Purple Solanum

This is a picture of our purple solanum (potato flower) bush. It’s a large beautiful shrub. I think it’s decades old, because its biggest trunks are 4 or 5 inches thick. It is filled with purple flowers almost continuously from spring through autumn.

Our solanum grows incredibly fast. If I don’t prune it regularly, it grows like crazy, until it takes up half of our patio area. I usually give it a severe pruning about every 2-3 months to keep it in a box shape. Because it grows so fast and can be trained into different shapes, it makes for a good natural privacy wall.  But without regular pruning, it gets overgrown and out-of-control quickly.

Our solanum is frost sensitive. It loses many of its leaves after a frosty spell. During a freeze about a year and half ago when the temperature here fell into the 20s, our shrub lost all of its leaves. But it began to grow back about a month or two later.

October 07 2008 06:56 pm | Solanum