Tomatillo (Solanum crispum)

The Solanum crispum is a pretty shrub or tree that produces small berries but with an intense reddish color that, unfortunately, is not edible. In fact, its consumption turns out to be very harmful to health as it is poisonous. But this does not mean that the plant must be “demonized”.

Knowing its characteristics and care, it can quickly become a magnificent species for both garden and pot.

Origin and characteristics

Native to Chile, Peru and Argentina, this shrub or tree known as natre, natri or tomatillo grows to a height of 5 to 8 meters. It has a semi-climbing habit, that is, its stems tend to develop on other plants that are next to them. From them sprout leaves ovate to lanceolate by 7-13 x 2.3cm, with a sharp apex, and perennial although in more temperate-cold climates they fall in winter.

The flowers, which sprout in summer, are fragrant, have a starry corolla which measures 1.5 to 3cm in diameter, and are blue or purple in color. And the fruit is a spherical berry 1cm in diameter, bright red when ripe.

What are their cares?

Image – Ron Vanderhoff

If you want to have a specimen of Solanum crispum, we recommend giving it the following care:

  • Location: it must be outside, in full sun.
  • Land:
    • Pot: you can use mulch (on sale here ) or universal growing medium (on sale here ). Either one will allow your plant to grow healthy .
    • Garden: the soil must be fertile, with good drainage.
  • Watering: frequent, especially in summer. Water 4 or 5 times a week in the hottest season, and 2 a week the rest of the year.
  • Subscriber: it is highly recommended to compost in spring and summer with organic and/ or homemade fertilizers.
  • Multiplication: by seeds in spring.
  • Hardiness: it resists frosts down to -10ºC.

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