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
    S                  
        T              
        P              

(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

31 Oct 22, Jo-Anne Rossouw (South Africa - Humid sub-tropical climate)
Planted seeds from Cape gooseberries which grew immediately. Now it looks like long spear zigzac on sides leaves and have clusters of red dots all over. What is that? Leaves are also turning redish on the ends. Is something wrong? Is it even gooseberries or am i pampering weeds?? Not sure about the red cluster of dots.
09 Nov 22, Aleta Baron (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
This year I sowed mine in pots. Last summer was too cold. My thinking is it is too cold yet with the red on leaves. Sow in pots and you will know exactly.
27 Oct 22, Fawn E Rosenberg (USA - Zone 6b climate)
I have 6-8 inch cape gooseberry plants in a pot, which were started from seed during the summer. I brought them inside since we are expecting our first frost tomorrow. What can I do to keep them thriving through our upcoming harsh winter? And how long until they will bear fruit? Thank you!
30 Oct 22, Anonymous (USA - Zone 6b climate)
They are a spring summer crop - not something you grow through winter.
01 Oct 22, Sue (Australia - temperate climate)
My gooseberries have been growing in a pot since autumn and have fruited now. Can I transplant them now in spring or should I wait for cooler weather?
03 Oct 22, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Should be ok - just keep all the soil around the roots.
15 Aug 22, Anna (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
In Sydney my cape gooseberries got black when they were grumpy about inconsistent watering, esp if the weather was very hot.
14 Aug 22, Anna (South Africa - Semi-arid climate)
Last season our gooseberries suffered a lot from the potato beetle. What biological / organic solutions are there for the effective control or even prevention thereof? If no effective biological solution exists, are there any chemical pesticides that have been tested with cape gooseberries and are recommended with pre-harvest intervals defined? Kindly let me know.
12 Aug 22, (Canada - Zone 7a Mild Temperate climate)
I don’t have a papery husk but green and brown serrated ‘things’ after flowering. When I open the brown ones they look like seed pods. What to do?
05 Aug 22, Marijke Warners (Canada - Zone 6b Temperate Warm Summer climate)
Some of the flowers have turned into green spiky husks, then turned a dark brown/black. Is this normal?
Showing 1 - 10 of 540 comments

Hello. I need a few information regarding something I have no knowledge. I've been asked to write a report on Cape Gooseberries (golden berries) and regular Gooseberry plant, how they differ from each other, and whether or not they're compatible with each other; as in if these two plants can be grown side by side. Now as I have zero idea on gardening, I'm having to fully rely on the internet. I've found most of what I need to know. Except for if these two plants can be grown in close proximity in a garden. Can someone kindly provide me with a detailed answer to this?

- Mati

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