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Top 5 Annuals for the Southeast

Purple Vinca Minor flowers
Purple Vinca Minor flowers

­You may have never heard of a vinca, but it is catching on as a perfect annual for the Southeast because of its heat and drought tolerance. Vinca is not fussy about its soil ratings, either, and actually fares well in poor soils.

Vinca is also known as Madagascar periwinkle. It is a full, rounded plant that grows to be 1 or 2 feet (30.5 cm to 61 cm) tall and typically a similar width. Since vinca is making its way into the gardens of many Southeastern homes, horticulturists are experimenting with new colors and new shapes. There is now a spreading variety of vinca tha­t will not grow as tall as the first type but will grow to have a bigger width.

Lilac, blue, white, lavender, apricot, raspberry, orchid, red, pink and rose are some of the color choices open to you when selecting a vinca plant. While vinca does not flower as long as the aforementioned annuals in this article, it does flower from June to the first frost. In the Southeast, particularly in the more southern regions, the flowering period could be quite long since the frost comes later.

Vinca is a multi-functional piece to use in landscaping. It grows well in beds with proper spacing between the plants. It can be used as a border or edge for gardens, lawns and driveways. Vinca also can do well in containers or hanging baskets. If you want the vinca to perform the best it can, make sure to start the seeds inside [source: Russ].