Growing Cape Gooseberry, also Golden Berry, Inca Berry

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
P P P       P P P P P P

(Best months for growing Cape Gooseberry in Australia - sub-tropical regions)

P = Sow seed

  • Easy to grow. Sow in garden. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 10°C and 25°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: 100 - 150 cm apart
  • Harvest in 14-16 weeks.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Will happily grow in a flower border but tends to sprawl over other plants.
  • Cape Gooseberry plant
  • Flowers
  • unripe fruit

A straggling bush up to one metre tall that bears yellow fruits inside a brown papery envelope. It is perennial. The cape gooseberry is related to tomatillo, ground cherry and husk tomato, all in the genus Physalis.

Cape Gooseberry is very easy to grow and as the fruit are popular with birds the plants can be easily spread around the garden. If you have plenty of room then plants grow better with 1.5m of space. Spacing closer works but you may get less fruit.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Cape Gooseberry

The berry is the size of a cherry tomato, is very aromatic and full of tiny seeds. They are delicious eaten fresh or can be made into jam. They can be added to salads, desserts and cooked dishes, they are delicious stewed with other fruit, especially apples. They also go well in savoury dishes with meat or seafood. Can be preserved dried as 'Inca Berries'

Your comments and tips

16 Sep 21, Kay (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Hi Libby: I moved to Katoomba about 33 years ago and also had a lovely bed of these gooseberries. They were doing really well out back although I often wonder if it was sunnier back then. Lost them with landscaping etc and am going to try again. Good Luck! Kay
29 Apr 21, Libby horth (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
30 years ago when we first moved here we had some gooseberries growing and I would like to have them growing again - where can I get some seeds - I live in the blue mountains in NSW
05 Nov 21, Darren (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I had purchased some seeds from Bunnings this year and the plants are all doing well, with tiny fruit forming on everyone.
02 Oct 21, Romano (Australia - temperate climate)
I bought some from ebay. Growing for few months. They are about 60-70cm tall but no fruit yet.
27 Feb 21, Tony Duffy (Australia - temperate climate)
I've had a gooseberry bush for about 4 years and it has never fruited. It's very healthy with lots of new growth each year but never fruit. I live on the plains in Adelaide.
17 Apr 21, Snow (Australia - temperate climate)
Hey Tony I read in an article that you don't need to fertilise Gooseberry plants. It says that it pushes out leaf growth but at the cost of fruit. I would try laying off the fertiliser unless absolutely necessary.
01 Mar 21, Anon (Australia - temperate climate)
It says here plant spring and harvest 14-16 weeks later - summer. Depending on your soil I would give it a fertiliser hit in spring and water it regularly. One good fertilise when it starts to have new growth in spring. If it is growing and growing into summer cut the water back. A plant's purpose is to reproduce itself- cut the water and fertiliser back to make it go to fruit and seed.
22 Apr 21, Marguerite (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Hi I have several cape gooseberries in the garden all self sown from an original on I planted about 9 years ago which died last year. My soil is sandy and I completely ignore them except for an occasional drink in summer they thrive and provide a lot of fruit. they begin to gradually die back after about 4 years but if you cut out the old branches they will keep going . They make a very delicious jam.
15 Feb 21, Sue (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Some of our cape gooseberries are growing elongated instead of round and the fruit is protruding through the end of the shell. The berries are still very green. Any idea what this would be please? The bush seems to be in good health.
19 Feb 21, Anonymous (Australia - temperate climate)
I watched Gardening Australia tonight on ABC TV - story on Tomatillo. There are 3 varieties/kind - one a medium size. one small and the third are bigger and push through the shell. Cape Gooseberry and Tomatillo are related so maybe this explains the concern you have.
Showing 1 - 10 of 378 comments

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