Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Iochroma
Iochroma cyanea

Family: Solanaceae (so-lan-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Iochroma (eye-oh-KROH-muh) (Info)
Species: cyanea (sy-AN-ee-uh) (Info)

Synonym:Iochroma cyaneum
Synonym:Iochroma tubulosa
Synonym:Iochroma tubulosum

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

27 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

Unknown - Tell us

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested
Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Blooms repeatedly


Other details:
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From softwood cuttings
From semi-hardwood cuttings
From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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There are a total of 12 photos.
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6 positives
4 neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral 1potato2 On Jun 1, 2014, 1potato2 from Opal Cliffs, CA wrote:

Three iochromas were here when we bought this house, two orange and one purple. The orange ones have been fine but the purple one concerns me. It tends to look droopy/wilted compared to the others. We pruned them all back to about 1' this spring since they were getting very gangly and they are all over 5' high now, but all of the lower branches (6 or 8 of them) of the purple one are laying limply collapsed on the ground. The upper branches are normal, and both upper and lower branches have healthy leaves and blooms on them. I am debating whether I should cut off the lower branches. The plant looks awful with half of its branches dragging down and half curving up. Do purple ones normally have a different growth habit from orange ones? We have them all growing in a row along our driveway and have been treating them all the same; we live in Santa Cruz, CA where iochroma usually seem to do well. I do notice the leaves are slightly fuzzy on the purple one, and more smooth/glossy on the orange ones. Would appreciate any advice/information!

Neutral RexEdwardFairy On Jan 22, 2014, RexEdwardFairy from (Zone 10b) wrote:

Thanks for your comments everyone. I've just acquired a seedling. It was happy in dappled shade, but reading elsewhere "sun, full sun, sun, sun, sun", I foolishly moved it. It's gone a pasty yellow and kinda become droopy (not wilting exactly), since I moved it to full sun. The brugs I bought with it stayed in the dappled shade and is charging ahead. I've just moved the Iochroma back to its dappled shade. HOpefully it will recover. MOST HELPFUL to read Iochroma are an understory plant, that helps me care for it better. I'm in Australia, zone 11.

Positive wildflower1964 On Jun 30, 2012, wildflower1964 from Albany, CA wrote:

I reside on Albany Hill, a small community bordering El Cerrito and Berkeley. Over ten years ago I planted two 4" Iochroma plants at the southeast end of my property where the plants receive full sun and quite a bit of wind. The plants are presently 50' tall with a canopy spread of 10'.

I have not been providing regular Summer watering as the plants keep dropping yellow leaves and fully formed flowers. I have checked the plants for pests and the only thing that I have found is scale, which I remove with dental floss. There are no aphids, cucumber beetles, nor leaf hoppers. The plants are loaded with blooms and the new growth appears healthy.

Does anyone out there know why the leaves and flowers keep dropping? Is it the lack of water? Is it the wind exposure? Any help is welcome, thanks.

Positive smartseeds On Dec 4, 2010, smartseeds from Claremont, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

Iochroma seems to love the climate here in Southern California. Mine are in dappled sun, sheltered from summer sun by tall pines They're over 10' in the middle of winter and blooming! I should cut them back, but don't think cuttings would root in this cold.

They do need a fair amount of water and shelter from sun. Those big leaves are thin, and they are understory plants like their cousins, Brugmansias. They love heat, but not scorching direct sun.

We did have a monstrous bug infestation, with everything from aphids and mealybugs to some tiny tropical thing that looks like chunks of green leaves lined up on the stems, some critter right off Animal Planet. Cut everything back, drenched it in Safer soap and put Tanglefoot around the base to stop the ants. Haven't seen a bug there since.

My Iochromas bring me enormous pleasure and are some of the easiest plants I have in my garden, but they're probably in exactly the right place. This is citrus country, hot and dry with cold nights. Don't know why they like it, but they do. Gorgeous.

Negative joshua1975 On Oct 28, 2010, joshua1975 from Marco Island, FL wrote:

I cant seem to get this plant to grow well or to flower much in coastal sw florida zone 10B....dunno why? Is it the alkaline soil? The intense sunlight? The bugs? The Nematodes? Lack of specific soil nutrients? .......anyways....I haven't given up yet! I will next try to fertilize the hell outta it and i also recently amended the soil from alkaline to acidic. My soil is now mostly peat and pine mulch (with only 20-25% native soil). Dunno what else i could do?? Except move it to either shader or sunnier location?? (Current location gets more then 6hours of full-sun per day.) If anyone has any suggestions or advise to better grow this potentially amazing plant...please let me know!!

Positive gsytch On May 22, 2010, gsytch from New Port Richey, FL wrote:

Have been growing Iochroma cyaneum and the red type for a few years. Wonderful even with our hot, Tampa Bay nights! Blooms constantly all year long - requires pruning to shape. I keep mine 5' and under. Froze hard this winter (27F and below freezing 5 times) with a wet winter but returned nicely with the Brugs. Rooting can be tricky. I have great success in spaghnum moss (the orchid kind) mixed with small pieces of charcoal in a shady area. Roots best if you time it with the rains. Once rooted, off it goes. Feed constantly, and I use Rose Systemic a few times so bugs don't bother it!

Neutral jerry31557 On Dec 2, 2009, jerry31557 from Patterson, GA wrote:

I just had someone share some blue iochromia seeds with me and I need some help. Any help or information will be greatly appreciated on how best to start seeds. They are VERY small so I realize they have to be handled with special care. Thanks in advance.

Positive Zelda29 On Jul 25, 2009, Zelda29 from South San Francisco, CA wrote:

I have two Iochromas, both are over 6 feet tall and bloom most of the year here in South San Francisco, California. It is one of the loveliest plants I have ever had in my garden. Birds love it, particularly hummingbirds. I have never noticed stickiness or thorns on it that someone else mentioned. Both plants are located in large rose gardens. Perhaps it is my imagination, but since these plants have reached maturity I have had very little problem with buggies on the roses and apple trees. However, our garden has been organic for 30 years and our soil is very well built up and strong so it could be that the overall health and balance of the garden is responsible.

Positive straea On Jun 29, 2008, straea from Somerville, MA (Zone 6b) wrote:

I've had this growing in a pot in partial shade in my cold-winter climate for 1 1/2 months. It's in full bloom already, though it started out from a very small pot. I have yet to try overwintering it inside, so I don't know how it will do then, but so far it's been blooming earlier and more prolifically than most tropical plants do here.

Positive hawkarica On May 8, 2006, hawkarica from Odessa, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I live in the Tampa area and this plant is wonderful, It is a quick grower to about five feet in two years. I have nine of these plants and have seen no sticky leaves or thorns. They will take a light frost and bloom continuously from early spring to fall. They come is several different colors from light purple to deep red. One of them did get a few mealybugs but a quick spray and they haven't returned.

Neutral isom On Jan 3, 2006, isom from Mission BC
Canada (Zone 8b) wrote:

UPDATE - Last winter which was particularly hard on many plants, I lost my Iochroma. I checked to see if there was any green under the bark but it was definitely dead. I even waited to see if new growth might show from the ground but nothing. Many people lost plants that they've had for many years . I lost some hebes, fuchsias & a few newly established small shrubs. We're in a La Nina phase when winters can be more severe) so I'd hazard a guess that Iochroma are barely border-line hardy for our area. Too bad. I plan to redo that part of the garden with more hardy plants now.
- - - - -

I have to say I'm neutral about this shrub. I think it has it's good points & bad ones. The leaves are sticky - sort of like petunia - which I don't like, & as it gets bigger, there are sharp thorn-like projections from thicker branches. Still, I continue to grow it because it's an unusual plant & grows in my zone 7b-8a area. I have had it for 7 years now. It's against the west side of my house for added protection. Mine even set seed & ripened last year, but I'm not sure how viable the seeds are until I test them.

An unusual surprise cold snap in April appeared to kill it, but it came back from the ground level. It would look nice espaliered against the wall which I plan to do now as the growth can get quite rank.

I had hoped the blooms would be larger & more of them but perhaps it's to do with limited sun as the other house shades it too early in the day. I might move it for that reason. But I'm still happy with it & pleased that I'm growing a shrub that's not supposed to grow in my zone. I know there are other varieties of Iochroma that have larger & more attractive flowers & if anyone can find those, I'd highly recommend them.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Phoenix, Arizona
Alameda, California
Albany, California
Berkeley, California
Brentwood, California
Cambria, California
Carlsbad, California
Emerald Lake Hills, California
Escondido, California
San Francisco, California
San Leandro, California
Santa Cruz, California (2 reports)
South San Francisco, California
Stockton, California
Deland, Florida
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Hollywood, Florida
New Port Richey, Florida
Odessa, Florida
Safety Harbor, Florida
Saint Petersburg, Florida
Guyton, Georgia
Patterson, Georgia
Snellville, Georgia
Indianapolis, Indiana
Mandeville, Louisiana
New Orleans, Louisiana
Somerville, Massachusetts
St John, Mississippi
Johns Island, South Carolina
Allen, Texas
Houston, Texas (2 reports)
La Porte, Texas
Sabine Pass, Texas

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