Gentian Tree (Solanum Rantonnetii), Morelle De Rantonnet

Cultivation of the Gentian Tree (Solanum rantonnetii), Morelle de Rantonnet - Maintenance

The gentian tree is a robust shrub with persistent foliage and bushy habit, very branched with slightly drooping branches. Its South American origin makes it can not stand the cold and needs a minimum of 7° C, unless it is brought under the greenhouse during the winter. Once it is properly installed, it can withstand the cold more.

The medium green to dark green leaves are long, lanceolate and ovate, with wavy edges. They measure between 7 and 10 cm long.

Flowering is in the form of axillary bunches with two to five flowers in flattened trumpet of five welded petals, measuring 4 cm in diameter. Their color resumes the range from blue to purple, with a center often yellow. They are very fragrant and melliferous.

Ovoid fruits then appear, red in color, the size of which varies from 1 to 3 cm long.

Its name comes from the horticulturist Victor Rantonnet who would have grown the first seeds in France in the nineteenth century.

  • Family: Solanaceae
  • Type: perennial
  • Origin: Argentina, Paraguay
  • Color: blue and purple flowers
  • Sowing: yes
  • Cutting: yes
  • Planting: spring or autumn
  • Flowering: May to November, even December
  • Height: 1 to 2 m

Ideal soil and exposure for planting a gentian tree in the garden

The gentian tree requires a rich, well-drained and neutral soil, with exposure in direct sunlight. If you put it in a pot, make a mixture of peat, potting soil, sand and garden soil, and expose it in full light (not in direct sunlight).

Date of sowing, cutting and planting of the gentian tree

Seedlings are done in the spring around 20° C and will be put in pots when they have five leaves. Semi-augured cuttings of stems are done in summer.

Planting is planned for spring or fall.

Advice of maintenance and cultivation of the gentian tree

Remove the faded flowers as you go. At the end of winter, prune the branches of the year by half.

Diseases, pests and parasites of the gentian tree

Aphids and whiteflies can settle on the plant, especially in the greenhouse.

Location and favorable association of the gentian tree

In mild climate, it will find its place in a massif of flowers and shrubs, in a hedge not very high or alone, isolated. On a terrace, it will be the most beautiful effect in a tray.

You can plant the following cultivars, for example, Solanum rantonnetii 'Overseas' large flowers of a deep blue, Solanum rantonnetii 'White Charles' with white flowers and yellow heart, Solanum rantonnetii 'Variegata Aurea' whose leaves are variegated with yellow, Solanum rantonnetii 'Royal Robe' with purple flowers with yellow heart, fragrant...

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