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May 2010
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Apple of Peru Nicandra : how to grow, soil conditions and what care should be taken

Commonly referred to as the shoofly plant, this beautiful hardy annual from Peru will look very impressive in your garden or even grown as a large potted plant. It has stunning 2″, bluish-purple flowers with a distinct white throat.

Characteristics of Apple of Peru Nicandra

– Nicandra are usually grown as half hardy annuals in the garden, though they can be half hardy perennials or hardy annuals.
– They reach about 90cm to 1.2M in height and bloom from summer to Autumn with bell shaped violet and white flowers.
– They have a very short flowering period and only bloom for one day, but carry long lasting seeds after blooming has occurred.
– Some common names for Nicandra include Apple of Peru and Shoo-fly plant. Latin names include Nicandra physalodes.
– The small trumpet like flowers are small and pretty to see.
– This plant is a member of the nightshade family.

How to grow Apple of Peru

– This annual prefers full sun and moist soil.
– This plant can be invasive if left to self seed – in fact in some areas it is considered a weed.
– The seeds are small and reddy brown. Seeds germinate in 7 to 14 days.
– The seeds of Apple Peru can be sown outside either in late autumn or before the last frost of spring; once sown cover the apple of peru seeds lightly with soil.
– When growing Apple of Peru indoors first, do so 7 about weeks in advance. The Seeds should be germinated at 15 to 24 degrees Centigrade and take about two to three weeks to sprout.
– The Apple peru seedlings can then be put outdoors, following the last frost of spring with a spacing of about 60 to 90cm.

How to care for Apple of Peru

It is best to feed Apple of Peru and other Nicandra species when they are growing.

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