Cheerful Beauty of the Catharanthus


For fans of plants with simple but pretty flowers, the catharanthus is the real king of indoor flowering shrubs. Surprisingly spectacular plant, strewn with bright acrylic flowers with a small eye, and still known as pink periwinkle, conquers both the lush mass of simple leaves and the ability to bloom relentlessly. This is one of the most striking cultures for emphasizing the interior, which is not at all difficult to grow in indoor conditions. Moreover, due to the ease of reproduction, catharanthus can be constantly changed to new plants without worrying about the difficult wintering parameters. Most often, catharanthus is grown as an annual, but in a perennial culture it can be preserved.


Luxurious roomy periwinkle with pink flowers

Known to flower growers as a pink periwinkle, the catharanthus really outwardly recalls the most unpretentious representative of garden soil protectors. Especially the shape of the flowers and amazing dense glossy foliage. But catharanthus blooms much more abundantly than a garden periwinkle, and the color scheme differs dramatically.

Catarantus (Catharanthus) - a genus of herbaceous plants and shrubs of the Kutrovy family (Apocynaceae). Catharanthus pink (Catharanthus roseus) is a species of evergreen perennial shrubs of the genus Katarantus. In gardening, it is known as the periwinkle pink.

Kataranthus are spectacular, bushy plants. Kataranthus are not only indoor plants. They are grown as garden gardeners, and as balcony flowers. And no matter what the conditions, pink periwinkle is not grown, it always surprises with amazing sweetness and cheerfulness.

In the genus Katarantus there are not so many species (only 7-8), but in decorative floriculture, and landscape design, only one plant is used - pink catharanthus (catharanthus roseus) This is an evergreen shrub up to 40-50 cm high. Direct, but densely branched shoots form spectacular shrubs, the crown seems lush and very dense.

Green at the catharantus, albeit simple, but very beautiful. Dark, glossy, bright, with a beautiful middle vein, lanceolate-oval leaves are pointed at both ends and seem very nice. And what a magnificent background they create for flowers! Similar in shape and structure to periwinkle flowers, at the catharanthus they consist of 5 lobes with a small but clearly visible contrasting eye in the center. The colors of the Catharanthus are always bright, acrylic, flashy. The purest tones of pink, orange, white and fuchsia give the plant a cheerful look.

Cataractus blooms relentlessly from May to October. It is as if he seeks to cover all the warmest and sunniest months, going into the shadows only in anticipation of the first serious colds. But this duration has its own flip side: after an enchanting show, the catharanthus is depleted and it will be very difficult to make it bloom again.

That is why the plant is most often considered as an annual, replacing with new copies after flowering. After all, fussing with temperatures, leaving, stimulating flowering is much more complicated than the process of rooting cuttings. New catharanthus can be purchased annually, acquiring the past distillation and treatment with inhibitors that inhibit the growth of plant shoots. Or grow new instances yourself, especially since the catharanthus is very easy to cut.

Catharanthus pink (Catharanthus roseus), in gardening is better known as the pink periwinkle (Vinca rosea).

What to look for when buying?

Buying karantaranty, try to carefully examine the bushes. If you want to really enjoy a colorful show, choose a plant on which a large number of buds have formed, but flowering has not yet begun or has just started, only a few flowers have blossomed. Leaves from below should not turn yellow: this process cannot be avoided, but it should begin already at the peak of flowering.

Care for quarantine

In its requirements for the conditions of cultivation and care, the catharanthus is very similar to all evergreen crops. The most difficult thing to take care of the pink periwinkle is to provide a plant with a comfortable air humidity. For all other parameters, they are quite unpretentious and hardy.

Catharanthus Lighting

Catharanthus will be able to bloom effectively not only in very well-lit places. Unlike many year-olds, this plant also tolerates light shading in indoor culture.

And the rule that states that the better the location is illuminated, the better your catharanthus will look, does not always work. After all, a hot place with shading will suit him better than a sunny sultry platform. So for this plant, you can choose penumbra and a well-lit location depending on the temperature in the room. Ideal for Catharanthus consider locations on the eastern and western windowsills.

Comfortable temperature

Katarantus, despite his balcony career, can not be called a heat-loving plant. The most decorative pink periwinkle reaches in rooms where the air temperature remains within the range from 15 to 22 degrees. But there is one “but”: such requirements apply only to perennials. If you plan to throw away a bush, then the warmer the location, the more abundant it will bloom.

If you want to preserve the catharanthus and grow it as a perennial, try to cause flowering next year, then put the plant for the winter in cool conditions with a stable temperature of about 15 degrees Celsius or a little cooler (but in no case below 10 degrees). If you grow catharanthus as an annual, then after flowering, just throw away the plant or wait for the shoots to die out.

This culture also feels great outdoors. In the warm season, when the air temperature exceeds 18 degrees, Catharanthus can be put on balconies or terraces. The main condition is to provide protection against drafts and precipitation, a warm, comfortable and well-lit place. True, the latter must be accustomed to the pink periwinkle gradually. It is necessary to bring the cataractus back into the rooms with the first signs of a cooling in August.

Watering and humidity

Katarantus is a moisture-loving culture, the abundant flowering of which requires a constant and sufficiently high humidity of the substrate. For a pink periwinkle, neither drying of the substrate, nor stagnation of water and waterlogging of the soil should be allowed. The frequency of irrigation is selected so that the humidity is medium and stable. Between the procedures, only the upper 2-3 cm of the substrate should dry. If the plant is preserved for the next year, watering is significantly reduced for it, containing the substrate in a slightly wet state.

One of the most unpleasant features of the plant is its exactingness to air humidity. Kataranthus love high rates, and spraying is not enough to satisfy the vagaries. Moreover, the latter is substantially complicated by the fact that flowers cannot be sprayed and moisture should be carefully directed only to the greenery of the plant.

Because of all the difficulties for the catarhus, it is better to immediately install humidifiers (artisanal, in the form of pallets with wet expanded clay, pebbles, moss or automatic). Catharanthus, which is grown as perennials, need active spraying of foliage at the stage of a cool wintering.

Katarantus pink (Catharanthus roseus).

Catharanthus nutrition

Like any actively flowering plant, cataractus needs quite intensive feeding. Especially frequent procedures should be for those pink periwinkles that do not plan to keep for the next year. For them, fertilizers are applied according to the scheme typical for flyers: they are added to water for irrigation every week, using half the standard dose.

Perennial cataracts are fed a half-reduced dose of the mixture every 2 weeks. For such quarantines, top dressing between October and February is strictly prohibited.

For pink periwinkle, special fertilizers are used for flowering indoor crops, and not universal mixtures.

Cutting and cleaning the catharanthus

Pink periwinkle responds well to formation, which is best done in the form of pinching the ends of the shoots. When grown in a perennial culture before transplanting, shoots must be trimmed to 1/3 of the height. But for a plant, it is much more important to remove wilted flowers and leaves yellowing below the shoots, which are very noticeable on this plant. The flawless appearance of the cataractus will not save without your help.

Growing Catharanthus

Transplant and substrate

Transplantation is needed only to plants that are stored from year to year. The procedure is carried out annually, in early spring, marking the transplantation of the beginning of active growth. The classic dates in March are perfect for the pink periwinkle, but it is better to focus on the beginning of growth (if it is delayed, postpone the landing until April).

For catharanthus, the capacity is necessarily increased in comparison with the previous one by at least 3-4 cm. But the main thing is to keep the substrate unchanged. Therefore, when buying a plant, immediately specify in which soil mixture the catharanthus grows, at least what its composition is. If you plant in another soil, the chance of getting the plant to bloom again will be very low.

Usually, catharanthus are planted in a substrate with a loose texture, nutritious, water- and breathable, with a large proportion of peat and sand. Well suited for plant mixtures for flowering plants and perennials. By reaction, the soil should be acidic or neutral.

Diseases and pests

Under improper growing conditions, waterlogging, catharanthus can suffer from a specific disease - brown rust. Its traces in the form of pustules can be found on the underside of the leaves. Fighting the disease is possible with only one method - fungicide treatment.

Of the pests for catharanthus, the danger is dry air and its "lovers" - spider mites, scutes, aphids. The fight will be successful in combining the correction of care and insecticides.

Common problems in growing catharanthus:

  • yellowing of leaves in direct sunlight;
  • falling of the lower leaves (not considered a problem and indicates rejuvenation);
  • dropping young foliage on the tops of shoots with prolonged drought, poor care;
  • poor flowering in cold conditions or with the need for rejuvenation;
  • drying of the tips of the leaves in dry air;
  • dropping buds in the dark, with sparse watering or insufficient feeding.
Katarantus pink grade 'Angel Tutu'

Catharanthus propagation

Like all plants, mainly cultivated as a summer tree and amenable to distillation, catharanthus easily propagates apical cuttings. For this, it is only necessary to choose the correct cutoff period: for catharanthus, the highest rooting rates are characteristic for the August cuttings. But the easiest way to cut the cuttings in the spring, during transplantation. They root after treatment with growth stimulants in the sand under the hood.

You can also get a new generation catharanthus and seed. They are sown at the end of winter, in February-March, in large containers with a substrate of peat and sand. Sowing is carried out shallow, but the containers must be covered with a dark film. Seeds can germinate at a temperature of about 18 degrees Celsius. Plants are transferred to light only after the emergence of friendly seedlings.

As you grow and produce 4 true leaves, plants need to be planted in separate pots with a nutrient substrate. Kataranthus can be cut and pinched, but they themselves are prone to active branching and are better guided by the shape of a particular plant, resort to frequent pruning only when growth is disturbed.