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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

18 Jan 18, Stephanie Meggitt (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
We have an approx 12 month old cape gooseberry that has fruited really well. Looks like it is ready to be pruned now. Is it worth taking cuttings (would like a couple more bushes) and would I just put them in water till they shoot or is more required. Thanks
19 Jan 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Give it a try - put about 8-10" of the vine in the water. Change the water each 3 days - it might take 2-4 weeks for roots to shoot. I'm doing Malabar Spinach at the moment.
06 Jan 18, some one (Australia - temperate climate)
How long did u have to wait before taking cuttings. Mine are about 60cm high and just finished fruiting. But also from the mane stem only has 2 shoots about 40cm high
30 Dec 17, Jason (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
My cape gooseberry has Black leaves all over and on the vey top they are green . Its currently fruiting seems to be growing well. Has direct sun light all day long .
29 Dec 17, Denise Gravatt (Australia - temperate climate)
Bushes growing well, replanted them 2 years ago in same garden. Plenty of foliage, healthy, but no fruit. Venus Bay, Victoria, Australia. Would appreciate your comments please
30 Dec 17, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Soil: The cape gooseberry will grow in any well drained soil but does best on sandy to gravelly loam. Very good crops are obtained on rather poor sandy ground. Irrigation: The plant needs consistent watering to set a good fruit crop, but can't take "wet feet". Sounds like Brad has it pretty much right - mulch and watering - not too much water thought - depends on how hot it is.
28 Dec 17, Brad (Australia - temperate climate)
Have a cape gooseberry going on 3 summers now. Not much fruit in first year, bucket load in 2nd summer, now bucket loads in 3rd summer. Red spider mites would attack it from about March through to start of winter, but we just cut it back to about 20cm from base and the spider mites disappear heading into the winter. Noticed about a month ago after the hot weather hit, that alot of new flowers would just fall off at the slightest touch. Put this down to lack of water, so we placed sugar cane mulch to about 6 inches thick and out to a radius of about a meter, then stretched shade cloth over the mulch and pegged down (to keep the blackbirds from destroying the mulch). Under the mulch cover we also placed weaper hose and had this going for a few hours each day, and problem soon resolved with loads more flowers and setting fruit.
15 Dec 17, michelle (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi Trish; about your Cape Gooseberry fruit being attacked by 'borers', maybe it;s earwigs. The larvae do that to rose buds, maybe it's the same for the C.G fruit.
03 Dec 17, Des Harvey (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
My Capegooseberry is planted in a lge pot and was planted in fruit / vge mix. The plant has a good crop of fruit but appears to be yellowing. could i be giving it too much water or should i give it some fertiliser and if so what ???? Many thanks DES HARVEY
01 Dec 17, Collins Kiprop (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
I've soon realized my Cape Gooseberry stem have become fragile. Whenever I turn the branch or stem it tend to damage yet there is little water and manure in the soil. What mineral or deficiency is my Gooseberry suffering from?
Showing 1 - 10 of 358 comments

Try spring and summer I read.

- Mike

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