Ground Cherry Growing Guide
Various Physalis species
Crop Rotation Group
Solanaceae (Potato and tomato family) ●
Well-drained soil enriched with plenty of compost.
Drench with a liquid organic fertilizer when plants begin to bloom heavily in summer.
Single Plants: 1' 11" (60cm) each way (minimum)
Rows: 1' 7" (50cm) with 2' 11" (90cm) row gap (minimum)
Sow and Plant
Start seeds indoors in spring, 4 weeks before your last frost, and expect seeds to germinate after 5 to 7 days. Set plants out after the soil warms when they are 5 to 6 weeks old. Ground cherries are semi-tropical plants that grow best under warm conditions, so don’t rush to get an early start. Use row covers (garden fleece) to protect young plants from periods of chilly weather, and grow in a greenhouse or hoop house in cooler areas.
Our Garden Planner can produce a personalized calendar of when to sow, plant and harvest for your area.
Well-grown ground cherries can produce more than 100 fruits per plant. Provide tomato cages or other supports to help provide stability for the big, bushy plants.
Ground cherries grow to the size of marbles, and develop their fruity, pineapple-like flavors when the fruits ripen to yellow. Gather ripe fruits in dry weather, remove the papery husks, and wash with cool water to remove the sticky coating on the fruits. Pat dry and store in the refrigerator up to a week.
Ground cherries have few pest problems, but can be bothered by the same insects that injure potatoes and tomatoes. Ground cherries often delay bearing until the days become short in late summer.
Planting and Harvesting Calendar
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Pests which Affect Ground Cherry