blue potato bush problem

didigirl(New York Metro)June 14, 2004

I bought 2 blue potato bushes about 6 weeks ago. They look like topiary trees. They are in planters, with a stake and then the "bush" area uptop like a topiary but with a more wild look. I don't know whether this a topiary or not. They looked really good when I bought them with a lot of purple flowers. Now they look sparse, not many flowers and they don't look tree-like or topiary-looking. I was thinking of adding something until they start growing flowers again OR planting something else in the planter that would give it the same type of look. What other bushes, trees, plants could I add to this? Does the blue potato bush only grow flowers and look bushy at a certain time during the year?

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glen3a(Winnipeg MB 3A)

Can't really help except to add that I think I have the same plant and it might be called, Paraguay nightshade, lycianthes rantonnetii. It might not be, but I did a search for blue potato bush and it came up with this. Anyways, I bought mine this spring, and due to cool weather it has only started to bloom. In an attempt to make cuttings, I trimmed a few branches and noticed that the trimmed branches quickly filled out with side shoots. Mine was rootbound so I transplanted it into a bigger pot and this also encouraged a new flush of growth. I could be wrong, but my thinking is the more new growth, the more blossoms, but would be interested in hearing from others if this blooms all summer along. I know here it definitely has to be overwintered indoors, so my plan is to just overwinter in a bright room and in spring trim back any wild looking growth (due to low light indoors). Good Luck.


Here is a link that might be useful: Blue Potato Bush

    Bookmark   July 5, 2004 at 11:09AM
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shapiro(5a Ontario)

We have grown real blue potatoes. They are good and make for amazing looking mashed p., sort of lavender! Do the plants you are describing actually produce blue potatoes?

    Bookmark   July 17, 2004 at 9:41PM
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I live in SC. I have a blue potato bush that has yet to put on leaves. Planted it last year and it did well. When should I see "life" from my bush?

    Bookmark   April 19, 2005 at 10:54AM
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glen3a(Winnipeg MB 3A)

Shapiro, this is a woody ornamental plant, actually technically I read that itÂs a woody vine that can be grown as a vine or shrub form.

I believe the only reason itÂs nicknamed "potato bush" is because the flowers resemble those found on potato plants. It is in the same family, solanum, as potato, eggplant, etc.

I was fairly impressed with how often mine bloomed even with a cool summer. When fall came, I sprayed with insecticide and brought it inside. It must not have liked the insecticide because it lost all itÂs leaves, but quickly grew new ones. ItÂs been in a spare bedroom all winter, did get a few blooms here and there.

Now I will have to transplant and gradually get it accustomed to being outside once again.

Vickie, I am no expert but if we are talking about the same bush, I am not sure exactly how frost tolerant they are. Was yours left out in winter and could yours have been damaged by frost?

Could there be another plant known as blue potato bush (thatÂs the trouble with common names). The one I am referring too is called lycianthes rantonnetii though some websites say itÂs solanum rantonnetii.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2005 at 3:57PM
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I bought a potato bush, in early spring, it has been through several weather patterns, and seems to be doing well. If you want to make it look like a tree, keep it trimmed at the round part of the bush part and keep all of the sucklings, cut away at the base of the trunk. Mine is planted in the ground, I well cover it in the winter before the first frost, in order to acclamate it to the very cold winters, it worked for my hybiscuises, it should work for this much harderer plant, they have these bushes in the white house gardens. The tree well grow to be about 4to6-8 foot tall, keep the bush part in procemity of the height of the tree. Good luck!

    Bookmark   June 21, 2006 at 9:34PM
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My blue potato bush did well over the winter and in late January developed healthy looking green leaves. Then, BINGO. We experienced an unexpected heavy frost. The leaves died off, and until May, the plant looked dead. I pulled it out of its pot,"chucked" it and ignored it. June was about as wet as it ever gets here, and lo and behold, green leaves appeared on the discarded, root-exposed plant. I re-potted it, and now, a month later, the leaves look sort of droopy (unhealthy but not brown or dry) and no more have developed. Is it time to go to the dump again, or might it revive with some magical touch?
Thanks for any help. (I love the plant!)

    Bookmark   July 20, 2006 at 1:22PM
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I need to know how to prune my potato bush. Like the ones above, it, too, came in a container which I planted into the garden area, and it resembled a topiary. I would like to keep it that shape, do not want it to become a bush and don't know how to prune it. There is some groth near the trunk that seems to not grow, just is there where I might have pruned at one time too closely.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2006 at 1:52PM
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I live in Sacramento Ca and my potatoe tree is (2) years old .... the summer leaves and branches made it thru the winter season .... but .... has major "no growth" on lower branches ..... so we cut it back (pruned)professionallly .... and now March 31 ...... still can not see any new growth ..... is this plant a "late bloomer" or are they very senstive to pruning .... it is a very healthy tree "normally" and does well thru winter ..... why is there "no" signs of new growth after "pruning" (pruned in early Feb now Mar 31 ... what happened)

    Bookmark   April 1, 2011 at 2:18PM
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