Also called annual vinca, periwinkle is a colorful summer annual that thrives in heat. Many people stopped planting it, due to its sensitivity to aerial Phytophthora, a fungal disease that wipes out entire beds of periwinkle, almost overnight.

My colleagues have done some fabulous work developing cultivars of that are almost entirely immune to this disease, and the ‘Cora’ vinca series has proven to be a real Texas Superstar.

I received a few of these plants several years ago, when we were just starting them in trials across the state, and they look continue to look great in my garden. They thrive in the heat and full sun of the harshest Texas summer, and they return from seed year after year.

Even during our recent extremely wet spring, with days upon days of rain and weeks of clouds and high humidity, my vincas look great.

Plant transplants of Cora vinca or other periwinkles no earlier than May—or at least until temperatures are reliably warm and the soil has warmed up. Plant in full sun or light shade.

Once established, periwinkles will do fine with moderate moisture, and only light fertilization. With beautiful bright pink, light pink, or white flowers, these periwinkles get about a foot and a half tall, and about as wide. There are also trailing types, which look great in containers or hanging baskets.

Viewer picture goes to Mary Valente, who took out the front yard lawn to plant lots of organic vegetables. She and her husband are even growing some for a neighbor who isn’t able garden these days. Thank you, Mary—what a wonderful thing to do!