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Growing Cape Gooseberry, also Golden Berry, Inca Berry

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

(Best months for growing Cape Gooseberry in USA - Zone 5a regions)

S = Plant undercover in seed trays 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 50°F and 77°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 20 inches apart
  • Harvest in 14-16 weeks.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Will happily grow in a flower border
  • Cape Gooseberry plant
    Cape Gooseberry plant
  • Flowers
  • unripe fruit
    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.

The Cape Gooseberry is very easy to grow and as the fruit are popular with birds and plants can be easily spread around the garden.

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.

Your comments and tips

07 Aug 18, Christie Chaplin-Saunders (Canada - Zone 5a Temperate Warm Summer climate)
My Inca berries have flower buds now...
06 Aug 18, (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
I have just picked my rambling cape gooseberry bush clean, anticipating some lovely jam. The berries are tiny. About the size of a small pea! Any hints so I might get fatter ones next year?
07 Aug 18, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Poor soil or growing conditions - the amount of sunlight etc. If you have a smaller weak plant then hit it up with some fertiliser or add some compost or manures around the plant for the next crop.
02 Jul 18, PETER (Australia - temperate climate)
Where can I purchase cape gooseberry seeds
03 Jul 18, Mike L (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Seed selling companies on the internet. Boondie - New Life Seeds - The Seed Collection Company.
28 Jun 18, Kate D (USA - Zone 9a climate)
I acquired a couple of 18 in/46 cm Cape GB plants in small pots yesterday. I was hoping to plant them in the ground in my sunny flower bed off my back patio. After reading comments here I'm now considering planting one in a pot which I can move in the Winter months and the other in the ground which gets heavily mulched before the onset of frost, and maybe cover it with burlap during the dead of Winter. Most of my perennials seem to survive our Winters in this bed. This will be another one of my experiments. I also have some concerns about the size of this plant since I have never seen one...So I have planned to give it 20 in/50 cm all around. The ground doesn't get warm here until May, but our days are long in the Summer here at the 48 lat.
17 Jun 18, Carole (Australia - temperate climate)
My cape gooseberries are growing well in tubs and flowering and setting fruit. My problem is what looks like black jelly inside the lanterns (fruit) I don't know if it is from cucumber beetles or what it is. Any ideas what it is and how to treat it please. I had cucumbers which got decimated earlier in the season and have seen some striped orange beetles on the berry plants
18 Jun 18, Mike L (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Pick a few and see what it is. We have cucumber fly here. Don't know about beetles. If fly try some sticky yellow fly catching cardbpard. Some of the cheap $2 shops stock it in Aussie.
11 Jun 18, Glenis Greenwood (Australia - temperate climate)
In Gosford Cape Gooseberry plant just came up itself. A metre high now has flowers and lanterns some with normal fruit but some with distorted leaves and fruit. Looks healthy otherwise. Is it lacking something or too much fertiliser (blood and bone and maybe a bit of dynamic lifter ). Not a lot of sun. Next to little maples and azaleas in garden bed with bush type mulch
13 Jun 18, Mike L (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Can't really help you - maybe being in the shade all day and staying wet most of the day due to overnight dew leads to some fungus and diseases. Plant some in a sunnier position next year. If leaves are nice and green it has sufficient fertiliser. If leaves are yellow it needs some fert.
Showing 1 - 10 of 389 comments

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