Name: Soiree Kawaii Catharanthus
Type of Plant: Catharanthus is more commonly known as flowering vinca, although this is confusing since there are other perennial groundcovers and common window box greenery known by the same name. Could we all just agree to call the annual Catharanthus and this particular plant the Soiree series? In any case, this is a flowering annual that loves the heat. Plant it in full sun next to the driveway, in containers, and along the stone path to your front door.
Why I Love/Hate this plant When the Suntory folks featured this annual in a newsletter last winter I responded right away. “I love this plant!” They were kind enough to send me four larger plants and twelve plugs of smaller ones this spring and they have not disappointed me. I put the larger plants in pots on my deck, and they have been blooming machines ever since. No deadheading, no trimming back, but continual delicate and delightful flowers.
I planted the smaller plugs in several locations and the ones that are particularly happy are those placed near my black asphalt driveway. Got heat? Plant Soiree Kawaii Catharanthus.
A Word to the Wise: Don’t over-water these annuals. If they are warm and dry, in full sun, but watered before they wilt, you’ll be successful. Plant with some time-release fertilizer or a mix of time-release synthetic and an organic such as Plant-tone. Pinching is optional. I haven’t pinched my plants and they are bushing out very nicely.