Hardiness: 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: Sun to Partial Shade
Danger: Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling
Bloom Color: Purple
Bloom Time: Blooms repeatedly
Foliage: Grown for foliage Evergreen
Other details: This plant is suitable for growing indoors
Soil pH requirements: 6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic) 6.6 to 7.5 (neutral) 7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
Patent Information: Non-patented
Propagation Methods: From seed; direct sow after last frost
Seed Collecting: Remove fleshy coating on seeds before storing Unblemished fruit must be significantly overripe before harvesting seed; clean and dry seeds Wear gloves to protect hands when handling seeds
On Jul 15, 2012, marwood0 from Golden, CO (Zone 5b) wrote:
I had one seedling sprout out of several seeds I planted. It's one of my favorites. It has spent most of it's 4 years in a small pot in the basement under 24x7 fluorescent lights. it stays about 0.5m tall; it blooms if I water it 3 to 4 times per month, and the air is very dry here (winter sometimes 10% rh). My plant has never made fruits though. I can't tell if it just can't self pollinate or not. I have tried to manually pollinate it with no success.
I planted a small 4" one and it grew to about 4 feet or so the first year. I thinned and tipped it back regularly so not sure how big it's ultimate size might have been. I never had any seedlings sprout as one commenter said. The plant seems to be short lived, as it began to fade after three years in the ground and finally died. I recently bought a new one, love the orange/purple color combination and the spines. Use care when pruning, though!
On Apr 30, 2009, lazepherine from Seattle, WA wrote:
I just acquired my second solanum pyracanthum. I had one years ago that thrived, planted up in a terra cotta pot on a hot patio, (though it only grew to a very manageable 3 1/2 feet). I was amazed to see it come back from the dead the next summer, having spent the cold months in an exposed area with no winter protection. It put on a great show the second summer once again, bearing fruit, but the second Seattle winter did it in. I'm looking forward to growing this oddity again, and have added Solanum "Malevolence" to the spiny collection this year. I found this plant useful in keeping animal marauders out my garden too: no squirrels digging holes near that pot.
On Jul 14, 2003, palmbob from Tarzana, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:
I too was fascinated with the bizzare plant when I first saw it, and having a garden full of spiny things decided to add this one to it.. it is an extremely drought tolerant plant here in So Cal... but it spreads like crazy all over the place. Each dinky little seedling immediately produces those noxious orange spines making weeding them a painful and delicate experience. I have since tried to rid my garden of this plant unsuccessfully. It gets huge, by the way- mine was nearly 8' tall and 8' wide before I hacked it down (two years later) and there are literally hundreds of seedlings showing up all the time- OUCH! Planter beware before adding this one to the garden!
This plant is visually amazing. Just purchased it and interestingly the very same blurb at the plant shop is the first comment posted here. Plan to keep it inside over winter as it is frost tender.
This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:
, British Columbia , California Brentwood, California Gilroy, California Novato, California Richmond, California Sacramento, California San Jose, California San Leandro, California Santa Cruz, California Vallejo, California Lakeland, Florida Meridian, Idaho Brownville, New Jersey , New York Lordstown, Ohio Seattle, Washington (2 reports)