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Solanum capsicastrum, Winter Cherry, False Jerusalem Cherry, Christmas Cherry

Solanum capsicastrum

Winter Cherry, False Jerusalem Cherry, Christmas Cherry
Family: Solanaceae
Origin: South America
Small plant 2-5 ftSemi-shadeFull sunRegular waterOrnamental foliagePoisonous or toxic

Winter cherries (Solanum capsicastrum) are popular winter bedding in pots or window boxes that offer colorful foliage throughout winter. This low-maintenance perennial will reward you with neat little shrubs in a sheltered border.

Starting from midsummer, small white blooms dot the shrub, but the real show begins when tiny fruits the size of cherries start to emerge. These fruits can range from green, to yellow, to orange, and eventually to a deep vibrant red.

False Jerusalem Cherry is commonly grown as an ornamental plant indoors or out, and can reach heights of up to five feet. It thrives in full or partial shade and makes an impact when displayed en masse in containers and window boxes.

While this beautiful shrub is relatively easy to care for, potential gardeners should note that the fruits are toxic and not to be eaten. Water moderately, with a low-nitrogen fertilizer used occasionally to encourage fruit growth. Pruning away dead woody stems and wilted flowers is needed to keep the plant in optimal health.

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