My Solanum Crispum is now about 8 feet high but is covered in purpley-blue blossom most of summer. I prune it to keep it at that height or it would go on to 20+ feet tall.
Plant Characteristics of Solanum Crispum
- This shrub is related to the nightshade and potato family.
- It is aka Chilean Potato Tree.
- The flowers have an attractive yellow centre surrounded by blue flowers similar to potato flowers.
- The base of the shrub becomes a bit bare after several years.
- In mild winters, even in Yorkshire, it is evergreen.
- It has a lax habit and I tie in some branches to a nearby hedge.
- I give it no special treatment of any sort, although it’s location is sunny.
- Theoretically it likes alkaline soil and a high potash feed.
- Propagate by layering, pegging a lower stem to the ground, or by semi ripe 3″ cuttings taken in late summer.
- Despite being related to Potato all parts are all poisonous.
- The variety ‘Glasnevin’ is the one to grow for prolific flowers.
- Cut away extra long branches at intervals throughout the summer to keep the plant within bounds.
- Do not cut back into older wood as the vines do not always re-grow from the old stems and may die back.
- Solanum resent severe pruning so little and often may be best treatment. It may be necessary to cut a stem down to the ground periodically to encourage new growth from the base.
- As they grow older, the new shoots at the top of the plant tends to make them top heavy. This can break the original support.
- Ensure the plant has strong support before they become heavy.
Other Solanum Comments
- Solanum crispum is a vigorous woody climber often thought of as a vine.
- The branches require tying in as these plants are not self-clinging.
- Solanum bears masses of yellow centred blue flowers similar to potato flowers and is also available with a white flower.
- These plants are a little bit tender when young and require planting in a sunny but sheltered position.
- Grow late flowering clematis up the lower branches of mature Solanum crispum
- This fragrant fast growing climber will bloom throughout Summer and Autumn with yellow-white fruits in Autumn
- Solanum laxum is a white flowered species.
See Trellis tips