Vinca major

Vinca major, also known as Periwinkle, is a non-native plant that has become invasive in the San Lorenzo Valley. It is considered invasive because it grows aggressively and forms a dense ground cover, quickly taking over an area and preventing native plants from growing and spreading. This disrupts the ecosystem’s natural balance and can reduce the variety of plants and animals that live there.

Another problem with Vinca is that it can carry a bacterium called Pierce's Disease. Insects, like Sharpshooters, that feed on Vinca can spread this disease to other plants, such as grapevines. Pierce's Disease blocks water flow within the plant, causing it to wilt and die.

How to remove Vinca

To effectively remove Vinca, targeting the foliage above the ground and the roots below is important. Although Vinca can be removed anytime, the best time is after the first rains. 

Using a pitchfork, loosen the soil around the plant's base. Then, you can either lift the entire root ball out of the ground or, using your fingers, gently remove the plant's crown and root ball, which is located just below the foliage. Removing all parts of the plant, including the roots and fragments, is crucial as they can quickly start growing again if left behind. 

After removing Vinca, it's essential to dispose of it properly. Regularly monitoring the restored area for any new growth from remaining roots is also a good idea.

Removing Vinca helps restore the balance of native plant communities and protects the overall health of our ecosystems. However, it's important to remember that removing invasive plants is an ongoing effort. By staying vigilant and monitoring restored areas while expanding the margins of the restored area, we can make a positive impact on our local ecosystems.

Thank you for taking an interest in protecting our native habitats and supporting a healthy environment. Together, we can make a difference!

The San Lorenzo Valley Native Habitat Restoration Program integrates environmental and community needs to restore the riparian habitat and ensure the ongoing health and beauty of the watershed.

Invasives to Remove!

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