Physalis edulis / Cape Gooseberry / Tasty fruits / Seeds

(Code: KN_021)
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Physalis edulis / Cape Gooseberry / Tasty fruits / Seeds

Cape Gooseberries are delicious sweet fruits, ripening in late summer in abundance, from easy to grow plants.  These are well worth the effort of growing from seed, and grow in a similar manner to outdoor tomatoes, coming from the same plant family.  Cape Gooseberry bushes grow to a height of about 1m.  They flower in midsummer followed by bright orange fruits in late summer.  The fruits have a paper-like covering and can be stored for several weeks.

Cape Gooseberries grow best in a sunny to part shaded, sheltered location in well drained and not too fertile ground.  They may need staking in less sheltered gardens.  Plants are naturally perennial and live for many years in Mediterranean and warmer UK gardens, but are best grown as annuals in most UK gardens.  They grow well in open ground and containers.

Pack of approx 200 seeds.  Sow the seeds in spring, for planting out after the last frost.  Sowing instructions and a colour photo are printed on the seed packet.

See how your seeds are packed.

Hardiness Half hardy perennial - mostly grown as an annual (RHS Hardiness H3)
Height 90 - 120cm
Spread 60cm
Conditions  Sun to part shade and not-too-rich well drained soil

Sow in spring, from February to early May, in a tray or small pots of compost.  Cover lightly with compost and keep indoors or in a greenhouse and germination takes 1-3 weeks.  Transplant seedlings into small pots and then outside after the risk of frost has past.  

Grow & Harvest

Pinch off the growing tip of each seedling once established, as this encourages a bushier plant.  Stake plants in more exposed locations, as needed.  Plants are self-pollinating, but if you are growing in an enclosed greenhouse, gently shake the flowers to help fruits to form.  Fruits ripen after flowering from green to yellow to orange, when they become edible.   They store well for several weeks in a warm dry place with their paper bracts still covering them.  Remove plants after fruiting and sow again in spring.