All about the Solanum, one of the most extensive plant genera

View of the flower and fruit of the Solanum

Image – Flickr / jacinta lluch valero

The solanum They are plants that are widely cultivated in orchards and flowerbeds, since there are many species that produce edible fruits and that, in addition, can be had without problems in containers.

Maintenance is not complicatedbut we hope that now it will be a little less with what we are going to tell you next .

Origin and characteristics

Our protagonist is a genus of plants that can grow as herbs, shrubs or as climbers with or without thorns, originating above all in South America, but also growing in North America, Central America, eastern Brazil, the West Indies, Australia, Africa and Madagascar. There are about 1250 species, and all of them They are characterized by the type of flower, which are composed of five white, green, yellow, pink or purple petals, and by a fruit that is a globose berry and fleshy inside which are numerous small seeds.

The roots can be rhizomatous or tuberculous, and its leaves are alternate, simple to pinnatilobed or compound, green in color.

Main species

Black nightshade

View of the Solanum nigrumVista del Solanum nigrum

Image – Flickr / The Weed Forager’s Handbook

Known as nightshade, it is an annual herb that grows between 30 and 80cm talland that produces black fruits that, once cooked, can be used to make jams and preserves.


Potatoes are edible

potatoes are edible

Known as potato or potato, it is a tuberous and perennial herb that can be up to 1 meter long. The tuberculous roots, which are the potatoes themselves, are those used in cooking, both cooked and fried.

Related article:

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Tomato plants are easy to care for

Tomato plants are easy to care for

Known as tomato, tomato, or tomato, it is an annual or perennial herb depending on the climate that can reach a height of up to 2,50 meters. It produces berries, usually red, that are edible, ideal for salads, toasts, etc.

Five ripe tomatoesfive ripe tomatoes

Related article:

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Solanum jasminoides

View of fake jasmine in pot

View of potted false jasmine

Now called Solanus laxum, it is an evergreen climbing plant up to 5 meters long It is used as an ornamental for its flowers, which are bluish, whitish or lilac. It is known as false jasmine.

Solanum jasminoides in flowerSolanum jasminoides in flower

Related article:

False jasmine, a climber with small but pretty flowers

Solanum dulcamara

View of the Solanum dulcamaraView of the Solanum dulcamara

Image – Wikimedia Commons / Pascal Blachier

Known as dulcamara, it is an evergreen climbing plant that it does not usually exceed 2 meters in length. It is used as an ornamental, as it produces very pretty purple flowers.

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Solanum dulcamara

Solanum pseudocapsicum

View of the Solanum pseudocapsicumVista del Solanum pseudocapsicum

Image – Wikimedia / Agnieszka Kwiecień, Nova

Known as Jerusalem cherry, Madeira or myrtle, it is an evergreen shrub that does not usually exceed 2 meters in height. It produces fruits that are reminiscent of tomatoes, but smaller, about 10-15mm that are not edible.

red dwarf tomatoesred dwarf tomatoes

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Solanum melongena

Eggplant is an annual herb

Eggplant is an annual herb

Known as aubergine, it is an annual, thorny herb that extends about 2 meters. It produces berries 5 to 30cm long, purple, black, purple, white or green that are used to prepare various dishes, such as baked stuffed aubergine.

Solanum muricatum

View of the melon pear

View of melon pear

Known as pear melon, cucumber melon, sweet cucumber, fruit cucumber or tree melon, it is an evergreen shrub that grows up to 2 meters high. It produces whitish edible berries, which are eaten fresh, in salads or in elaborate desserts.

somewhat rare and unusual fruit called Solanum muricatumfruit somewhat rare and not unusual called Solanum muricatum

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Solanum hairy

Solanum villous is a herbSolanum villosum is a herb

Image – Wikimedia / Stefan.lefnaer

It is an annual herb of about 70cm tall which produces red-orange berries.

bonarinese solanus

Known as granadilla, Santa María grass, solana or garden orange trees (not to be confused with the fruit tree of the Citrus genus) that grows up to 2-3 meters tall. It produces a globose berry of orange color.

Solanum malacoxylon

Solanum malacoxylon, a herbSolanum malacoxylon, a herb

Image – Wikimedia / berichard

Known as white peach, it is a rhizomatous plant of 1-2 meters high It produces blackish blue fruit that is used in sauces and stews.

Solanum rantonneti

View of the Solanum rantonnetii

Vista del Solanum rantonnetii

Known as blue-flowered solano or perennial dulcamara, it is an evergreen shrub that can grow as a climber or as a ground cover. Grows up to 2-3 meters talland produces hanging bluish flowers. It is used as an ornamental plant.

Solanus rantonnetiiSolanus rantonnetii

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A widely used plant in gardening, Solanum rantonnetii

How are they cared for?

Do you want to have a copy of Solanum? Then we recommend you provide the following care:


It is important that it is outside, in full sun.


  • Orchard or garden: the soil must be fertile, with good drainage.
  • Flower pot: use mulch (for sale here!).


Planting tomatoes in a vegetable garden

Plantation of tomatoes in an orchard

Must be frequentespecially in summer. The ideal is to always keep the soil slightly damp, so, depending on the climate, we recommend watering an average of 5 times a week during the hottest season, and an average of 2-3 times a week the rest of the year.


Throughout the season you have to pay with organic fertilizers, such as compost, mulch, cow manure, etc.


The Solanum multiply by seeds, and sometimes also by tubersin spring.


The seeds are to be sown in a seed tray filled with mulch. Keeping the substrate moist, they will germinate in about 5-7 days.


Some Solanum, like potatoes, can be easily multiplied by separating the tubers from the rest of their root system and then planting them in another area of ​​the garden. They must be at a depth of about 10cm more or less.


It can be affected by aphids, Red spider, White fly, borers y blind chicken. All can be treated with diatomaceous earth (for sale here!) or potassium soap (for sale here!).


If you water excessively and / or wet the leaves, flowers and fruits, you may have powdery mildew, botrytis, mildew, alternariasis, fusarium, bacteria or virus.

It is necessary to control the risks and to do treatments with fungicides. In the case of bacteria or viruses, the affected parts must be cut.


Resists cold but not frost.

What uses is it given?


There are several species that are used as garden or terrace plants, such as Solanus rantonnetii or the Solanum jasminoides. Whether grown in the ground or in pots, they will look great .


Some Solanum are edible

Some Solanum are edible

It is without a doubt the most popular use. Potatoes, tomatoes, aubergines … all these are edible berries that are They take advantage of the kitchen to prepare various recipes.

Do you dare to cultivate it?

All about the Solanum, one of the most extensive plant genera

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