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My Unhappy Solanum

Hello Everyone,

This is my first post, Last summer, I moved into a place with a somewhat overgrown garden to which I’m trying to bring a little order. A friend recommended this forum as being full of knowledge that is generously shared, so I hope you can help me.  

Attached are a few photos of a solanum that last summer was just a tangled mess with loads of dead wood and branches.  When I started to prune out the deadwood, it turned out there were 3 different shrubs all muddled up together, 2 of which were dead.  I cut those two right back and also cut out dead branches on the solanum.  It seemed very happy with more room to breathe and hosted a superb set of flowers for the whole summer.  However, since I pruned it some leaves are curling up and dying, usually whole branches. I hope you can see from the photos.  I’m starting to lose a significant part of the shrub. Have I done something wrong?  What should I do now? (The climber clambering through is it a chocolate vine from next door.) 

Thanks for any help. 


  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 12,473
    *Bump* for any Solanum experts  :)
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,872
    I don't grow them, but I wonder if the damage in that last pic is just from a branch being severed/damaged.
    It happens quite readily with all sorts of climbers, especially when trying to disentangle stems, or prune etc
    You'd have to trace the damaged stem back to see if it's that. At least you can then rule it out if it's not  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • NollieNollie Posts: 7,512
    I have a similar story with a Viburnum Tinus. Extremely tangled and overgrown, chopped right back, grew vigorously for a couple of years, kept chopping, seemed impossible to kill! Late autumn last year, whole sections started dying off, no visible damage or reason for it. I wondered whether it got stressed due to last year’s heatwaves. I have cut out the dying bits and am watching to see what happens.
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,700
    I can see other areas looking OK with new growth. Might be some late frost or cold winds that have damaged growth. Happens to many evergreen or semi-evergreen plants. Usually around February to March even in warmer parts of UK, they look worse for wear and need a tidy up where branches have grown too long and getting tired.

    Prune out the dried up leaves and even prune further back to branches that look fine. They are not that hardy, so growing without back protection they may get damaged in the winter months. They grow better against a fence/wall. 
  • Papi JoPapi Jo Posts: 4,216
    Is that a Solanum jasminoides?
    You are invited to a virtual visit of my garden (in English or in French).
  • Thank you for your help, all, I will use it to try and make the plasma happy and healthy. 
  • The plant, even. My autocorrect is out of control!
  • For those that like an ending to a story, I have an update for you.  Just a couple of days after asking people on here for advice, we had the fence panel behind the solanum replaced. It turned out the plant had grown up behind the middle horizontal plank and was pulling the whole panel over.  To get to the fence and free the plant the workmen savaged the solanum - see photo.  I was so upset, but the miracle of nature never ceases to amaze me and the second photo is the same plant today.  
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 12,421
    They can be rather unruly plants and can be pruned to keep them in shape. I had to chop mine right off at the base when we replaced a fence last year and I never got around to digging out the stump or roots. Lo and behold, it's decided it wants to live again and has thrown out new shoots with flowers now.
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 23,849
    It looks gorgeous, glad it all worked out well. Mine is flowering like that too.
    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
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