When to irrigate the solanum

Among the most common varieties of Solanum grown at home is Solanum capsicastrum: it has lanceolate leaves, up to 8 cm long, with wavy margins, densely arranged along the many short branches. The flowers appear at the axil of the leaves, usually two or three: they are white with a central core of yellow-orange stamens. The bracts remain green, but the berries gradually turn orange-red as they mature and remain beautiful for most of the winter months. As for watering, it is necessary to water the plant abundantly, but do not let the water stagnate in the pot. If you want to keep a plant for another season, you need to give it a short rest period for four or five weeks before putting it outside. During this period, water only enough to prevent the soil from drying out. Growing Solanum for several years is advisable only for gardening enthusiasts, otherwise it is better to eliminate the plants when the berries have fallen.

Basic rules for cultivation

The Solanum genus includes about 1500 species of herbaceous plants, shrubs and climbing plants, of which only two are commonly grown indoors. These two species are both low shrubs, growing tall and up to 40cm wide. Small dark green leaves and starry summer flowers sprout from their sparse branches. The flowers give rise to very decorative, long-lasting, inedible berries. There is a variegated-leaved variety, Solanum variegatum, with leaves sprinkled with cream-yellow or edged with cream-white. During the autumn and the winter months it is necessary to keep these plants at a temperature not higher than 16 ° C and make sure they have a lot of humidity; hot environments and dry air, in fact, would considerably notice the life of the berries. On the contrary, the plants can also bear temperatures around freezing; it is advisable to place them on layers of damp gravel to have ideal environmental conditions. During the summer, while outdoors, the specimens live well in normal summer temperatures. If the weather is dry, the specimens kept outdoors are vaporized every day.

The ideal soil and how to fertilize

Solanum plants are usually bought in late autumn or early winter, when the berries turn orange-red. After a few months, when the berries have shriveled and fall off, in most cases the plants are eliminated. This is a waste, because you can try to cultivate them again. With suitable care, in fact, the specimens will bloom and bear fruit again in the following year, as long as they can be kept outdoors during the summer months. As for fertilizing, liquid fertilizer should be administered every two weeks, except during the short rest period. Plants that have survived the winter should be repotted into larger containers in the spring before placing them outdoors.

Solanum: How to make plants develop at their best

For optimal development, the plants with the fruits of summer must be placed in the sun at the beginning of winter. Plants that are to be kept for another year must be kept outdoors, but sheltered from the midday sun, for the whole late spring and for the whole summer. In late spring, before putting the adult plant outdoors, it needs to be drastically pruned, cutting off two-thirds of the previous year’s vegetation. At this point, the new shoots are pinched just once, so that the plant develops into a bush. When the time comes, remember to bring the plants indoors before running the risk of a frost to prevent them from being damaged. Beware of pests such as spider mites and aphids, as they can infest specimens:

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