Growing Cape Gooseberry, also Golden Berry, Inca Berry

Physalis peruviana : Solanaceae / the nightshade family

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

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

  • S = Plant undercover in seed trays
  • T = Plant out (transplant) seedlings
  • 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

26 May 10, David Window (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Would like to contact someone SE Qld, northern NSW who is growing commercially to purchase 15 - 20 kg of berries, still in the husk, per week while in season. Thanks David Window
04 Aug 10, vicky ashenden (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
hi david did you find anyone that grows cape gooseberry or any dried ones please let me know thanks
26 Apr 11, liz (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Hi David I expect to have some vines flowering very soon which means ripe fruit in the next couple of months. let me know if you still need supplier. Liz, Byron Bay
21 Mar 14, Carlene Lillford (Australia - tropical climate)
Hi Liz I am also interested in growing gooseberries commercially on Mid North Coast NSW I have had some growing in the garden & doing well but would like more information on the possibility of growing them commercially. Can you help?
27 Sep 10, Don (USA - Zone 8b climate)
Can anyone offer advice on growing cape gooseberries on the Gulf Coast? I have seeds and I'm curious about when to plant them.
19 Nov 10, Liz (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Don, you should be able to grow cape gooseberries most of the year on the Gulf Coast. Frost or drought will affect them but otherwise they like warm, humid weather.
26 Oct 10, Jon (Australia - temperate climate)
I planted some seeds in a mini hothouse three weeks ago and they are yet to germinate. Are they slow or do I have a dud seed packet?
04 Jan 11, Melody (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I live in Queensland- Brisbane northside and would like to get hold of some seeds or a seedling. Does anyone know where I can locate some close-by?? Thanks, Mel.
11 Jan 11, jamie (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Hi there Melody, i live in petrie..and have some seedlings of the golden gooseberry.
01 Feb 11, Melody (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Great, Jamie am I able to have some please?! If so where from in Petrie? I remember eating these on my grandparents farm in WA.
Showing 1 - 10 of 545 comments

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.

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