Vinca, also known as periwinkle, is a sun-loving flowering plant. It is usually 8 to 12 inches tall and grows in garden beds, containers, and baskets. It is a tough plant because it is drought tolerant and requires less maintenance, making it ideal for many landscapers.
Vinca has shown great health benefits as well. It has been used to treat many diseases, such as diarrhea, sore throat, and toothache. Moreover, it also boosts your memory and is even effective against cancer.
It can also reduce swelling and stop excessive bleeding. All these reasons make it a great addition to any yard.
With that out of the way, if you have planted vinca plants, you may have noticed that their leaves sometimes curl up . Although vinca plants are pretty hardy, leaf curling is one of the most common problems associated with these plants.
When this problem occurs, the leaves retain their same color but get a bit thicker and roll upwards.
So, why do vinca leaves curl, and more importantly, how to prevent vinca leaves from curling? Is leaf curling normal, or does it indicate some disease? Today, we will discuss everything you need to know about the leaf curling problem in vinca plants. Let’s dig deeper without any further delay!
Causes For Vinca Leaves Curling
Below are some reasons why vinca leaves may curl up.
- Weather Conditions
First things first, leaf curling is not always a problem. Sometimes, it could be your plant’s reaction to changing weather. In those cases, there is nothing to worry about.
Weather conditions are the leading cause of the leaf curling problem in vinca plants.
If the climate in your area is dry or hot, the vinca leaves will roll themselves upwards to conserve water. In such cases, the curls go away themselves when the temperature drops.
If you have noticed that your vinca leaves have started curling recently due to heat and weather conditions, consider watering them more frequently. Mulching is also recommended as it will help your vinca leaves retain their moisture.
Mulching refers to the process of applying some material to your soil surface to preserve moisture and improve the soil quality. When carried out properly, it will surely benefit your vinca leaves.
In this process, garden waste and dried leaves of other trees are spread around the vinca plant. It has many benefits and costs next to nothing as it uses dried leaves and waste from your kitchen and garden.
Most of the water gets stored in your vinca plant, and a lot less will be evaporated as you apply the material around your vinca plant. So, your plant will retain more moisture for a long time.
In addition to moisture retention, mulching benefits your vinca plant by acting like a blanket. Of course, harsh weather conditions can damage plants big time. This is where mulching comes in handy.
It protects your vinca plant from both cold and hot temperatures. It helps your vinca plant achieve the optimal temperature by protecting it from harsh sunlight.
When you add water to the mulch, the waste starts degrading and eventually turns into compost, thus acting as a fertilizer. It gives your vinca plant the nutrients it requires for optimal functioning and growth.
Another benefit of mulching is that it flourishes the microorganisms that prepare food for your vinca plant.
Depending on the size of your vinca plant, you can keep the thickness of the mulch anywhere between one to five inches.
Apart from mulching, it would be better to cover your vinca plant with a shade cloth. Although vinca plants do not require much maintenance, they do need your attention when the temperature is too high.
There are multiple types of shade cloths available in the market. They are made of different materials to let a certain percentage of sunlight pass through.
Shade cloth not only protects your vinca plant from the scorching heat but also reduces moisture loss during transpiration. It is seen that the shaded areas are at least 10% cooler than the areas that are not.
The best thing about the shade cloth is that it does not block all the sunlight. It is designed in such a way that it filters the sunlight rather than blocking it. This allows some sunlight to pass through, which of course, your vinca plant needs to grow properly.
When covering your vinca plant with shade, do not just buy a shade and cover your entire yard with it. There is a whole process that goes into the process, and you will need to figure out the perfect spot to keep your vinca plant.
See which area in your yard receives morning sunlight and comes under the shade cloth. Plants need morning light to conduct photosynthesis, so you will need to find the perfect spot to keep your plants safe during hot months.
It is recommended to install the shade cloth on the west side of your vinca plant. When installed this way, it will get your vinca plant through the hottest time of the day. If your yard has no anchor point, make sure to install bamboo or some other similar structure to support your shade cloth.
- Too Much Water in Soil
As mentioned above, vinca is a drought-resistant plant and can survive even if you don’t water it regularly. However, you will still need to water it because it does require some watering to grow properly.
While watering is vital to plants’ health, it is important to note that too much water in the soil can also cause the leaves of your vinca plant to curl up.
Apart from the leaf curl problem, excessive water can also interrupt the air supply to the roots of your vinca plant. This may cause the root to rot after some time or lead to several other problems.
Drainage holes are responsible for draining the excess water from your plant pot. So, make sure that these holes are open. Also, it is advised to buy containers that are capable of evaporating the extra moisture, such as terra cotta containers.
- Fertilizers In Soil
Inadequate nutrients in the soil is another main reason why the leaves of your vinca plant may start curling. All plants need nutrients for healthy growth, and the vinca plants are no exception. The simplest way to add nutrients to your plant soil is to use fertilizer.
Fertilizers are chemicals having the essential elements that are added to the plant soil. Fertilizers come in different types and are readily available across the globe. Consider reaching out to a botanist, and they will tell you which fertilizer is appropriate for your soil.
Once you have fertilized your vinca plant, the leaves will stop curling. If you face this problem in the future, consider using the fertilizers again.
The Bottom Line
The Vinca plant is loved for its sturdiness and various health benefits. However, their leaves may start to curl over time, which may ruin their look. If your vinca leaves are curling, it is probably because of hot and dry weather.
So, you will need to find a way to keep them cool during the hottest months of the year. Moreover, they may be lacking nutrients, so consider using fertilizer.