Overwintering Solanum

(Question)

I wish to overwinter a solanum rantonnei standard that is presently planted in a flower bed. Please provide information regarding: cutting back, temperature, sunlight, soil moisture, and other relevant information. Thanks!

(Answer)

The lovely Solanum rantonnetii is well worth bringing indoors, ideally in September before the night temperatures grow colder.   You may prune it back by approximately 1/3.  If you are moving it from a flower bed to a container, you will want to be sure you don’t bring any insects into the house by spraying it with a hose to dislodge any insects on the leaves, and following up with an application of insecticidal soap and water.  Its indoor light conditions should be as similar as possible to those outside for best results.   You may find that in our darker winter conditions there is not sufficient light to keep your plant blooming through the winter, and if this is the case, just continue to water less and keep it in a cooler location.  In early spring as the days grow lighter, you can begin to water more frequently and fertilize in preparation for moving it back outside once all danger of frost has passed and the days are warming up.