The Q&A Archives: Royal Robe Solanum:dead or alive??

Question: We bought a Royal Robe Solanum about 4 years ago, initially planting it in a large pot. It seemed to barely bloom out like others in the neighborhood, we thought because there was lack of sun or it was not a big enough pot. We REPLANTED it in early summer of last year 2006 in the backyard in the ground and it did FABULOUS. It bloomed out and grew a wide canopy, seeming healthy. Unfortunately, we think it has died but do not want to pull it out if there is still hope for it. It was trimmed back 1/3 like we were advised to do in late January. What advice can you give? How do we know if it will come back? How long do we wait? Is there anything we can try to save it, I loved it? Thank you so much for your help:)

Answer: Your blue potato bush is hardy to about 30F so if your winter weather was extremely cold this past year, you may have lost your plant. It's still early in the season, though, so I wouldn't do anything at this point. If the roots survived, they will send up new shoots when the soil warms. Give it another month to perform before digging and disposing of it. Best wishes with your blue potatoe vine!

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