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: 39 - 59 inches 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

13 Jan 22, Elisabeth (USA - Zone 7b climate)
Are cape gooseberries and ground cherries the same?
17 Jan 22, Anonymous (USA - Zone 4a climate)
Ground cherries (Physalis spp.), often called cape gooseberries, are native in many parts of the United States and often grow in fields and alongside roads.
06 Jan 22, Tara Sikorski (USA - Zone 7a climate)
-I planted the seeds from the berries I had from the store. -I live on Long Island, NY. -I started them in a small pot, a bit too late to sow- so I kept them indoor. I have my own odd ways of trying things- but this has been my biggest thriving indoor plant. (It was tiny and slow growing for a few months and then one day they just shot up and just keep growing a couple feet tall, and some are crazy looking (like one stem made a complete u-turn because the wall was in the way lol)... But for a start off-let's see if this will work experiment, it surprisingly worked out well. I will do it outdoors this year for sure. My second best plant has been dragon fruit.... So weird I know. I gave some pots with them already 6-12 inches high to people in VA and South Carolina, and some how- no one could grow it larger, and mine is looking like cousin it with green spiked hair. Lol.
11 Jan 22, Anonymous (USA - Zone 4b climate)
Most plants require certain climate conditions to grow. A soil temperature range to germinate etc. Hours of daylight sun to grow well. That is why you plant crop at a certain time of the year.
20 Dec 21, Khanna Promila Relan (Canada - Zone 6a Temperate Warm Summer climate)
Inca berries are not Perennials, Need Lots of watering, Aphids will attack them early on. You can try some Neem oil 1 tea spoon 1/2 teaspoon dishwashing detergent , mix it well, spray twice a week or as needed. Sun but no more than 5 hours, when flowering do what you will do for a fruiting plant (Note from Gardenate : they are perennial in warmer climates.)
19 Dec 21, Brigitte (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I have a Cape Goose Berry in a very large pot. Plant growing well but some leaves have white spots on them, it is not powdery mildew. Randomly spaced over leaf, underside of spot under leaf is yellow, it looks slightly like it has been eaten but no holes and for life of me cannot find an insect/bug.
07 Jan 22, (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Try looking at night time.
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
03 Sep 21, TT (USA - Zone 7a climate)
Where do i find a plant or seeds to start?
07 Sep 21, (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Internet seed selling companies.
Showing 1 - 10 of 517 comments

Ask a question or post a comment or advice about Cape Gooseberry

We're taking a break and there will be delays processing comments over the holiday season. Happy Christmas and Happy New Year!

Please provide your email address if you are hoping for a reply


All comments are reviewed before displaying on the site, so your posting will not appear immediately

Gardenate App

Put Gardenate in your pocket. Get our app for iPhone, iPad or Android to add your own plants and record your plantings and harvests

Planting Reminders

Join our 60,000+ gardeners who already use Gardenate and subscribe to the free Gardenate planting reminders email newsletter.


Home | Vegetables and herbs to plant | Climate zones | About Gardenate | Contact us | Privacy Policy

This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. Gardenate is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
We cannot help if you are overrun by giant slugs.