These need to stay in the ground longer and require more space to produce a decent crop. The blue potato bush is susceptible to pests such as aphids, caterpillars, and thrips. Cure the Cut Pieces. This species can also be grown in containers and makes a striking display on a patio. Several cultivars have been produced with different colored foliage and blossoms. The berries, in particular, might be appealing to young children. Next, "cure" the cut pieces. A cool & unique side dish Blue Mashed Potatoes No, your eyes are not deceiving you and no, I didn't use food coloring. In each trench, place a seed potato piece (cut side down) every 12 to 14 inches and cover with 3 to 4 inches of soil. They can be grown into a small potted tree by removing the lower branches and pruning the remaining foliage to the desired shape. Achieve the right balance of moisture by watering the plant slowly and deeply when the surface feels dry. Fruit is produced in the form of orange-red oval berries that are up to an inch in size. Episode 1: How to Plant Potatoes. The smooth gray-brown branches grow in an arching fashion, sprawling to well over six feet if not pruned. Harvesting. Russet tubers tend to b… They are described as an evergreen in warmer zones and deciduous in zones that are cooler. Height and spread: 60cm (24"). Purple potatoes boast more health benefits than their white counterparts. Mulch roots with compost in the spring and again in the fall. They are both short season. Important note: All parts of this plant are poisonous if ingested, including the seeds and berries. If planted in a container, fertilize once a month with a liquid 10-10-10 fertilizer. Potato plants grow incredibly fast, so keep an eye on them and don't let them get ahead of you. Add a 4-inch layer of mulch around the blue potato bush, pulling it back 4 inches from the stem. Manage thrips by spraying the bush with a horticultural oil, neem oil or a spinosad product. Regardless of the planting method, potato plants require frequent “hilling,” or mounding of dirt around the stems, as the season progresses. Remove up to one-third of each branch to maintain the desired form. De Jauregui authored 50 Fabulous Tomatoes for Your Garden, available as an ebook. In the trenches, plant a seed potato every 12 inches or so. With degrees in fine and commercial art and Spanish, Ruth de Jauregui is an old-school graphic artist, book designer and published author. Dig a hole three times the width of the root ball. Blue potato bush blooms year-round in mild climates where frost is not an issue. Harvesting Potatoes. Blue Potatoes are now organically grown in the U.S. A., are complete non-GMO, and a source of excellent nutrition. Apply a layer of mulch over the soil to slow water evaporation. Increased interest in new gourmet varieties has added purple, blue, orange, yellow, and other colors to the inventory. These potatoes have just as much antioxidant as blueberries! During times of high heat water more frequently. Blue potato bush needs a sunny location and a frost-free climate. Each berry produces approximately two dozen dark brown seeds. The golden rule with any fruit or vegetable is the darker and deeper the color, the more nutritional benefits it packs. The cultivar Lycianthes rantonnetii 'White' has beautiful snow white flowers, while Lycianthes rantonnetii ‘Variegata’ has cream and grey-green leaves with blue flowers. As a rule of thumb, early and mid-season potatoes do best in containers. The blue … Time your planting so that it falls a week or two … Mulch keeps the soil evenly moist and discourages weed growth. The sweetly scented flowers of Lycianthes rantonnetii, also known as Solanum rantonnetii, blue potato bush and Paraguay nightshade, provide a focal point to a tropical or cottage garden. In other respects, purple potatoes are no different from other potato varieties and need similar growing conditions and care. Flowering is most prolific during the summer months. Aren't they cute? If managed well, this species can be pruned to a round shape with minimal loss of flowers. If the bush is planted in a large flowerpot or tub, slowly add water until it drains from the bottom of the pot. She enthusiastically pursues creative and community interests, including gardening, home improvement and social issues. Blue Potato Tips. These potatoes make a beautiful potato salad, or when roasted, they liven up a dinner plate. Mature Potatoes. These beautiful blue mashed potatoes feature amazing color with the same texture and taste you enjoy in your favorite potatoes. All varieties are sweetly scented and attract butterflies. Apply a slow-release fertilizer in the spring just before new growth begins. Either set them out in the sun, or place them on a … Harvest the Potatoes . All parts of the blue potato bush are poisonous; grow the plant out of reach of children and pets. Plant maincrop potatoes later, in April. Growing Blue Potatoes Blue Potato Varieties. Growing Blue Potatoes. Monitor the blue potato bush for pests such as aphids and thrips. Select a well-draining, sunny location in the garden, at least 4 feet from walls and fences. Plant them 12cm deep and 38cm apart, with 75cm between rows. Tubers of standard white and red varieties generally are round to oblong and relatively thin skinned compared to russets. Backfill with the excavated soil, tamping gently. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, The Spruce Gardening & Plant Care Review Board, The Spruce Renovations and Repair Review Board. The best way to … Potatoes need full sun a minimum of six hour a day. Choose a spot in your yard with lots of sun. If you’ve ever seen it bloom, you won’t forget it. There are waxy and starchy types, and Sarah is planting three waxy fingerling types and Yukon Gold potatoes, using purchased “seed” potatoes. Thrips can be managed by the use of horticultural oils, neem oil or spinosad. If your garden soil is very rocky, put the seed potato pieces directly on the ground. Grow your own organic potatoes in containers or in a raised bed. The Royal Horticultural Society gave Lycianthes rantonnetii their prestigious Award of Garden Merit in 2012. If your blue potato bush is planted in a tub, fertilize monthly. Lightly pruning after each batch of flowers will result in a compact shape and encourage greater blossoming. South Coast Botanic Garden: Blue Potato Bush, National Gardening Association: Caring for a Solanum Royal Robe Patio Tree, National Gardening Association: Pruning Potato Bush Trees, University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program: Thrips, Jonathan Ya'akobi's Dry Climate Gardening: Solanum rantonnetii – A Worthy Substitute for Bougainvillea, How to Make a Hydrangea Blue in Horticulture. Watch our No Fuss video guide to planting potatoes, with Alan Titchmarsh: Cover them with straw or … If youve ever seen it bloom, you wont forget it. Primary pruning should take place in the winter months after blossoming has ceased. The soil should be well-drained but not allowed to completely dry out before the next watering. When the plants are 6-8" tall, hill them by mounding soil from each side of the row about 4" high along the base of the plants to protect developing tubers from greening. In colder zones, it may drop its leaves in the winter, while in the warmer zones it remains evergreen. Well suited to many garden types, the blue potato bush makes an excellent backdrop for small shrubs and perennials. Typically they are pruned back to a much smaller size. Potatoes come in a variety of colors, one of which is a deep blue or purple tint. It has purple-bluish skin with a deep blue interior and tubers that are round to oblong and slightly flattened in shape. How Far Apart Should Blue Girl Holly Be Planted? The genus name is taken from the Greek word lykion which means ‘a thorny bush’, and anthos which means flower. When to Harvest. You can begin to harvest potatoes anytime after the plants have flowered. Propagate this plant using softwood cuttings; the blue potato bush rarely sets seeds. If not pruned, this species will also produce berries which will attract a variety of birds. Place a double layer of newspaper over plants when freezes threaten and foliage is still actively growing. From a cook’s point of view, potatoes are not all the same. Native to Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, and Paraguay, the blue potato bush is cultivated all over the world for its beautiful deep purple-blue flowers. Vanessa Richins Myers is a seasoned horticulturist, garden writer and educator with 10+ years of experience in the horticulture and gardening space. How to Grow and Care for the Yesterday-Today-and-Tomorrow Plants, 29 Shrubs That Grow in Full or Partial Shade, Growing the Hedge Maple in the Home Garden, Sweetberry Honeysuckle (Lonicera Caerulea) Growing Profile, Growing the Common Snowberry in a Home Garden, How to Grow and Care for the European Spindle Tree. Water thoroughly after planting the blue potato bush. Cover each potato with... After a few weeks, the potato plants will begin to sprout. It can be used as a focal piece in a garden or mixed in with other plants as a border. This dish is actually made with blue potatoes. Select a well-draining, sunny location in the garden, at least 4 feet from walls and fences. If there is danger of frost cover the rows with newspaper until the shoots are 3-4 inches tall or the danger of frost is over. Plant one large seed potato in the soil. Remove aphids with a strong stream of water early in the morning so that the leaves are dry before nightfall. I even left some of the peel to give it color and texture. Potatoes have been grown in a wide variety of containers, from half wine barrels to plastic bags. The fruit is not edible, and like other parts of the plant is poisonous if ingested. Simply plant tubers in an equal mix of compost and potting soil. Leaves of the blue potato bush are oval to elliptical, alternate, and grow up to six inches long and three inches across. Purple potatoes, also known as Peruvian purple potatoes, have naturally purple or deep blue skin and flesh, and are unusually high in antioxidants which makes them super healthful. The cultivar Lycianthes rantonnetii 'White' has beautiful s… The blue potato bush (Solanum rantonnetii), also known as Paraguay nightshade, is a shrub native to both Brazil and Paraguay. My Father planting some Russian Blue potatoes. Pick an appropriate time for planting in your climate. Native to Argentina and Paraguay, the blue potato bush is hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 9 to 11. Contrary to its name, the spectacular blue, floury flesh, of this unusual coloured potato is best suited to baking, roasting, mash, boiling or chips. The Royal Horticultural Society gave Lycianthes rantonnetii their prestigious Award of Garden Merit in 2012. To plant potatoes in a garden: Dig trenches that are about eight inches deep. Wash your hands thoroughly after handling the bush and its flowers. Shape the bush to a shrub, tree or "lollipop." The vibrant blue color makes this one extra fun to grow! Potatoes grow best with 8 hours of sunlight a day, but … Lycianthes rantonnetii (Blue Potato Bush) is an evergreen shrub boasting a nearly non-stop display of lightly fragrant, purple-blue flowers adorned with bright golden centers. Borne on slender, sprawling stems, the cup-shaped blossoms are profuse throughout warm weather and give way to showy red berries. The “eye” should be facing upward. It is also known as Solanum rantonnetii. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Sunset Western Garden Book; Editors of Sunset Books, et al. Allow water to slowly trickle over the root ball until the soil is moist. Plant blue potato bush along the fence line in the back of the garden or as a focal point in a centrally located garden bed. The Purple Majesty doesn’t produce as well, but is has AMAZING color. Plant potatoes with the shoots (or ‘eyes’) facing upwards.