Originating from Paraguay, the Solanum belongs to the Solanaceae family The English name is ‘Nightshade’. Other members of this family include the potato and the tomato. Solanum literally means ‘potato’. But beware: you can’t eat this Solanum!
Solanum Rantonnetii is an eye-catching plant for a balcony or patio. While its violet-blue flowers with a yellow eye make this an extremely attractive plant, what is most striking about it is its long period of flowering. The flowers of this patio plant will give you pleasure right until the late summer.
Solanum jasminoides is a variant with white flowers. This plant also produces an abundance of flowers and has a long period of flowering. Its flowers give off a delicious jasmine fragrance. Just like all Solanaceae plants, its flowers are typically star-shaped with five petals and the ovary in the centre with long stamens above it.
Where to put the plant on your patio or balcony
The Solanum needs a lot of sunlight and therefore its ideal position is in a sunny spot on a patio or balcony. It can tolerate direct sunlight and is also very strong. The Solanum is therefore a hardy pot plant that can easily withstand the ‘English summer’.
Water your Solanum regularly. Make sure that the soil remains slightly moist. While it is flowering, you should water your plant almost every day. You can also add liquid plant food to the water you use. Don’t let the root ball dry out otherwise the plant will lose its flowers. Remove faded flowers to extend the flowering period. You can prune your plant in order to help it retain its shape. With the right care, your Solanum will keep flowering right through the summer!