinca-minor Credit: Claudia Daggett/Flickr/CC-BY-2.0

Creeping myrtle, also known as Vinca minor or lesser periwinkle, should be planted in spring in an area with partial or full shade and any type of soil. Unless there is severe drought, once creeping myrtle is watered after planting, it does not have to be watered again due to the plant's high drought resistance.

When planting creeping myrtle, add compost to the soil about 6 inches deep. Place new plants or cuttings from existing plants 8 to 15 inches apart, arranged as desired to create ground cover or borders. When watering, avoid getting moisture on the foliage. During the first season, fertilize the plants monthly with 10-10-10 fertilizer. Afterward, fertilize only once a year in the spring.

Creeping myrtle is an invasive species. It grows and spreads quickly, with the stems running along the ground and rooting at nodes. Gardeners should plant it only where they want it to spread and should make sure it's checked by a feature such as a concrete path or a waterway. If the myrtle spreads where it is undesired, the runners and root systems must be completely dug out and an herbicide may be necessary to reduce further growth. Because it is so hardy and drought-resistant, creeping myrtle is useful for stabilizing slopes or rock gardens.