University of Maryland Extension

Phomopsis and Phoma Dieback of Vinca

dieback symptoms on vinca
Initial wilting symptoms on vinca.

***It is no longer recommended to plant Vinca minor (Periwinkle or Vinca), especially near or adjacent to natural areas because it is an alien invasive plant***

The usual symptoms on vinca include wilted shoots that darken and die with lesions near the base of the stem. The lesions are dark sunken areas on the stem near the soil line that enlarge and girdle the shoot. These fungal diseases attack through wounds, spread by water, and are favored by high levels of moisture. Stressed plants are also more prone to infection and dieback.


Avoid overhead irrigation and thin plantings to increase air circulation that will promote faster leaf drying. Thinning can be accomplished by selective pruning of infected leaves or by mechanical removal such as with a lawn mower set at the highest setting. Removal of fallen debris and clean up of old leaves etc. will also help reduce the amount of moisture trapped and will promote faster drying of the planting bed.

 Phomopsis infected vinca stems
Lesions on stems from Phomopsis

.yellowing of vinca
Yellowing and browning due to phomopsis
and phoma dieback

Maintained by the IET Department of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. © 2020. Web Accessibility

University programs, activities, and facilities are available to all without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, marital status, age, national origin, political affiliation, physical or mental disability, religion, protected veteran status, genetic information, personal appearance, or any other legally protected class. If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in any event or activity, please contact your local University of Maryland Extension Office.