Flowers that bloomed a day ago were already shriveled when they bloomed enter image description here.

And the leaves started curling from the bottom up. enter image description here.

I have kept it in the bag that I bought it in and watering it a little bit regularly ( as instructed by the nursery people ). The plant is still growing taller everyday and the flowers keep blooming but when they bloom they already look half dead. They get the morning sun, from sunrise till 10:00 - 10:30 in the morning.

What am I doing wrong ?

  • Could you please tell us more about how the nursery people said to water it, and how you have been watering it?
    – MackM
    Commented Nov 13, 2023 at 14:36
  • Any chance you just fertilized too strongly and burned the plant? I dilute it to 1/4 for a "constant feed". Leaves should be shiny. Commented Nov 13, 2023 at 16:32
  • @MackM They said to water it everyday so the top of the soil stays moist. It's a very clay like soil. Commented Nov 14, 2023 at 6:09
  • @YosefBaskin I didn't add any fertilizer after bringing it home. Commented Nov 14, 2023 at 6:10

2 Answers 2


I think your plant may be overwatered, and it may have root rot. Watering it a little bit every day to keep it moist is unusual advice for most plants, and I think that includes your Madagascar Periwinkle. Gardening Know How says:

The native habitat is located off the coast of South Africa and is semi-arid, hot, and sunny year-round.

Care should be exercised to ensure a dry garden bed. It is even useful to plant periwinkle in a raised bed or one amended heavily with sand or other grit. Rosy periwinkle plants are extremely affected by heavy rains or excess irrigation and may develop root rot in such situations. Growing rosy periwinkle in temperate zones usually results in a short season annual with three months of lovely flowers before a glut of moisture ends its life.

The biggest issue with Madagascar periwinkle care is overwatering. Apply infrequent supplemental water in only the hottest and driest periods. In temperate zones, water the plants only until established and then rarely. The plant thrives in ideal zones, in either partial shade or partial sun. The key is heat and dryness for a healthy, rosy periwinkle.

To help this plant thrive, I suggest:

  • Stop watering it
  • Remove the plant from the bag and repot in new, dry soil
  • While repotting it, inspect the roots and remove any that look rotted or unhealthy
  • Alternatively or additionally, take a cutting from a healthy portion of the plant and try to root it.

Good luck!


I'm a bit late to answer this, but I have a different solution to offer. Your plant is obviously potted in a bag which has no drainage holes at the base; remove it from there and plant into a pot which has drainage holes. If the plant is in a pot but just inside the bag, remove it from the bag; its important from a watering point of view that water can drain away freely at the base of the pot, not be trapped inside an outer container. The fact it's in a bag with no drainage holes is why you were given the advice to water sparingly, simply because any excess water is unable to drain way, and if the plant is sitting in water, root rot may occur.

When it's in a pot with drainage holes, water in well and ongoing water as soon as the surface feels a little dry to the touch - water thoroughly and allow the excess to drain away from the base before standing the pot back into any outer container. Your plant has been suffering from insufficient water, and moving to a pot and watering sufficiently will solve the problems.

The only other thing is I can see small black specks or deposits on the backs of some of the leaves - it's impossible to see what they are, but just check they're not aphids or other insects - if they are, you will need to spray the plant to get rid of them. Further info for this plant when grown in pots here https://www.plantsrescue.com/posts/catharanthus-roseus#:~:text=Watering%3A%20Water%20the%20potting%20mixture,mixture%20when%20repotting%20these%20plants.

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