Catharanthus Roseus is the only species that is ideal in the home. Sometimes it is confused with the genus Vinca. These plants create colour from Spring to early Autumn which are usually soft rose-pink, mauve, white and white with carmine-red center. They resemble the Busy Lizzie in appearance, but they are more difficult house-plants to grow.
Germination Temperature (°F)
Water plentifully, but do not allow the pot to stand in water.
Once flowering has begun, feed every 2 weeks with standard liquid fertilizer.
Move them in pots one size larger every 8 weeks until maximum size needed is 5 inch pot.
When the seeds have germinated, uncover the seed tray and begin watering the seedlings moderately enough to make compost moist, but allow top half-inch to dry out between waterings until they are about 1 inch high. Transfer each seedling into a 3 inch pot and treat as mature Catharanthus.
Catharanthus can be propagated from tip cuttings as well as from seed. If propagated from seed it will flower more profusely. In late Winter or early Spring, take cuttings and sow seeds in shallow tray of moistened seed compost. Place tray in a plastic bag or propagator and stand in warm position and in bright filtered light.
Place plant indoors or outdoors in bright light but screen from intense direct sun. Bright light is essential for good flowering. Normal room temperatures are suitable at all times.
Catharanthus cannot tolerate temperature that fall below about 10 °C.
Mist the foliage periodically. The plant is best grown as an annual. If you want to overwinter the plant, it is best to take cuttings in the Autumn.
Scientists were able to revive a flowering plant from the fossilized fruit found in the stomach of an Arctic ground squirrel who was trapped in ice around 32,000 years ago.