The Q&A Archives: Leaves falling off solanums

Question: Several years ago I planted two solanums (purple flowers) that were staked to grow as trees (bushes). The are now about seven feet tall. They did well forthree or four years. The leaves were year round and were a vibrant green color. There was a profusion of purple flowers. I had my Gardner trim the plants periodically in the form of a round ball. However, for the past two years they have not done well. Their leaves have been turning yellow and droping of the tree. This winter one has lost all of its leaves and does not look like it will survive. I have been using a fertilizer (Bandini tree, shrub and vine food) recommended by a local nursery. My neighbor has an identical plant that is located within fifteen feet of my plants and it is doing fine. Any recommendations? Len Urban Rancho Palos Verdes, CA

Answer: It sounds as if you're keeping a close eye on the cultural requirements of your plant -- keeping it watered and fertilized. Have you noticed any problems with pests -- diseases or insects? One idea that comes to mind is a virus. I'm not sure if your particular variety is susceptible to tobacco mosaic virus, but a virus is one possible explanation for your plant suffering while one close by looks OK. Perhaps you can try pruning back a little more radically this early spring, and see if the new growth comes in any better.

« Click to go to the homepage

» Ask a question of your own

Q&A Library Searching Tips

  • When singular and plural spellings differ, as in peony and peonies, try both.
  • Search terms are not case sensitive.

Today's site banner is by Char and is called "'Diamond Head' Sunrise"