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Chilean Potato Vine (Solanum?)

bobloesbobloes Posts: 134
Hi All

My daughter had one of these growing in East London in a very small garden against an east facing wall and it did not appear to get huge amounts of sunshine due to external overshading plane trees.  The soil was not great and yet it appeared to do very well, flowering profusely.  She inherited it and it had likely been there for at least a decade.  I am thinking of putting one of these (the blue variety) against a north facing wall in Weymouth.  Does anyone have experience of them in these projected conditions?  Hard pruning once a year seemed to control it's height, again without any apparent detrimental effect.

Cheers

Bob

Posts

  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,630
    They do best in a southerly aspect, but are tough and vigorous growers. I keep them in a pot because I have no choice and only grow bomb-proof plants due to wind and the dry conditions, but they still put on growth, but not big, so if grown in well drained soil, they will grow fast.

    On a north wall, you will see less flowers and a more slower growth. They don't need feeding, and will suffer in heavier soils too. You can prune them how you like, they are just lax shrubs that needs guiding to how you want them to grow. They can take harsh pruning back. Whether pruning in spring or late autumn, this will not affect their flowering.
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 13,910
    I would agree. The clue's in the name (the sol bit, not the potato part).
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 SomersetPosts: 9,218
    That's very interesting Borderline as mine has been dying back so much I'm thinking of getting rid of it. It's in a sheltered courtyard against a fence/trellis facing west but as you say it struggles in heavy soil (we have clay) that might be the answer and yes, I'm guilty of feeding it sometimes!
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,630
    Lizzie27, they can die back, even in the growing season, but just prune them off. I had one growing in heavy clay in my old garden and they struggled a bit, but they did not die, just slowed their growth down. You can prune quite a few of the stems right down and hopefully new stems will grow through. Leaving very old stems will lead to weak growth sprouting out from their branches. 
  • bobloesbobloes Posts: 134
    Thanks very much to all and sorry for tardy reply - been away.  I think I will give it a go even though I also have clay soil.  The slow growth may actually be a boon.  I have been amazed at the things that I have north facing which appear to grow taller - looking for more sun?  Thanks again.
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