Solanum pyracanthos (Porcupine Tomato) [10 Seeds]

(1 customer review)


Germination Information: I recommend these seeds only for gardeners who are willing to be patient, as they are fickle germinators (generally slow and erratic). Sow the seeds 1/8 to 1/4 inch deep in a pot in a warm, bright place in early spring. Using a heat mat to keep the soil warm may encourage somewhat quicker sprouting.Still, it may take several weeks for the first seedling to appear, with others not sprouting until many days or even weeks later.

In 2021, I sowed seeds on March 16 on a heat mat under lights, and the first sprouts appeared on April 5. In 2022, seeds I sowed on March 6 (under lights but not on a heat mat) started sprouting on March 22, with more seedlings appearing over the next 2 weeks. In 2023, seeds sown on March 8 (under lights but no heat mat) didn’t start until March 24; seeds from the same batch sown on March 17 started on April 6. In both pots, additional seedlings were still appearing over a month later.

Once you get seedlings, transplant to your garden or display containers after your last frost date. I usually wait until nights are at least 50°F, as getting chilled can really slow down the plants’ growth. If your plants have time to produce fruits and ripen them fully before frost, you might find some self-sown seedlings the following year.

Note that this information will not appear on the seed packet you receive.

Please read the description as well before ordering.

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Porcupine tomato (Solanum pyracanthos, or S. pyracanthum, or S. pyracanthon, depending on which authority you follow) is a real plant-geek’s plant. It does have ornamental, rich purple flowers, but its key feature is the bright orange spines that adorn the lobed, gray-green leaves and the slender, branching stems. The flowers develop into yellowish green, marble-sized fruits topped with a spiny cap. Though “tomato” is in the common name, this isn’t something you’d grow to eat. Porcupine tomato usually gets 2 to 3 feet tall in my garden or a mixed container planting, but when it gets pampered with regular watering and fertilizing in a pot by itself, it can get 4 to 5 feet tall if not kept smaller with careful pruning. Full sun. Usually grown as an annual (it’s perennial only in frost-free areas).

2022-collected seeds are sold out. I hope to collect again in fall 2023. At least 10 seeds. One packet per customer. Shipping to US addresses only.

Please read the germination information as well before ordering.

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1 review for Solanum pyracanthos (Porcupine Tomato) [10 Seeds]

  1. Brett Barnett (verified owner)

    One of my favorite plants to grow and so glad I found a source of healthy, trustworthy seeds for them!! Mine are doing great.

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