The small decorative plant comes from the Asian and European continents and is included in the specific family grouping of the Solanaceae. Of considerable propagation, it owes its fame to its reddish edible fruits with a typical and particular conformation. In fact, they appear within a diaphanous bud that allows them to be easily seen, creating an original and delightful lantern effect. The perennial plant will be wet with particular constancy during the spring and summer seasons, especially if the temperatures are high, while watering will be contained in the cold periods of the year. In any case, stagnations and water pools during periodic wetting are to be avoided, as they are potentially very pernicious for the beards and large roots of the Alkekengi.


The Alkekengi can alternatively be positioned in open and ventilated spaces, usually parks, gardens and flower beds, or inside a medium or small sized container. However, it will require a soil that is not overly compact and supplied in a good quantity of organic substances, to which sandy and clayey elements will be added to guarantee a happy drainage. The seedling will not have to undergo periodic pruning operations, as it is certainly sufficient to eliminate the yellowed foliage and the aged and withered remains of the inflorescences and fruits. If placed in a container, repotting works must be carried out at least every two years, taking care to use larger containers to support the development of the voluminous root system.


Whatever the chosen arrangement, the perennial plant will need generous fertilization, in order to receive regular and adequate nourishment. Fertilization will be maximized in the vegetative period and reduced or suspended in the autumn and winter seasons, with frequencies that will intrinsically depend on the type of fertilizer adopted. In the case of solid organic granular fertilizer, released in gradual and progressive times, it must be given on average every two months, whereas liquid fertilizers will be administered twice a week, dissolved in the watering water. The fertilizer must contain an appropriate prevalence of potassium elements with respect to the nitrogenous and phosphatic components, together with the various microelements useful for growth and flourishing.

Alkekengi: Accommodation and pathologies

To achieve vigorous development, the perennial herb will appreciate an intensely illuminated habitat, although not affected by direct sunlight, and partially shady for a few hours of the day. On the other hand, it will not like the harsh and cold climatic conditions, so it will be suitably protected and shielded if the ambient temperature approaches 0 ° C. Finally, the ornamental plant will hardly be undermined by insects and parasites, but it will more likely be attacked by molds and rot to the root system, attributable to the erroneous and inefficient drainage of the soil. In this case, it will first be necessary to moderate and reduce spraying to the bare minimum and, at the same time, use suitable fungicides, preferably with natural and biological content.

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