Solanum – a bright and unusual indoor nightshade-Care

Among fruiting indoor crops, few can boast of such brightness as indoor nightshades. Large berries-balls, the color of which changes when ripe, seem to be artificial beads on the bushes. Miniature nightshade is one of the most interesting and neat indoor plants. Unfortunately, it is possible to keep the fruits for a long time only in cool conditions. This plant is very demanding on temperature conditions, but it responds to proper care with generous fruiting.

Solanum – bright and unusual indoor nightshade

Description of indoor nightshade

Indoor nightshade better known by its popular names “Jerusalem cherry” or “Decorative tomato”… This is, although poisonous, but a very popular plant in indoor culture from the Solanaceae family.

Indoor nightshade – plants are compact, but only thanks to special pruning. On average, the height of a homemade nightshade is about 30 cm. Gradually lignifying a straight trunk, densely branching shoots create a crown-like crown.

The leaves of indoor nightshades are short-peted, lanceolate, with slightly wavy whole edges. They are painted in a rich grayish-dark green color, they seem dense and neat. The matte surface of the leaves creates a strikingly beautiful backdrop for glossy fruits.

The nightshade bloom is generally nondescript. Yellowish or white star-shaped flowers bloom in sparse inflorescences or one at a time and are quickly replaced by fruits. The plant requires artificial pollination. Almost perfectly round berries are large enough (up to 1,5 cm) and change colors as they ripen from green to more and more yellow, orange and red with a coral-salmon tint. The nightshade fruit sparkles like Christmas tree decorations thanks to a special wax bloom.

The fruiting period of nightshades lasts from the beginning of autumn to winter, the berries last for several months, without withering or falling off all winter. Most often, nightshade blooms in summer, but today they are driven out at atypical times, and elegant, berry-strewn bushes on sale can be found whenever you want.

Despite the visual appeal of the nightshade harvest, it is strictly forbidden to taste the berries. These are poisonous fruits that, even in minimal quantities, can lead to serious poisoning.

Types of indoor nightshades

In indoor conditions, various forms are most often grown. nightshade (Solanum pseudocapsicum). This is a herbaceous perennial, which, when properly formed, looks like a compact, densely leafy bush with a bright scattering of fruits.

Its two-tone decorative shape (Solanum pseudocapsicum ssp. diflorum) used to be distributed under the name pepper nightshade (Solanum capsicastrum). On its basis, many variegated varieties have been bred.

False Nightshade (Solanum pseudocapsicum)
False Nightshade (Solanum pseudocapsicum). Farmer w-ogrodzie

Growing conditions for solanum

Nightshade is a rapidly degenerating plant that requires regular replacement. Re-flowering and fruiting can only be achieved when the plant is kept cool, regularly pruned and high-quality feeding. Lighting is critical to fruiting.

Lighting and placement

Indoor nightshades are so light-loving that it is better to place them exclusively on windowsills. For enviably abundant fruiting, nightshades need a sunny place, but with protection from the aggressive midday sun. Eastern and Western window sills are ideal for this plant.

For the winter, the lack of light must be compensated for by moving to the southern windows or supplementary lighting.

Temperature control and ventilation

Nightshade cannot be grown without lowering the air temperature during fruiting (fruits last long only at temperatures below 18 degrees). From November to the end of February, it is better to keep the bushes at a temperature of 6 to 10 degrees, with the maximum permissible values ​​of indicators from 12 to 15 degrees.

Without cold wintering, nightshade does not bloom again, and therefore does not bear fruit. The plant is transferred back to room temperatures in early spring or in February, immediately after transplanting. But even in summer, it is better to protect nightshade from the heat, limiting the maximum temperatures to 23-25 ​​degrees. The beauty of the bushes and the abundance of fruiting will only benefit from the differences between day and night temperatures.

Nightshade loves fresh air; in the summer it is better to move it to the garden or to the balconies. While staying indoors, especially during the cool period in autumn and winter, the plant must be protected even from small drafts.

Today, variegated varieties of indoor nightshade are also on sale.
Today, variegated varieties of indoor nightshade are also on sale. Farmer w-ogrodzie

Caring for nightshade at home

Nightshade does not like misses in watering and for intensive growth, flowering and fruiting require generous feeding. The main secret of compactness is the combination of several types of pruning.

Watering and air humidity

Moisture-loving nightshades often scare away even fans of bright exotic from them. Drying out of the substrate for nightshade is unacceptable. Even during a cold dormant period, it is worth maintaining a minimum soil moisture. During the period of active growth in spring and summer, watering is carried out, allowing only a few upper centimeters of the soil to dry out. Reduction of watering in the fall is carried out so that the substrate dries out twice as much.

Nightshade prefer high humidity. It is better to include foliar spraying in the regular maintenance program, but if the indicators fall below 60%, it is necessary to install at least the simplest humidifiers – pallets with wet moss or expanded clay.

Top dressing and composition of fertilizers

For abundant fruiting, nightshades need highly nutritious soil. The plant rather quickly depletes resources from the substrate and needs frequent, regular feeding – once every 1-7 days during active vegetation and flowering. After the formation of fruits, the frequency is reduced to 10 time in 1-3 weeks. For the rest period, feeding is completely stopped, resuming after pruning and transplanting, with the beginning of active growth.

For nightshade, you can use universal fertilizers, special fertilizers for tomatoes or fruiting plants, and even fertilizers for flowering crops.

Pruning and shaping nightshades

Without pruning, the plant will not only not form a beautiful squat shape of a dense bush, but will also quickly lose its decorative effect, and will often require replacement with young seedlings. For nightshades, two types of pruning are needed:

  • spring, which is carried out at the end of the dormant period, greatly shortening all shoots and stimulating rejuvenation (standard pruning is 1/3 of the length of the branches);
  • regular, in the form of pinching the tips of the shoots to stimulate tillering.

Don’t forget about sanitary cleaning. It is better to cut off wilting leaves and shoots from the bushes immediately.

Indoor nightshade loves fresh air, in the summer it is better to move it to the garden or to the balconies
Indoor nightshade loves fresh air; in the summer it is better to move it to the garden or to the balconies. Farmer bakker

Transplant, containers and substrate

Unlike most indoor plants, nightshade prefers rather heavy, clayey soils, to which inert additives have been added for air permeability – vermiculite, perlite, fine expanded clay, coarse sand. You can grow indoor nightshades in any universal substrate with a neutral reaction. The nutritional value should be high.

For this berry plant, small, not too deep containers with good drainage holes are used. Ceramics are preferred.

Nightshade is transplanted annually, after pruning, in early spring. The rhizome is transferred carefully, removing only free soil along the edge of the root ball and maintaining the level of deepening. A high drainage layer is laid at the bottom of the containers (at least 1/3 of the height of the pot).

Problems in growing indoor nightshade

Nightshade rarely gets sick, but with improper care and maintenance in the open air, they can attract pests. False Nightshade is very fond of whiteflies, aphids and spider mites. It is better to fight pests on the plant immediately with insecticides – delay quickly leads to a complete loss of decorativeness.

Nightshade leaves “signal” about lighting or improper watering. It rolls leaves in direct sun, sheds – with a lack of lighting, turns yellow and dries up – with drought or overflow.

Reproduction of solanum

Indoor nightshade is easy to grow from seeds that are sown together with summer plants, superficially, slightly covering with sand, under glass or film. Young plants are kept in the brightest possible light and dive after the appearance of a pair of real leaves with the repeated change of pots to permanent ones after growing to a height of about 15 cm.It is very important to start pinching as early as possible.

Read also our material 13 houseplants that are easy to grow from seeds at home.

You can propagate nightshade and cuttings, rooting the young, non-fruiting shoots remaining after pruning or summer semi-lignified shoots under a hood in light, slightly moistened soil.

  • , title : 'Why I Will NOT Grow THESE Again (Solanum Melanocerasum AKA Garden Huckleberries)
    Why I Will NOT Grow THESE Again (Solanum Melanocerasum AKA Garden Huckleberries)

Anna Evans

Author ✓ Farmer

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