On Gardening: Cora Cascade vinca spreading color and happiness

August 1, 2016

Cora Cascade has a spreading habit, allowing it to tumble over the rim of baskets and planters.

The last time I reported on the Cora Cascade was in 2010; so much has changed with this trailing beauty, itís now even better than we knew it then, so I thought Iíd write an update.

Cora Cascade vinca has been beating the brutal summers in simply amazing fashion and if you are looking for trailing color look no further. Twice this summer I have written about the best of trailing petunias many of which are thriving right into August. Make no mistake about it however Cora Cascade periwinkle or vinca is a champion and will give you dazzling color whether you want a ground cover or a trailer spilling out of your favorite container.

If you havenít tried vinca in a while it is probably because you had years of misery because of a disease called aerial phytophthora. Well, Cora and the trailing Cora Cascade are resistant to this soil-borne plague making it oh so fun to grow the vinca or Madagascar periwinkle again. Today there are 10 colors and a mix in the Cora vinca and eight colors in the trailing Cora Cascade.

So now instead of flowers that will shrivel and die within a few days, these workhorses will bloom all summer. While you are inside staying cool and drinking your favorite beverage the Cora Cascade vinca is blooming making you look like you have garnered the green thumb.

Even though the Cora and Cora Cascade vincas are disease resistant, there is no use planting too early in the spring. We always want until the soil has warmed and the plant is able to expand out of its rootball with vigor. Here we are in torrid temperatures of early August where many landscapes have gotten a little tired. If you have a hanging basket or mixed planter where some of your other annuals have croaked, then pop in a Cora Cascade vinca.

Pay close attention to planting depth. Planting individual plants too deeply exposes the roots and stems to unfavorable growing conditions. Add a good layer of mulch after planting to stabilize soil temperatures and prevent rapid loss of moisture through evaporation. Mulch also will deter weeds from growing and competing for nutrients and water. Once established, the Cora and Cora Cascade vincas will tolerate droughts, so donít overwater.

Their colorful flowers coupled with semi-glossy leaves let them work with ease in a tropical style garden. Use them in front of bananas or upright elephant ears, try growing them poolside. The truth is they will work in any setting from cottage gardens to modern landscapes.

Cora Cascade with its trailing habit gives you other options that are sensational in the landscape reaching about 6 inches in height and spreading close to 3 feet. They are incredible in baskets, mixed containers or window boxes where a virtual carpet of flowers will gently tumble over the edge. I just recently saw a terrific planting where Cora Cascade was tumbling over the edge and in the background was Diamond Frost euphorbia and Gold Mound duranta.

While we may be hungering for fall the truth is we have some more heat to endure and so does our landscape. If you are looking for flowers that are beautiful, and tough for planting in August then put Cora and the Cora Cascade vincas at the top of your list.



McClatchy-Tribune Information Services