The Q&A Archives: Help with Solanum

Question: I've got some trouble with a Solanum vine. The vine is sickly and I don't know what is wrong with it. Can you help?

1) Shriveled leaf - what is is and how can I treat the vine?
2) Burned leaf tips and burned new growth. What treatment?
3) What can I feed this vine and when (it is not growing like it used to)?
4) How and when should I prune?
5) What is the reccomended watering

Thank you for any help you can provide

Answer: I looked at the photos of your plant and here are my observations:
First, since it is planted in a large pot, you'll want to make sure you water thoroughly each time you water and that you feed frequently during the growing season. I'd use a half-strength dilution liquid fertilizer (such as Miracle-Gro), apply every 2-3 weeks during the growing season. This method of feeding will ensure the roots have a constant sourch of nutrients without having to worry about over-feeding or burning the roots of your plant. Just to make sure the potting soil doesn't accumulate salts (as evidenced by a layer of white minerals on top of the soil), try leaching the soil every month or two. The easiest way to do this is to flood the soil thoroughly, allow to drain, then flood two more times.

Your plant will take full sun to part shade; the foliage will be greener in full sun. Early spring is the best time to prune your plant. This will help renew it by encouraging healthy new growth. You can also tip prune (pinch out the growing tips of each stem) at any time during the growing season. This, too., will encourage new growth and lots of branching to help your plant develop a dense and bushy shape.

Hope this information helps!

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