Potato flower, potato tree - care and wintering

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Potato flower, potato tree - care and wintering: wintering

Potato flower, potato tree, gentian shrub or Solanum rantonetti - the blue-flowering plant is a feast for the eyes under every name. With the lush flowers and the yellow eyes, the plant is guaranteed to attract attention. And for a long time. Because with optimal care, the flowering time does not start very early, they can also pull into the winter. If you want to enjoy this beauty does not have much, but the right care to perform. Thus, the culture of potato flower is ideal even for beginners and garden lovers without a green thumb.


If you want to observe a particularly magnificent and lush flowering on the potato flower, you should choose the sunniest location that can be found. Placid sunshine is no problem for the gentian bush in summer, but shade is. Although she does not go in this immediately, but it loses some flower power. It should also be noted that the potato tree can have a considerable size. So plenty of space should be taken care of. Above all, in the culture as a high strain, the plant also requires stabilization. Suitable is a trellis to which some shoots are securely attached. Even in the balcony box, the potato flower can benefit from a low fence or grid. At least stronger then the drives can not hurt too much.


When choosing the plant substrate, the potato flower is anything but demanding and complicated. All you need is commercial potting soil. If you want to make things easier for future fertilization, add a portion of well rotted compost to it.

to water

As for the lime content of the water, the potato flower is not picky. Soft rainwater or hard tap water, the gentian bush is the same. But the plant needs plenty of water for that. The substrate should not dry completely in summer or winter. Especially in the blazing sun and on hot days, this can require several waterings per day. Tip: If you do not want to do the pouring, you should use planters with a reservoir.


The gentian shrub has a very high nutrient requirement and must therefore be fertilized frequently, at least during its flowering period. It is best to add a liquid fertilizer for flowering plants to the irrigation water once a week. Those who do not want to do this effort or forget fertilizer more often, can alternatively use a corresponding long-term fertilizer in rod form.


Although the potato tree does not actually need a blend, it does get it very well and can promote a reasonably dense growth. It is favorable to shorten when introducing into the winter quarters around one to two quarters of the shoot length. If the potato flower is brought out again in the spring, it can be gently re-cut. Especially damaged and dead shoots should be removed. Even during the warm season corrections and gentle cuts are possible.


Gentian shrub - potato tree - Solanum rantonnetii

The potato flower can be easily grown from spring to summer on top of seedlings. For this purpose, about ten centimeters long shoots are cut off and put in potting soil. In a location with 20° C to 25° C and sufficient light rooted the cuttings quickly. Provided they are kept slightly moist. Newly expelled leaves are a sure indication that roots have formed. If the original cuttings have doubled their size, they may be converted into the substrate described above. Tip: The frequently recommended rooting in water has a much lower success rate. Once roots have formed, however, the young plants can be placed in potting soil directly afterwards.


The potato flower tolerates short-term light frost, but loses plenty of power. Hibernation should therefore be indoors, at temperatures between 5° C and 15° C. Best in a bright room. If it continues to be cast here, even the flower can last until well into the winter. In addition, the potato tree will be drifting out early and blooming the following spring. Those who do not have enough space to overwinter the gentian shrub brightly and at relatively high temperatures do not have to. The plant also copes well in a dark room, but should be at least 5° C. However, the growth and onset of flowering will be affected and both will occur later in the year. Whatever the choice, the substrate should not dry out during the winter. The fertilizer must be adjusted.


A repot is usually necessary at the latest every two years. It is important, on the one hand, that the old substrate is completely removed.This measure prevents any existing germs and pests from moving into the new pot. On the other hand, the new flower pot should only be slightly larger than the old one. As a result, the roots can expand only to a limited extent and the flowering is only slightly limited. Repotting is best done in spring, between May and April.

Typical diseases, pests and care mistakes

The potato flower can be attacked by lice, the white fly and red spider. With regular controls, these are quickly noticed and can be combated at an early stage. Effective are primarily the natural predators, which include bugs, ladybugs, parasitic wasps and lacewings. If the pests occur in winter quarters, the application of beneficial organisms is of course conceivable unfavorable. Organic oil-based insecticides help here.
Diseases rarely attack the gentian shrub. Only if the plant is constantly too wet or too dark, fungal infections are likely. The best prevention and control here is therefore the maintenance of optimal culture conditions. For additional strengthening, it is still beneficial once a month to use nettle manure as a fertilizer and to remove damaged parts of plants. Regular substrate changes continue to act against pests and diseases.

Frequently asked questions

  • Is the potato flower poisonous? - The potato flower is poisonous to humans and animals and therefore only partially safe for households and gardens with pets and small children. In any case, it should be out of their reach and also on falling flowers and leaves must be respected.
  • Why does not the potato tree blossom? - The most common reasons for the absence of flowering is a too dark and too cool location for the gentian bush. If the plant receives enough light and enough heat, it can flower from April to November. However, missing nutrients can also cause a decline in the flowering power. First and foremost, site conditions and fertilization must be checked.

Worth knowing soon

Gentian tree - potato flower - Solanum rantonnetii

The potato flower is often used for balconies and terraces because it blooms from April all summer until November. Although it can be planted in the garden, it is not hardy.


  • The potato flower is very easy to maintain, but should be fertilized once a week and of course regularly poured.
  • It is suitable for full sun locations and grows very upright there.
  • For the planting of window boxes, five to six plants per meter are required, unless the potato flower is combined with other plants.
  • But it is also sold on a HochstĂ€mmchen and can then decorate as a container plant the balcony or the terrace.
  • With good care and regular fertilization, it blooms up to the frost quarry.
  • For a location in the conservatory, even longer, assuming she is standing there on a south-facing window.
  • The potato flower needs a lot of water, especially in the summer, but is quite modest in terms of water quality.
Tip: For the adequate supply with nutrients either a liquid flower fertilizer for the irrigation water or a long-term fertilizer can be used.


  • Before the potato tree is brought to its winter quarters, it should be cut back to well over half.
  • A high stem, which is to be brought into shape, can then be trimmed again in the spring.
  • At the same time, the potato flower can also be repotted, which is necessary about every one to two years.
  • Here, the new pot should be only slightly larger than the old, so that the plant does not use all their energy for their root growth.


  • The potato flower tolerates only very light frost and must therefore be brought to a winter quarters before the first night frosts.
  • It should be bright and cold there, but a temperature above 0° C is absolutely necessary.
  • A bright location ensures that the plant will bloom again from April.
  • Then it may be that the flower starts later in the following year.
  • During the winter months, the plant must be watered from time to time so that it does not dry out completely.
At the end of winter, it can then be put back outdoors and then usually grows even better than in the first year and also forms more flowers. To support her, she should be fertilized regularly, especially in the second year.

Video Board: How to Propagate Ornamental Sweet Potato Vines.

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