The Q&A Archives: Re Solanum Jasminoides potato vine

Question: I have 5 Solanum Jasminoides, which include 4 on a west facing balcony and one down in the garden. They were purchased at Armstrong Nursery in Santa Monica and originated at Monrovia in one gal containers.
They're now in 16-18in containers and had been doing beautifully, until the leaves began turning dark purple-blackish looking. What could be causing this, and what's the solution? By the way, one of the plants still looks okay. I have someone who services my plants weekly. What seems to be missing here?
Thanks for any information.
Laura Blum
Beverly Hills, CA

Answer: A purplish-black coloring on solanum leaves, especially if it is concentrated on the outer rather than the inner leaves, is almost always caused by cold weather. There's nothing you can do about it; subsequent leaves will develop normally. If the odd coloration is throughout the plant and on all the leaves, it can indicate a nutrient deficiency. If this is the case, feed with a balanced, all-purpose garden fertilizer, in amounts and with the frequency listed on the label.

Best wishes with your landscape!

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