Potato Bush Tree

paul_in_long_beach(Z 10 Sunset 24)March 4, 2007

Hi. Paul in Long Beach is now Paul in Redwood City (half-way between San Francisco and San Jose). After 20 years at a large company, it was swallowed by an even larger company and I moved to where I could find work (I'm not getting any younger). At any rate, I'm renting a house with non-existent landscaping (the owner put down landscape fabric covered with bark -- the weeds were horrendous). The exception are two formerly beautiful potato bushes trained as lollipop trees on either side of the walkway up to the front door. To make a long story short, we have had mulitple nights of frost. The trees are completely leafless. How do I tell if they are deciduous or dead, other than to wait to see if they leaf out again in Spring?

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wanda(Z9 CA)

Take your fingernail and scratch some of the bark to see if it's green underneath. If you don't find green go down a little further on the branch and try again.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2007 at 6:33PM
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calistoga_al

My guess is you have Lycianthes rantonnei. It is often confused with the Solanum or Potato Bush. It will recover if you do nothing at all. When it is fully leafed out you can then touch up the dead tips. Al

    Bookmark   March 4, 2007 at 7:42PM
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wanda(Z9 CA)

I just came in from the garden and I noticed that my blue potato bush (lycianthes) has some tiny green sprouts on it because of the past few days of warm weather. It also lost all it's leaves in January's frost.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2007 at 9:28PM
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