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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

Your comments and tips

10 Sep 17, John W (Australia - temperate climate)
Hello George Cape Gooseberries planted in the ground need little or no extra Nitrogen fertiliser otherwise they will grow too much vegetation with very little fruit. Just before or at flowering time you should add Phosphorus - I add half of the recommended amount every 2 weeks. Phosphorus increases the number of flowers. After the fruit starts to form I start adding small amounts of Potassium to the soil or watering with a liquid Potassium - the liquid Potassium is absorbed quicker. Potassium is responsible for making the fruit sweeter or with flowering plants ( roses etc.) the flowers bigger and more colourful. It is a very common mistake that Potassium makes more fruit and flowers - it's Phosphorus that does that. I have been growing Cape Gooseberries for at least 35 years this way so I know by experience and I have experimented with these fertilisers. I also grow not only the usual citrus (10 dwarf trees in pots and some in the ground), bananas, figs, but other fruit like Star Fruit, Dragon Fruit , Black Sapote and I always use the same fertilising procedure with very good results. I grow my Cape Gooseberries in the vegetable garden - 3 plants in a row with 4 x 1.8 metre stakes and thin rope wound aroud the 4 stakes to keep the plants from spreading out over the garden.
13 Sep 17, Janet (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi John, Thanks for all that info on cape gooseberries. I am amazed at how well the one plant I have grows so well but have been wondering how to support it. I will put in stakes and ropes as you suggest and apply potassium and phosphorus . I am about to establish at least two more from suckers. What an excellent berry to have fresh through the winter months! I will then, when all are fruiting, experiment with preserving. I hope I can find other fruit and vegies that grow so well here.
01 Aug 17, Carol (Australia - tropical climate)
Lack of flowers usually means the plant is short on potassium. A foliar spray every two weeks will make a huge difference. I have them growing in Australia in the wet tropics (winter 15 to 27C) now in part shade, in the summer they will be better in some shade and make sure they are moist all the time with good drainage
10 Sep 17, John (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi Carole Try Phosphorus for flowers or extra flowers and when the flowers appear then Potassium for better flowers and sweeter fruit - I have been doing it that way for 35 years with various common and odd fruit. I do this with all vegetables and fruit which form from flowers such as tomatoes, cucumbers passionfruit etc
31 Jul 17, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Search -- Full sun Shelter from winds and tolerates moderate salty marine conditions. Are frost tender and grows as an annual in colder regions. In warmer areas they will grow for several seasons producing seedlings to continue the plants. Frosts can burn the plants but will recover unless the frost was hard. Prune back after all frosts have passed. Cape Gooseberries will grow in a wide range of soils and pHs. Soil must be well draining. Plants will handle periods of drought but too much moisture could encourage fungal problems. Plant in early spring as this will help with an earlier fruit set, space 0.5-1.5 apart. In most situations Cape Gooseberries do not need any fertiliser. Unneeded fertiliser could result in lots of vegetation and little fruit. Pinch out new shoots to encourage bushy growth. Prune back hard in spring to encourage new growth for fruiting. Pests Very few problems unless the soil is too wet and causes fungal problems and rot. ------------------------------------------- if you are going to fertilise only put small amounts on. A 9L water can with a tablespoon or two of fertiliser - with a low N% with some P and K. Don't use the tomato fertiliser - far too much N. A suggestion - a little manure or compost mixed into the soil - compost or mulch around the plants will help cool the soil down in summer - also you will save water by doing this. With your high temperatures I would suggest you make a shade cover for summer - in Australia we have shade cloth - 50-70-90%. Find some cheap wood off cuts and make a frame - then nail the shade cloth to it. Or some black poly pipe about 25mm thick and make an arc over the plants. By the article the plants should only grow to a meter or so high.
16 Jul 17, Elisha (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
I have recently acquired several very healthy cape gooseberry plants that were grown about 40mins drive away. However our weather is much harsher (cold and snow several times a year). Do they stand a chance out in the weather or should I find a home for them in the greenhouse?
17 Jul 17, Chris (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
They're frost sensitive and will die over winter unless you keep them in a greenhouse.
06 Jul 17, GARY THOMPSON (South Africa - Semi-arid climate)
are gooseberry seeds for sale available, or can one simply re-plant a ripe fruit to restart new seedlings? I just happen to have discovered a few plants on the property I'm currently renting.
28 Jul 17, Berney (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
You can sow seeds from the ripe fruitm
04 Jul 17, Bea (Canada - Zone 6b Temperate Warm Summer climate)
I've been growing ground cherries for a few years in Halifax. I bought the seed from Annapolis Seed. It is a milder, paler version of cape goose berries. They are good but not as tasty as CGBs. It grows in a husk exacty as CGB but the fruit is very pale, not at all orange like CGB. This past winter I bought some CGB fruit from Pete's fruitique and kept the seed from one berry. It germinated and grew VERY well. Today, July 3, I have a ground cherry and cape gooseberry growing in pots side by side. The CGB has darker green leaves and is a larger plant. The ground cherry has lots of flowers and a few emerging husks. Haven't noticed flowers on the CGB yet. Keeping my fingers crossed they will appear soon and bear lots of fruit. As far as I'm aware, both of these plants are annuals, not perrenial. As is the Sunberry (called Wonderberry in UK). I got this seed from Annapolis Seed too. My first time growing it, but supposed to be similar to blueberries. The plant is only about a foot tall but bushy with lots and lots of flowers.
Showing 21 - 30 of 349 comments

Plant's healthy, strong, shoots can be cut from the main stem and put in a water-filled bottle until white roots start to emerge. Once the roots are about one inch, the shoots can be planted in a rich soil to grow. It is advisable to change the bottle's water daily.

- Helen

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