From:Phoenix, AZ Region: Southwest Topic: Non-Natives Title: Care of non-native potato tree (Solanum macranthum or Lycianthes rantonnetii) Answered by: Nan Hampton
I live in Phoenix. I bought what was called a potato tree. Purple flowers with blooms quite often. It seemed a little puny and twiggy so I fed it Miracle Grow. It is now gorgeous with lovely leaves and very full--but it seems it will not blossom. Do you know why? Thank you.
Mr. Smarty Plants assumes you mean Solanum macranthum (giant potato tree), a native of Brazil, or Lycianthes rantonnetii [syn. Solanum rantonnetii] (blue potato bush), native to Argentina and Paraguay. Whichever tree it is, it isn't native to North America. Our focus and expertise here at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is with plants native to North America so we don't really have experience with or information about plants of South America. I suggest you contact one of the UBC Botanical Garden Forums or the GardenWeb Forums with your question. Since it is a popular ornamental plant there are doubtless many people using the forums who have experience with the potato tree. However, I can tell you that plants that receive fertilizers that are high in nitrogen tend to put all their efforts into leaves rather than flowers. Miracle Gro All Purpose Plant Food is listed as 24-8-16—that's 24 parts nitrogen, 8 parts phosporus and 16 parts potassium and would be considered a high nitrogen fertilizer, so I suspect your plant has gotten an over-abundance of nitrogen.
Replacement of Arizona ash in Austin October 28, 2011 - We have two Arizona Ashes in our yard that probably have maybe a decade left in them. We want to get a couple new trees started, so they will be well established once the Ashes are near their end. In ... view the full question and answer
Can non-native guavas be successfully moved from Gulfport MS? April 19, 2011 - Can guavas be moved successfully from one established planted location to another? My mother is having to relocate due to MDOT and we would like to move her established guavas.
view the full question and answer
Identification of non-native Nothoscordum borbonicum in Louisiana March 26, 2006 - There were some small white flowers that grow everywhere in Shreveport and probably elsewhere. Mother called them Crows Feet. I see them if I am home in the Springtime, smell them too. Is Crow's foot... view the full question and answer
Vegetable garden in Ballston Spa, NY August 02, 2011 - I never got my veg. garden in this year. Are there any late crops I can still plant at this late date in Ballston Spa, NY? Thanks. view the full question and answer