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Physalis Little Lanterns

Looking through the seed catalogue that arrived today I was attracted to growing physalis this year - I think it is also called cape gooseberry.

Has anyone attempted growing this fruit and found any pitfalls?  I don't have a greenhouse so is it possible to grow outside in my allotment?



  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 26,985

    I was given 3 plants last year. the fruits fell off every time they they nearly got ripe. It may not have been the plants' fault

    I wouldn't have grown them if I hadn't been given them, I don't like them much

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • Forester2Forester2 Posts: 1,477

    That doesn't sound too good Nut - Perhaps they got bad vibes off you as you don't like them very much.  I'll wait to see if anyone else has grown them first before ditching the idea.  Thanks.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 26,985

     They may indeed have got the bad vibes Forester. I may give them off strongly at times. Ask any houseplantimage

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • chickychicky Posts: 10,325

    I have had a few that come with collections of "free" perennials.  I have killed them every time - even though the rest of the collection has come through.  Maybe if I'd bought a plant they would have been more successful.  Don't think I am giving off bad vibes ...... but on the other hand ......

  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 20,963

    They like a hot summer to ripen properly. My daughter grew them and they were quite vigorous but she lives in south west France.

    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • I've not had too much luck with them but the stock i got was from a pound shop so that might be why, I've seen them growing in the Black Swan art center quadrangle in the middle of Newcastle upon Tyne, they seem to like it there and look really amazing on mass. Perhaps it is the reflected heat from the large sand stones around them the brick wall behind or the fact that they back onto a pottery studio and the kiln might kick out the heat and help the cause.

  • Forester2Forester2 Posts: 1,477

    Thanks for all your replies.  I'm getting the impression that without a guaranteed hot summer it probably won't be worth the effort. 

  • We'll to be fair we grew some last year ( South coast of England) the seeds were bought the year before from a garden centre when they sell off the seasons seeds for 50p so many germinated, I took some to the allotment, it does tend to be dry there and did not do well but we also put some in a large pot and grew them in the garden and they seemed to be fine, had quite a few fruits that my wife enjoyed, seeds were started in the greenhouse, don't give up! They don't take up much room or space and it's always worth trying image

  • I grow Physalis franchetti Gnome on a north facing wall (our house!) in East Anglia and it has the red fruits. It is better to get a plant and not seed, because it can take a number of years to reach fruit bearing age.

    Gnome is one of the varieties that is shorter and less invasive than straight Physalis franchetti.

  • Just for interest poundland are currently selling physalis Chinese lantern bulbs.

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