Rent Shop Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
2 ratings

Saturday - June 12, 2010

From: El Dorado Hills, CA
Region: California
Topic: Non-Natives, Diseases and Disorders
Title: Non-native blue potato bush in El Dorado Hills CA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have two blue potato bush topiary planted in my front porch in a very big planter. It's getting a full afternoon sun. I am wondering why they are losing their leaves??? Am I overwatering them??? Also, how much water do they need considering the amount of heat they're getting. When is the best time to water them???

ANSWER:

Solanaceae  lycianthes. synonym Lycianthes rantonetti, common names Paraguay Nightshade or blue potato vine, take your pick. All are native to Paraguay, Argentina, Brazil and other areas of South America. All are part of the Nightshade family, to which eating potatoes and tomatoes also belong. Most parts of these plants are poisonous, even the unripe fruits, but the fruits on most of them can be eaten. Since they are non-native to North America and therefore  not in our Native Plant Database, we have found some references that might help you. When you are reading forums, you need to remember that these are not experts writing the responses, but they are gardeners who have some experience with your plant. 

Dave's Garden Forum: Blue Potato Bush

gardenguide.com How to Plant and Care for Blue Potato Bush

eHow.com How to Plant and Care for Blue Potato Bush

 

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Firecracker plants not growing in Ft. Worth
June 09, 2010 - I live in Fort Worth, TX and last fall planted several firecracker plants. It's now June and they're not growing. How can I tell if they are still alive?
view the full question and answer

Possible transplant shock in recently planted Anacua in San Antonio, TX.
February 10, 2011 - I planted an Anacua tree from a nursery this past November. The tree I purchased was about 6ft tall and was a leftover from the spring. The roots were pretty wound up inside. After shaking the roots l...
view the full question and answer

Problems with Strawberry Hedgehog cactus from Temple TX
June 03, 2012 - I had purchased a Strawberry hedgehog Cactus (echinocereus stramineus) a few years ago from the Wildflower Center's annual plant sale and planted it then. It has now started to brown from bottom to t...
view the full question and answer

Western soapberry dropping leaves in San Antonio
June 03, 2013 - My Western Soapberry tree (China berry?) Suddenly started dropping full, perfectly healthy green, leaf units. Now half the tree is turning yellow. There is a second tree in the yard not far from this ...
view the full question and answer

Freeze-damaged Texas Mountain Laurel in Austin, TX.
May 05, 2011 - I have a Texas Mountain Laurel (Sophora secundiflora) that is several years old. During this past winter, one of the freezes we had split one of the largest trunk right below the soil line. T...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.