White Potato Creeper

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This week’s Plant of the Week is the white potato creeper. A member of the Solanaceae or nightshade family, it is a classic, widely used plant in Australian gardens that perhaps should be used even more.

Plant details


Common name: White potato creeper, potato vine

Botanic name: Solanum jasminoides

Description: A moderately vigorous, evergreen or semi-evergreen twiner from Brazil. In summer and autumn it produces clusters of star-shaped bluish/white flowers with yellow stamens. In mild areas, the flowering will continue through to late June.

Best climate:

Potato vine prefers a warm, sunny position and will grow well in most areas of Australia, except for cold mountainous zones.

Uses:

fast cover for walls and fences
white theme garden

Good points:

long flowering season
attractive white flowers
glossy, dark green leaves

Downside:

partly deciduous in marginal climates
possible garden escapee 

Care:

Potato vines like a warm, sunny position in rich, well-drained soil. They need a support for climbing. Prune in late winter to control size and also to encourage the growth of new vigorous wood.

Getting started:

White potato creeper is readily available at nurseries and garden centres. 200mm (8″) pots cost around $16, and 140mm (6″) pots cost about $12.