Garden

Solanum rantonnetii


GeneralitŠ°


Solanum rantonnetii is an evergreen shrub native to South America.
These shrubs are dense and roundish in shape; they have semi-woody stems, very branched, and small lance-shaped leaves, of a bright green color, with a slightly wavy edge; from April to the first cold they produce innumerable little purple flowers, with a yellow center, gathered in small bunches; the flowers are followed by fruits that appear as orange, round, inedible berries.
These plants are very decorative and their flowering, abundant and very prolonged, is much appreciated, also thanks to the delicate fragrance that is given off by the flowers, which increases in intensity particularly in the evening hours.
After flowering it is useful and necessary to shorten the branches too long or weak, to favor a more compact development of the shrub, which over the years reaches 150-200 cm in height.

Exposure



This shrub should be planted in a sunny place, or even in partial shade; these plants fear the cold and therefore with temperatures below -3 ° C it is good to repair them with tnt or in a cold greenhouse.
To prevent the cold from damaging the plants it is advisable to grow them in pots, or to put them in a sheltered place and during the period with the most rigid temperatures it is useful to use protective sheets and mulching material, leaves or straw to cover the roots and the stem, so as to help the plant overcome the cold climate.

Watering



The Solanum rantonnetii can be satisfied with the waters that derive from the rains, but to obtain a greater development it is advisable to water regularly, always waiting for the soil to be dry between one watering and another; in the hottest months of the year it is necessary to intensify watering to help the plant withstand high temperatures and periods of drought.
From March to September, provide fertilizer for flowering plants every 10-15 days, mixed with water for watering or every 2-3 months use slow release granular fertilizer.

Ground



The Solanum rantonnetii should be planted in a place with loose, well-drained and fairly rich soil; if placed in pot this plant needs to be repotted every year, increasing the diameter of the container to help it to have the best possible growth.

Multiplication


For the multiplication of this variety two roads are passable; in spring it is possible to sow the seeds of the previous year; while in summer for the propagation of the plant cuttings are used woody seeds to be rooted in the pot.

Solanum rantonnetii: Pests and diseases



This type of plant can be attacked by pests and diseases which, if not treated promptly, can compromise their health.
Aphids often cling to flowers and leaves and ruin buds. Even the red spider mites can hit this type of plant.
To counteract their formation it is necessary to use specific insecticide products that can be used before the plant is flowering to avoid ruining the subsequent development.
There are other purple-flowered solanums, similar in behavior to the previous one, little cultivated in Italy, but still very decorative, almost all originating in South America.