The botanical name of annual vinca plant is Catharanthus roseus and the plant is also known as rose periwinkle or Madagascar periwinkle. Actually the annual vinca plant is a versatile little stunner with shiny green foliage and blooms of white, pink, rose, red, salmon, or purple. The annual vinca plant isn’t frost-hardy, you can easily grow the plant as a perennial if you live in USDA plant hardiness zones nine and above. How do you start annual vinca from seed? Collecting the annual vinca seeds from mature plants isn’t difficult but growing them from seed is a little trickier. Continue reading to learn how to grow annual vinca from seed. 


How to Get Vinca Seeds from the Plant

If you are collecting vinca seeds make sure you look for long, narrow, green seedpods hidden on the stems beneath blooming flowers. Just snip or pinch the pods when the petals drop from the blooms and the pods are turning from yellow to brown. Make sure you watch the plant carefully. If you actually wait too long the pods will split, and then you will lose the seeds. Drop the pods into a paper sack and then place them in a warm, dry spot. Shake the bag every day or two until the pods are completely dry. You can also drop the pods into a shallow pan and put the pan in a sunny (non-windy) location until the pods are completely dry. Once the pods are completely dry you can open them carefully and then remove the tiny black seeds. Place the vinca seeds in a paper envelope and then store them in a cool, dry, well-ventilated location until planting time. The freshly harvested vinca seeds usually don’t do well because germinating the seeds require a period of dormancy.


How Do You Grow Annual Vinca?

You can easily plant the vinca seeds indoors 3 to 4 months before the last frost of the season. Does vinca need darkness to germinate? Cover the annual vinca seeds lightly with soil, and then lay a damp newspaper over the tray because germinating the seeds of vinca requires total darkness. Place the vinca seeds where temperatures are around eighty degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure you check the tray daily and then remove the newspaper as soon as the seedlings emerge – generally 2 to 9 days. At this point, move the vinca seedlings into bright sunlight and the room temperature should be at least seventy-five degrees Fahrenheit.

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