One summer color plant that we are sure is not eaten by the deer is vinca (also called periwinkle). This annual flower is available at area nurseries in white, red, pink, and lavender. Vinca was once the best-selling annual flower but its popularity declined because its severe susceptibility to the disease, aerial phytophera.  It got to the point that you could only use it from July to Thanksgiving. Now if you use the variety “Cora” it is back and resistant to aerial phytophera. Use vinca in full sun. It will be blooming from the day you obtain a transplant from the nursery until cold weather arrives.

Vinca is the most drought tolerant annual flower. Grow it is full sun. There are upright and spreading forms of “Cora”. Use it in containers or beds.  Vinca does not attract pollinators as strongly as Porter weed but it is considered a good butterfly plant.

Written by Calvin Finch
Dr. Calvin Finch is the retired Urban Water Program Director for the Texas A&M Institute of Renewable Natural Resources.You can ask Calvin question and hear his answers on the air as he co-hosts the Gardening South Texas on the air at KLUP (AM 930) Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 to 2:00pm.