Gardening

Solanum

The Solanum are much cultivated plants in gardens and macetohuertos, because there are many species that produce edible fruits and also, you may have trouble in containers.

Maintenance is not complicated, but we hope that now it will be a little less complicated with what we are going to tell you next .

Origin and characteristics

Our protagonist is a genus of plants that can grow as herbs, shrubs or as climbers with or without thorns, originating above all in South America, but also growing in North America, Central America, eastern Brazil, the West Indies, Australia, Africa and Madagascar. There are about 1250 species, and all of them are characterized by the type of flower, which are composed of five white, green, yellow, pink or purple petals, and by a fruit that is a globose and fleshy berry inside which are numerous seeds. little.

The roots can be rhizomatous or tuberculous, and its leaves are alternate, simple to pinnatilobed or compound, green in color.

Main species

Solanum nigrum

Image – Flickr/ The Weed Forager’s Handbook

Known as nightshade, it is an annual herb that grows between 30 and 80cm in height, and produces black fruits that, once cooked, can be used to make jams and preserves.

Solanum tuberosum

Known as potato or potato, it is a tuberous and perennial herb that can be up to 1 meter long. The tuberculous roots, which are the potatoes themselves, are the ones used in cooking, both cooked and fried.

Related article:When and how are potatoes planted?

Solanum lycopersicum

Known as tomato, tomato, or tomato, it is an annual or perennial herb depending on the climate that can reach a height of up to 2.50 meters. It produces berries, usually red, that are edible, ideal for salads, toasts, etc.

Related article:How to grow tomato?

Solanum jasminoides

Now called Solanum laxum, it is an evergreen climbing plant up to 5 meters long that is used as an ornamental for its flowers, which are bluish, whitish or lilac. It is known as false jasmine.

Related article:The false jasmine, a climber with small but pretty flowers

Solanum dulcamara

Image – Wikimedia/ Pascal Blachier

Known as dulcamara, it is an evergreen climbing plant that does not usually exceed 2 meters in length.  It is used as an ornamental, as it produces very pretty purple flowers.

Related article:Solanum dulcamara

Solanum pseudocapsicum

Image – Wikimedia/ Agnieszka Kwiecień, Nova

Known as the Jerusalem cherry, Madeira or myrtle, it is an evergreen shrub that does not usually exceed 2 meters in height. It produces fruits that are reminiscent of tomatoes, but smaller, of about 10-15mm that are not edible.

Related article:Dwarf tomato (Solanum pseudocapsicum)

Solanum melongena

Known as aubergine, it is an annual, thorny herb that extends about 2 meters. It produces berries 5 to 30cm long, purple, black, purple, white or green that are used to prepare various dishes, such as baked stuffed aubergine.

Solanum muricatum

Known as melon pear, melon cucumber, sweet cucumber, fruit cucumber or tree melon, it is an evergreen shrub that grows to 2 meters in height. It produces whitish edible berries, which are eaten fresh, in salads, or in elaborate desserts.

Related article:Pear melon (Solanum muricatum)

Solanum villosum

Image – Wikimedia/ Stefan.lefnaer

It is an annual herb about 70cm tall that produces red-orange berries.

Solanum bonariense

Known as granadilla, Santa María grass, solana or garden orange trees (not to be confused with the fruit tree of the Citrus genus) that grows up to 2-3 meters in height. It produces a globose berry of orange color.

Solanum malacoxylon

Image – Wikimedia/ berichard

Known as white peach, it is a 1-2 meter tall rhizomatous plant that produces blackish blue fruits that is used in sauces and stews.

Solanum rantonneti

Known as the blue-flowered solano or perennial dulcamara, it is an evergreen shrub that can grow as a climber or ground cover. It grows to 2-3 meters in height, and produces hanging bluish flowers. It is used as an ornamental plant.

Related article:A widely used plant in gardening, Solanum rantonnetii

How are they cared for?

Do you want to have a copy of Solanum? Then we recommend providing the following care:

Location

It is important that it is outside, in full sun.

Earth

  • Orchard or garden: the soil must be fertile, with good drainage.
  • Pot: use mulch (on sale here ).

Irrigation

It must be frequent, especially in summer. The ideal is to always keep the soil slightly damp, so, depending on the climate, we recommend watering an average of 5 times a week during the hottest season, and an average of 2-3 times a week the rest of the year.

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Throughout the season you have to pay with organic fertilizers, such as compost, mulch, cow manure, etc.

Multiplication

Solanum multiply by seeds, and sometimes also by tubers, in spring.

Seeds

The seeds are to be sown in a seed tray filled with mulch. Keeping the substrate moist, they will germinate in about 5-7 days.

Tubers

Some Solanum, such as potatoes, can be easily multiplied by separating the tubers from the rest of their root system and then planting them in another area of ​​the garden. They must be at a depth of about 10cm more or less.

Pests

It may be affected by aphids, spider mites, whiteflies, beetles and hen blind. All can be treated with diatomaceous earth (sold here ) or potassium soap (sold here ).

Diseases

If it is watered in excess and/ or wetting the leaves, flowers and fruits, it can have powdery mildew, botrytis, mildew, alternariosis, fusarium, bacteria or viruses.

It is necessary to control the risks and to do treatments with fungicides. In the case of bacteria or viruses, the affected parts must be cut.

Rusticity

Resists cold but not frost.

What uses is it given?

Ornamental

There are several species that are used as garden or terrace plants, such as Solanum rantonnetii or Solanum jasminoides. Whether grown in the ground or in pots, they’ll look great .

Culinary

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