Nightshade (Latin name "Solyanum") belongs to the nightshade family. In nature, there are more than 1,500 species of nightshade. This amazing family includes both wild and well-known cultivated plants. For example - potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant. Also, amateur gardeners plant on their plots a decorative variety of nightshade "Curly" or variety "Jasmine". The nightshade family also has representatives of indoor flowers (pepper nightshade and false pepper nightshade). These saltanums are distinguished by the brightness of the fruits and the spectacular green foliage.
Mostly plants from the nightshade family are evergreen shrubs that grow in the tropics and subtropics. But the largest concentration of species is in South America.
Most of the nightshade are perennials, but there are also annual species. The species of nightshade is so great that there are grasses, shrubs, climbing vines and even trees in this family. The fruit, as a rule, in the nightshade is a polyspermous berry.
Caring for nightshade at home
Nightshade is a light-loving plant. Loves sunlight. Shading is required only on the hottest days.
In spring and summer, the plant feels good at temperatures from + 20⁰ to + 25⁰С. And in winter and autumn, nightshade prefers cooler temperatures up to + 15⁰С. If these temperature conditions are observed, the plant will bear fruit longer. Nightshade does not tolerate drafts, although it needs fresh air.
From early spring, all summer until the end of September, the plant needs abundant watering. Indoor varieties of nightshade have a dormant period from October to February. In the months when the plant does not have enough light and low room humidity, it should be moved to a cool, bright place in the apartment and watering should be limited. During this period, the flower only needs spraying. You can start watering only when new shoots appear. Usually, this is mid-February.
For nightshade, the optimum air humidity is at least 60%. Daily spraying is recommended, or moistening with a water pan filled with expanded clay.
The most suitable soil composition for nightshade is a mixture of turf, leaf humus and peat. The ratio is 1: 1: 1.
Top dressing and fertilizers
During the period of active growth and flowering, nightshade needs regular fertilization. It can be a special fertilizer for indoor plants. Fertilizers for tomatoes are also suitable.
Only an adult plant needs to be transplanted. This should be done in early spring. During transplantation, the shoots are cut off to half the length of the plant.
Reproduction of indoor nightshade
Nightshade reproduces both by cuttings and seeds. Consider these 2 ways:
We spread the seeds on the moistened soil, sprinkle on top with a thin layer of sand or humus and cover with plastic wrap or glass. The optimum temperature for germination is 20-22⁰С. The first shoots should appear in about two weeks. Next, the plant needs to be dived and transplanted into separate pots. When transplanting, pinch the young process. For further growth and development, nightshade requires repeated pruning. Thus, we form a more lush crown of the flower.
Propagation by cuttings
In the spring or during the summer, we add a thin layer of earth to the cutting. Nightshade takes root very well this way. Just like when germinating with seeds, the young shoot needs to be pinched, then we also form the plant by pruning several times.
Diseases and pests
Like other plants, nightshade is susceptible to disease and has its own pests. The most common pests are whiteflies and orange aphids. If you notice green larvae on the opposite side of the leaf, and the leaves begin to turn yellow, curl and fall off, then the plant is inhabited by whitefly larvae. They suck all the juices out of the flower. At the slightest touch, a whole cloud of small midges appears above the flower.
How to deal with a whitefly. First you need to collect all the affected leaves. Next, we begin to spray with special chemicals that fight harmful insects (insecticides). Spraying should be carried out at least 3 times a day.
Orange aphid. Like whitefly larvae, aphids damage plant leaves. Usually, aphids settle on the underside of the leaf. They turn yellow, curl and fall off.
How to deal with aphids. If you don't have special spray products on hand, you can use a steep soapy water solution. The plant can be processed several times.
If the air in the apartment is very dry, then there is a risk of infection with a red spider mite. If a cobweb appears on the plant, specks that grow and merge, then you need to take immediate measures. We increase the moisture around the plant. If this does not help, then you need to spray the nightshade with acaricides.
Popular types of nightshade
Solyanum jasmine - evergreen, curly bush. The height of the flower reaches 4 meters. Branches are bare, thin. The location of the leaves is closer to the top of the shoots. They have a simple ovoid shape, and the leaves located closer to the trunk are larger, shiny, up to 6 centimeters in length. The flowers are white and blue, about 2 centimeters in diameter. The fruits of the "Jasmine nightshade" are a bright scarlet berry. This species has a long and abundant flowering, about 8 months.
Solyanum Giant - evergreen shrub. Plant height reaches 6 meters. Branches are strong, densely branched. The shoots are covered with pubescent gray-white thorns. The elliptical shape of the leaves, reaching a length of 25 cm. Above the leaf is bright green, and the lower part is white-gray pubescent. Hanging inflorescences with small flowers of dark purple color. Giant nightshade blooms from July to August.
Solyanum "Zeaforta" - climbing shrub, reaching 6 meters in height. The shape of the foliage is odd-pinnate, that is, a group of leaf blades in which the last blade has no pair. The shape of the leaf is oblong with a pointed apex. Flowers consist of axillary panicles of light purple color. The fruits of "Zeafort" are red-orange in color, egg-shaped. Long bloom from autumn to early spring.
Solyanum Wendland - evergreen climbing shrub, reaching 6 meters in height, with highly branched branches covered with small thorns. The upper leaves are pinnately dissected, approximately 10 cm long. The lower leaves are three-lobed, no more than 25 cm long. The color of the foliage is dark green. Flowers "Wendland nightshade" have the shape of bells, in the upper part are collected in panicles. The color of the inflorescences is purple-lilac. The fruits are bright red. Blooms all summer from June to August.
Solyanum Curly - fast growing evergreen or semi-evergreen vine. He is also called Glasnevin. This is an unpretentious, easy-care plant. The flowers are star-shaped, very similar to a potato flower. The berries are pale yellow in color. Bloom from June to October. Gardeners use Glasnevin in vertical compositions and to decorate gazebos and walls. This species is the most cold-resistant among its family.
Solyanum False Pepper - a small, evergreen shrub, 50 centimeters high. Densely growing shoots are covered with rich green foliage. Leaves arranged in pairs have an elongated shape. During flowering, the plant is covered with small white flowers. It is a constantly flowering plant. Fruits, as they ripen, change color from green to bright red. The size and shape are reminiscent of cherries. The berries of "False Pepper" are poisonous. There is a dwarf form no more than 30 cm high. This type is very popular with indoor florists.
Solunum Pepper - undersized shrub with sparsely pubescent green-gray leaves. Height is not more than 50 cm. The shape of the leaves along the edge is wavy, oblong. The size is different from 2 to 7 cm. The flowers are small, white. Fruits up to one centimeter in diameter. The berries on the plant last 3-4 months. The juice of the berries is poisonous. Pepper nightshade has several varieties that differ in the color of the foliage and the color of the flowers.
In European countries it is called "Jerusalem cherry" in our country it is known under the name "Winter cherry".
Pepper solyanum is very similar to false pepper solyanum. In pepper the difference is only in miniature size, there is practically no stiffness of the stem and there is a bluish edge, the size of the fruit is smaller.
Author's program "Home Garden". Topic: Caring for nightshade.
Sunberry: benefits and harms
Sunberry or garden nightshade is an annual plant, similar in stem structure to a tomato, and in appearance of berries to blueberries. The unique plant was born thanks to the efforts of a breeder from the United States, who crossed close members of the nightshade family: Guinean tall blueberries and creeping European nightshade. In the vastness of our country sunberry is known as sunberry, garden nightshade, blueberry forte, or canadian blueberry... Moreover, all names are of equal importance, and are equally common.
It should be noted that reviews on Sunberry are quite contradictory. Scientists, breeders and amateur gardeners when using garden nightshade have repeatedly noted both a clear positive effect on the body and the complete absence of any results. Therefore, in order to remain as objective as possible, we will consider not only the beneficial properties, but also the possible harm of the sunberry.
The action of steroidal alcoholicosides
They exhibit the action characteristic of saponins, but to a lesser extent. They form complexes with sterols of cell membranes and thus can dissolve the membranes of animal and plant cells. Therefore, a cytotoxic and hemolytic effect is manifested.
Special studies of the action of steroidal glycosides and their aglycones have shown:
- Suppression of biotransformation of barbiturates and prolongation of sleep in experimental animals (solanine).
- Positive inotropic effect on an isolated frog heart (tomato, a-solanine, solanidin).
- Prevention of anaphylactic shock in guinea pigs. For solasodin, a cortisone-like effect has been established.
- Anti-inflammatory effect in rats with kaolin arthritis.
- Reducing the permeability of the vessel walls.
- Adrenal hypertrophy with prolonged use (weaker than that of cortisone).
Solasodin can serve as a raw material for the production of steroid hormones. For these purposes use nightshade lobular (Solanum laciniatum), nightshade bordered (Solanum marginatum), Solanum khasium... At high dosages, they act like saponins.
Maintenance and care
Natives of warm sunny regions, nightshade are demanding on lighting, but cannot stand direct sunlight (leaves dry out from sunburn). The best place for them is the western or eastern window sill, and in the summer - the open air of the balcony, terrace or patio in the garden, with shading at midday and protection from heavy precipitation.
During the period of active growth, from May to September, the plant is fed every 2 weeks with a complex mineral fertilizer with trace elements for tomatoes. Maintain air humidity by daily spraying the plants with water. Water regularly, in the heat - morning and evening. Drying nightshade categorically do not tolerate.
The optimum temperature for the development of nightshades is from +18 to +25 o C. In the fall, before the onset of frost, the nightshade is brought into a cool room with a temperature of + 12 + 15 o C, good lighting and ventilation. In a warmer room, the leaves turn yellow and fall off, the fruiting period is shortened.
Watering is limited, to increase the humidity of the air, the pot is placed on a pallet with wet expanded clay and regular spraying is continued. The period of forced dormancy associated with insufficient illumination in the room lasts from October to February.
Shoots without flowers and fruits are pinched in the fall. Fruit-bearing specimens are usually discarded and replaced with young ones grown from stem cuttings. Cuttings are taken from late February to early April, suitable for rooting and shoots left over from pruning plants. They are cut into 5 cm lengths with 2-3 internodes and rooted. Cuttings are carried out with gloves - all parts of the nightshade are poisonous.
Young plants grown over the summer are also placed in the cool in the fall, and the flowering shoots that appear in winter are removed. The plants will bloom the following spring.
However, mother plants can also be preserved. To do this, in February, the plant is cut by a third, transplanted, supplemented with lighting and top dressing begin. Drying and shriveled, but quite decorative fruits in some nightshades are preserved until a new flowering.
For transplantation, use a rich land mixture of sod land, peat, humus or compost, sand (2: 2: 2: 1). The transplant is carried out annually.
Seed propagation is acceptable only for species plants, but does not preserve the decorative characteristics of the varieties. The seeds of these species of nightshade do not have a dormant period and germinate without prior preparation. They are grown, like tomatoes or eggplants, through seedlings. Presowing treatment with gibberellin at a concentration of 300 mg / l increases seed germination and the energy of their germination.
Of the pests of nightshades, the most likely are aphids, whiteflies, and ticks.
Photo: Rita Brilliantova, Maxim Minin, Elena Malankina
At first, the orange berry also seemed to me to be something from this series: small, pea-sized fruits were black, and the plant itself emitted an intense smell of garbage, but then everything changed!
The nasty smell disappeared as it grew, and the fruits turned orange and became tasty, like berries, sweet and sour. The yield of this nightshade is simply amazing - thousands of fruits ripen on each! In terms of volume, this is 1-2 liters of berries per plant.
It grew in my greenhouse and on the street, but thanks to the current warm summer it has matured well here and there.
In the "elite" Moscow online store, Orange Berry nightshade seeds are sold for 55 rubles. for 3 seeds!
We have it costs 15 rubles per package (for 10 plants)
Who is contraindicated in sun berries?
- For those who suffer from individual intolerance
- pregnant women
- children under twelve years old
- drivers if they have planned long journeys.
Before driving, drivers should limit their consumption of sun berries, because they can cause drowsiness and somewhat disorienting, which is unacceptable while driving. However, it is also better for passengers not to lean on the Sunberry on the way, since in the amount of more than 200-300 grams per day, berries can have a pronounced laxative effect.
It should be noted that blueberry-forte is quite high in calories: one hundred grams of berries contain more than two hundred kilocalories. Therefore, they are not advised to be consumed by people who are obese or adhere to a diet.
Wild species of nightshade cannot be eaten. Even if outwardly the berries are completely similar to the sunberry, they can be radically different in chemical composition and, moreover, contain toxic substances.As a result, taking such fruits will not bring any benefit, and in some cases it will even cause serious food poisoning.