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 10°C and 25°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: 100 - 150 cm 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

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?
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.
31 Aug 22, Chris (USA - Zone 8b climate)
Where do you have it in the house? Is it near a window or is it in a sunroom or what? That sounds cool are you eating those berries yet bud?
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.
30 Aug 20, Anna (Canada - Zone 5a Temperate Warm Summer climate)
Golden Berry | Physalis Is this plant will survive in Canadain winter (Place called Mississauga, ON, also called GTA (Greater Toronto Area)) if I kept in my garden & grow up again next March. I belief it perennial . Please confirm me.
31 Aug 20, Anon (USA - Zone 3b climate)
I'd suggest you go to the climate zone (blue tab near top of the page) and work out your Canadian climate zone or the equivalent in USA. Then look up the info you want. Can't find it then google it.
31 Jul 20, (USA - Zone 4a climate)
We live just outside Portland Or. does anyone know what client zone that is? Gardenate reply - Have you checked here /www.gardenate.com/zones/#zone-US ?
Showing 1 - 10 of 43 comments

I'd suggest you go to the climate zone (blue tab near top of the page) and work out your Canadian climate zone or the equivalent in USA. Then look up the info you want. Can't find it then google it.

- Anon

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