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Care of the plant Solanum wendlandii or Costa Rican Nightshade.

Care of the plant Solanum wendlandii or Costa Rican Nightshade

The genus Solanum, family Solanaceae, comprises 1,700 species distributed throughout the planet. Some species are: Solanum wendlandii, Solanum rantonetti, Solanum pseudocapsicum, Solanum jasminoides, Solanum giganteum, Solanum capsicastrum, Solanum crispum, Solanum pyracanthum, Solanum evening, Solanum melongena, Solanum mauritianum.

Common names: Costa Rican Nightshade, Giant Potato Creeper, Divorce Vine, Paradise Flower. This species is native to Central America.

They are highly branched evergreen climbing shrubs that reach 8 meters in height. They have alternate leaves of intense green color and pinnate-split or domed-lanceolate. The attractive and abundant violet (later blue) flowers appear in showy hanging clusters. They bloom from summer to early fall.

They are used to cover walls, gazebos and pergolas in regions with a Mediterranean or subtropical climate and as an indoor plant if the climate is colder. They need supports to climb.

Solanum wendlandii grows in a sunny or very light shade exposure but sheltered from the cold. The temperatures should not be lower than 10 ºC.

The soil can be a mixture of normal garden soil with humus, 1/3 coarse sand, and heather soil.

Water abundantly in summer so that the soil is always moist but never watery. The rest of the year it's necessary to conserve the humidity but reducing the irrigation.

Fertilize in early spring with humus or manure and once a month with mineral fertilizer during spring and summer.

Prune in late winter to control growth.

They are easy to grow plants resistant to pests and diseases; they are sensitive to cold and frost.

They are propagated by cuttings in late summer, by air layering and from seeds sown in spring in glass-protected seedbeds or in a greenhouse.

Images of the plant Solanum wendlandii or Costa Rican Nightshade

Solanum wendlandii
Solanum wendlandii
 

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