Has anyone grown...

Has anyone grown Physalis little lanterns?

I  heard a few weeks ago that they are easy to grow and taste really good to.

All infomation about them is welcome.

(I have googled them, i just wanted a growers opinion)  image



  • Yes they are easy to grow and hardy. They die down in winter and pop up again in the spring. Slugs love them at this stage! Are easy to propagate as they multiply by throwing suckers, shooting up from the ground around the main plant! The fruit when ripe, turns orange and is sour. Chefs serve them as decor (dipped in chocolate) on desserts. The fruits, encased in orange "lanterns" make pretty dried decorations. So have a go and enjoy.

  • granmagranma Posts: 1,584

    I have grown these for several years and have usualy Harvested a good crop I find the best way is  growing  them as outside tomato's    but in the ground and not pots as it was first suggested to me.

    Sow the seed inside ,same as tomato's ( germination is not long). prick out etc . I plant out when weather is warming up and after all signs of a frost . (  I  live in s. yorkshire , I plant out from June onwards )  .Stake the plants well for support. They get thick branchlike stems but snap easily, A beautiful yellow flower turns into a cherry type fruit with a papery  calyx . Similar to chinese lanterns.But dont get them mixed up . The fruits  last a long time when picked and are good for jams and pies. a friend  of mine dipps the berry in melted choc for christmas tasties! They are good to eat fresh too!

    Sadly this year there has not been enough sun so I have had a failed crop .

    Another unusual fruit / veg ? to grow is the Tomatillo. These grow the same , you can get a purple one too. Raw they are a refreshing fruit and taste a bit like rubarb but not sour  or dry .

    Hope this helps. 


  • Thank you for your help, im definitely going to grow them next year. image 


  • LilylouiseLilylouise Posts: 1,014

    I grow Cape Gooseberries,too - this year only 3 fruits when usually the plants are laden image I sow seeds each Spring image

    Pam LL x

  • granmagranma Posts: 1,584

    Good , i'm sure you will enjoy them, leave them on the plant long as you can take them off when the husks are papery.Give them a reguler feed of tomato food too .

    Try the tomatillo too these are of the same family but a lot sturdier- they still need staking. when they are ready they split the outer casing and are a bit sticky .wash this off. they get to golf ball size. They are used in fruit salads and also a mexican dish  as a main meal . Sorry I can't remember what it is called but if you google it in I'm sure you can pull it up.

  • Thank you i will, where do you get your tomatillo seeds from?

  • granmagranma Posts: 1,584

    Right now I cannot tell you the exact company as I deal with at least halk a dozen . But I will check through them and get back to you shortly. Wont be long.

  • Suttons have the seeds for £1.85p. Good luck.

  • I grew 5 plants in the greenhouse for the first time this year. I had LOADS of fruit - too many and the plants are very straggly and took up a huge amount of space image I did try making jam with them, but it wasn't very successful. Eating them raw is delicious tho' and also, as said previously adding them to crumbles etc. I'm going to try freezing what is left. Can't wait to get the plants out of the greenhouse as they have made a big mess image image

  • Thank you for your help image.

  • I have growen them from seed and am doing so now.image

  • granmagranma Posts: 1,584

    Hi  I must first apologise  for not getting back to you . I do end up getting them from several differant companies. This year I got them from Suttons,  I had them from Thompson and Morgan  2010  and there was sufficient to last several years. But the amount does vary . Sometimes I save my own seed because I cannot always drop on the purple ones. Next year I will put it in this forum which companies have them to offer.

    sorry once agaion for the delay.

  • granmagranma Posts: 1,584

    To  Daisy Cottage, I have frozen them too  and used them in fruit crumbles . I thaw them out first as they hold a lot of water. I use the remaining fruit after  I have strained them . 

    But I also add a little sugar to them and use as stewed fruit too. This way the juice doesnt get wasted!- they go well with soaked apricots. But its all about experimenting !

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