Physalis plants are mainly grown in the garden for their attractive lantern shaped seeds.
These can be dried out and used as part of floral arrangements. Physalis are hardy perennials and range in height from 30 cm to 1.2 m.
They bloom in the summer and early autumn.
Some of the common names for Physalis include Chinese Lanterns, Winter cherry, Husk tomato and Cape Gooseberry.
Physalis alkekengi by candiru.
The seeds of Physalis can be sown outdoors on the soil surface in spring or summer. It is best to grow them in an ordinary soil that has good drainage and is sunny or partially shaded.
You can start off Chinese lanterns by sowing the seeds indoors first, do this at the start of spring. It should take about two to four weeks to germinate at 21 to 25 degrees centigrade in the light. Once growing transplant into the garden about 30cm apart (small Physalis species) to 60 to 90 cm (larger varieties).
When growing it is best to regularly water Chinese Lanterns, Cape Gooseberry, and other Physalis. The stems should be cut back to ground level in the autumn. If you want more plants then propagate by division in the first month of spring.
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