I got a periwinkle plant from a relative. She's a bit absent-minded and barely watered it. When I got it, the branches were all bare (leaves fallen off) and no flowers.

I have had it a few months now. Since then, it flowers regularly and even self-seeded a few months ago.

The problem is, that though the branches have grown longer, there are only leaves on the 'new' part of the branch. The lower half, where leaves fell off before, has not grown leaves. Because of this, the plant looks rather odd.

enter image description here

I researched this online and some sources say the plant will only grow towards the top of the branch, and the best step is to cut the branch off, throw away the leafless part, and re-plant the part of the branch that has leaves. But this seems like an extreme solution and I don't want to do it unless it's the only option.

Also, from pictures I've seen online, the leaves seem quite small compared to other periwinkle plants. I planted the seeds I got from this plant, and the new plants look much healthier and have larger leaves.

This is the seedling:

Apart from this, the periwinkle has an odd sort of fuzzy growth on the lower leaves. It's not that noticeable and I thought it was normal, until I saw that the seedling's leaves don't have the same growth. This comes on both green and yellow leaves.

enter image description here

I wasn't sure if I was watering the plant right, so a few weeks ago I purchased a moisture meter and I only water when the meter shows that it's dry or low moisture. It hasn't made a difference, but it hasn't been that long. I check the water level daily.

The place I live in has a desert climate and the plants get a lot of full sun. They are kept outside 24/7.

Appreciate any insights you can share.


Your Periwinkle looks like its doing excellent! an excellent comeback! Periwinkles tend to grow that way, after a while the longer branches may lower from gravity: and they may end up even longer, still healthy & robust, and still flowering away! haven't had good results rooting branches though!! So if those flowering & nice if longish branches are removed, that may be the end of them! also, Periwinkles don't seem to then always sprout strongly from a trimmed branch, but often from another newer branch! They don't tend to grow many new leaves on older branches, but grow new smaller branches from them! just always be careful of the main stem!!

The watering regimen sounds fine, they like their consistent moderate amount of water! (If they ever become inadvertently dry, water may recover them very surprisingly!) They can get waterlogged, so a little small gravel etc in the bottoms of the containers for aereation & drainage is good. The big one might need a very small bit of nutrient though to be a bit greener: but: flowers tend to be less prolific for awhile when the leaves are flourishing after addition of nutrient! And: VERY Small amount of nutrient only!! Usually, they do well with ony some water. Maybe adding a bit of new soil after a year or so, but Only up to where the soil is now. If a longer branch does go, genrally pinch it aff a few cm above some stout stem of that branch, & maybe with sprouts, rather than next to the center stem seems to be much better: leaving at least 5-8cm of the atrophied branch intact, and it might resprout very well, or, at least until the stub entirely dessicated, then still leaving a couple cm of stub. Periwinkles seem to alsost sort of 'self trim'!

To fill out the looks of the big one, maybe just place new ones close to it in a group, which also can protect them from unexpected strong winds etc. Your small Periwinkle looks great: You're doing everything right for both! They tend to be leafier like that until they begin flowering a lot, then their energy is going more into making flowers and seeds than into leaves! Having them in containers like that is also good in case there's ever a freeze or severe storming, they can be brought inside! they also can do well inside next to a window which gets sun, and they like some of moving air.

Excellent illustrations, though unable to discern enough detail in fuzzy growth illustration, perhaps describe a bit more if possible, it may just be atrophy etc. That really seems like a fallen leaf, but maybe keep an eye on it, they might get some pests of some sort on them. Great nice question, & great little flowers :)

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