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Commonly known as Blue potato bush, Paraguay nightshade
Genus of about 1400 species of annuals, herbaceous perennials, and evergreen, semi-evergreen and deciduous shrubs, trees and twining climbers from a worldwide range of habitats. Includes the potato, tomato and aubergine familes.
Natives comprise the 2 nightshades S. dulcamara, woody nightshade or bittersweet and S. nigrum, black nightshade. Atropa belladonna, deadly nightshade, although in the same family is a different, distinct plant.
EvergreenOvate to lance-shaped, often wavy-margined, smooth, mid- to deep-green leaves 6-10cm (2½in) long
Medium shrubTypically grow to around 4-6 feet in heightLax shrub, usually many-branched when mature. Produces axillary clusters to 6cm (2½in) across of 2-5 shallowly trumpet-shaped, flowers1-2.5cm (½-1in) across followed by ovoid red fruit 2.5cm (1in) long.
Half hardy - unheated greenhouse / mild winterHardy in coastal and relatively mild parts of the UK except in severe winters and a risk from sudden (early) frosts. May be hardy elsewhere with wall shelter or good micro-climate. Likely to be damaged or killed in cold winters. Plant can withstand temperatures down to -5°C (23°F)
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Additional FeaturesPests & DiseasesUnder glass - aphids, red spider mite, tomato spotted wilt, grey mould.Place of originParaguay, ArgentinaResistant to honey fungusThese plants have little or few problems with honey fungus.
HardinessFrost hardy (down to -5)
Pruning groupPruning group 8Suitable for: Wall trained shrubs and less vigorous climbers.
Action: For climbers 'spur prune' by cutting back 3-4 buds of the permanent framework. For wall trained shrubs cut back flowered shoots to within 2-4 buds of permanent framework.
When: Annually after flowers if on previous year's growth, or in late Winter or Spring if on current year's growth.
RHS group 12 & 13
Soil ConditionsFertile well drained soilNeutral to alkaline soil
Toxic - Category CHarmful if eaten(People & Pets)
Buy Varieties of SOLANUM
Hardy and quick growing wall shrub, flowers violet-blue
(syn. s.laxum) - pale lilac jasmine-like flowers
pure white form