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vinca

Q: What is wrong with my vinca? 

A:  Thanks for bringing in your sample to the office; you were the second person I saw with an issue on vinca today at our plant clinic. I suspect both of you have the same problem – phytophthora root rot. Vinca love well drained soil, so I suspected too much water was origin of the problem.  In one case, it was over-irrigation but in your other case, the problem was a combination of too much water and too much rain. Not much can be done about the weather except to be sure the soil can drain the water quickly.  It is also recommended rotating the types of annuals planted and stay away from planting the same species year after year.  Select healthy plants before placing them into the flower beds.  Sometimes getting a “deal” on plants at the garden centers is not a deal at all – especially if the plants show signs of disease and/or insects.  We would suggest using a slow release fertilizer in the spring and summer but do not over do it.  Over fertilization can make the plant more inviting to insects and disease.  When watering, choose early morning between 6am and 10am.  Twice a week may be too excessive.