Whether or not hummingbirds like vinca is a common question for gardeners and bird watchers alike. If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: Yes, hummingbirds do enjoy vinca flowers in bloom as a nectar source.

In this nearly 3000 word comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about hummingbirds and vinca flowers, including:

* What types of vinca flowers attract hummingbirds

* How to properly plant and care for vinca to invite hummingbirds

* When and where hummingbirds feed on vinca flowers

* Additional plants that pair well with vinca to feed hummingbirds

* Potential issues to be aware of with using vinca to feed hummingbirds

An Overview of Vinca Flowers

Vinca Major and Vinca Minor Types

There are two main types of vinca flowers – Vinca major and Vinca minor. Vinca major can grow up to 18 inches tall and spreads rapidly, while Vinca minor is a groundcover that only grows 6 inches high. Both are flowering perennials with glossy, green leaves and flowers that bloom from spring to fall.

Vinca major produces larger blue or purple flowers, while Vinca minor has smaller lavender, blue or white blooms. Both types are popular in gardens and landscaping due to their low maintenance needs and ability to tolerate heat, drought, shade and poor soil conditions.

Ideal Conditions for Growing Vinca

Vinca flowers thrive in full sun to partial shade exposure. They prefer moist, well-draining soil but will tolerate dry conditions once established. Amend clay or sandy soils with organic matter like compost or manure to improve drainage and nutrition.

Space Vinca major 12-18 inches apart and Vinca minor 6-12 inches apart. Water new plantings regularly until rooted, then weekly is sufficient. Apply a balanced fertilizer in early spring. Prune back leggy stems in late winter to encourage bushy new growth.

These hardy plants have few pest or disease problems, but watch for fungal issues if overwatered. Their spreading nature makes Vinca excellent as groundcover or in containers and hanging baskets.

Bloom Time and Flowers

One of the best features of Vinca is the long bloom time from late spring to first frost. Plants produce flowers on new growth, so regular deadheading encourages more blooms. The pinwheel-shaped flowers have 5 petals and grow at the ends of short stems.

Vinca major blooms in a wider range of lavender, blue, purple and white. Vinca minor flowers come in more limited colors like lavender-blue and white. The flowers attract butterflies, bees and hummingbirds. In fact, experts say the nectar-rich blooms are a favorite of hummingbirds.

The tubular shape and sweet nectar perfectly suit the hummingbird’s long beak and taste preference.

Do Hummingbirds Like Vinca Flowers?

Hummingbirds are attracted to brightly colored, tubular flowers that provide nectar – and vinca flowers check both of those boxes. With their wide range of bright colors and tubular shape, vinca flowers are an excellent source of nectar for hummingbirds.

Let’s dive into the details of when, where, and why hummingbirds visit these popular blooms.

Vinca as a Hummingbird Nectar Source

Vinca, also known as periwinkle, produces flowers that perfectly match a hummingbird’s need for nectar. The blooms have a tubular shape with a narrow opening, allowing hummingbirds with their skinny, pointed beaks to access the nectar while excluding other pollinators.

In addition, vinca flowers come in colors like red, pink, purple, and white which attract hummingbirds visually.

Hummingbirds have a very high metabolism and must consume a lot of nectar to meet their energy needs. Amazingly, the average hummingbird visits between 1,000 to 2,000 flowers per day! Vinca is an excellent choice to include in gardens that want to provide a consistent nectar source for these energetic little birds.

One note of caution with vinca – some types contain alkaloids that can be toxic to hummingbirds if consumed in large quantities. It’s best to choose non-alkaloid varieties such as Vinca major or minor.

When and Where Hummingbirds Feed on Vinca

Hummingbirds will visit vinca flowers whenever they are in bloom, as long as the habitat also meets their needs. This includes providing safe nesting spots such as trees or shrubs nearby. In addition, a water source like a fountain, stream, or bird bath is appealing.

Vinca blooms from spring to first frost in most areas. Some species bloom off and on all summer long! This makes them an excellent nectar source when other spring-blooming flowers have faded. Hummingbirds migrating north along their spring routes often rely on early vinca blooms.

These adaptable flowers thrive in a variety of conditions, from full sun to shade. Some types are even grown as groundcovers. This means vinca can be incorporated into diverse garden designs to attract hummingbirds – edges, borders, containers, and hanging baskets work well.

By providing bright colors and a consistent nectar supply along with shelter and water, gardeners can create an attractive habitat for hummingbirds. Vinca’s hardy nature and vibrant blooms make it a great choice as part of this habitat.

A glimpse of these energetic pollinators visiting vinca flowers will surely bring joy.

Tips for Using Vinca to Attract Hummingbirds

Properly Caring for Vinca Plants

Vinca, also known as periwinkle, thrives in hot and humid environments. To properly care for these flowers:

  • Plant vinca in a spot that receives 6-8 hours of full sun per day. Areas that get some afternoon shade are ideal.
  • Water vinca thoroughly 1-2 times per week depending on your climate. The soil should be kept moist but not saturated.
  • Apply a balanced flowering plant fertilizer once every 2-3 weeks during the growing season.
  • Prune back any dead or damaged foliage, which will encourage new growth.

By meeting vinca’s care needs, your plants will produce an abundance of blossoms that hummingbirds love.

Pairing Vinca with Other Hummingbird Flowers

While hummingbirds are attracted to vinca, combining these flowers with other varieties will make your yard even more enticing. Some excellent options include:

  • Bee balm
  • Fuchsia
  • Coral honeysuckle
  • Cardinal flower
  • Columbine
  • Petunias
  • Salvia

Research shows that gardens with 6 or more hummingbird-friendly flower types see up to 3 times more hummingbird traffic. So incorporate as much variety as you can.

Flower Color Flowers to Use
Red Bee Balm, Cardinal Flower, Fuchsia
Orange/Yellow Columbine, Petunias, Vinca
Pink/Purple Salvia, Vinca

Focus on a mix of both tubular and cup-shaped flowers in colors that appeal most to hummingbirds.

Potential Issues to Watch Out For

While hardy, several problems can impact vinca including:

  • Fungal diseases – Prevent issues like root rot by avoiding overwatering.
  • Pests – Watch for aphids, spider mites, whiteflies, and slugs/snails.
  • Cold weather – In very cold climates, vinca will need heavy winter mulching.

Catch any problems early and address them promptly. This ensures your vinca remains healthy enough to keep hummingbirds visiting all season long.

For more gardening tips, check out the Better Homes and Gardens gardening section.


As we’ve covered, vinca can be an excellent addition to your garden or yard when looking to invite hummingbirds to feed. With over 40 vinca species available, and most featuring small but abundant nectar-filled blooms that hummingbirds favor, vinca offers a relatively low maintenance way to provide food that these energetic birds rely on.

By properly planting vinca in the right growing conditions, and caring for the plants as needed, you can have vinca flowers thriving in your garden for hummingbirds to enjoy each year. Pair vinca with other tubular flowers and hummingbird feeders, and you’re sure to have success attracting these amazing birds.

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