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Many know the small orange fruit of the Andean berry (Physalis peruviana), which are hidden in translucent lantern shells, from the supermarket. Here they are next to other exotic fruits, which were harvested in all countries. You can also plant the perennial in your own garden and look forward to your own harvest year after year. The aroma of the orange-yellow, on the bush matured fruits reminiscent of a mixture of pineapple, passion fruit and gooseberry and is not compared to the purchased, usually too early picked Andean berries.
Andean berries (Physalis peruviana) as well as tomatoes originate from South America and belong to the heat-loving nightshade family. Compared to tomatoes, they need much less care, pests and diseases rarely occur and the breaking out of side shoots is eliminated. However, the golden yellow cherries ripen even later than tomatoes - usually the harvest does not begin until the beginning of September.
The right harvest time
The perfect time to harvest your Andean berries is best recognized by the lantern-shaped envelopes surrounding the fruits. If it turns golden brown and dries parchment-like, the berries are ripe inside. The more crumbly the shell becomes, the faster you should harvest your fruits. The berries should be orange yellow to orange red. The fruits hardly ripen after harvesting and then do not quite have the aroma, as if they had matured in the heat. This is also the reason why physalis fruits from the supermarket often taste a bit sour. Green harvested fruits should not be consumed for another reason either: as the plant belongs to the nightshade family, it can cause poisoning.
When the berries are ripe you can simply pick them from the shrub. This works best with the case - and looks even prettier in the fruit basket. Before consumption, the case must be removed. Do not be surprised if the fruit is sticky inside. That's perfectly normal. However, as this secreted by the plant, sticky substance sometimes tastes slightly bitter, you should prefer to wash the berries before eating.
In the wine-growing climate you can harvest until the end of October continuously. In less favorable locations, the race against time begins now: Andden berries often do not ripen in autumn and the plants can freeze to death. Even a light night frost prepares the harvest fun quickly. Provide fleece or foil in good time and cover the bed with it as the night temperatures approach the zero-degree mark. Under this protection, the fruits mature much safer.
Andean berries bear small yellow-black flowers. In the decorative lantern-shaped cases cherry-sized, orange-colored fruits ripen in autumn
Hibernate hibernation berries
If the plants are kept frost-free, the fruit will ripen sooner next year. Dig up the strongest specimens and place the root balls in large pots. Then cut back the branches vigorously and place the plants in the cool greenhouse or in a bright, five to ten degree, bright room. Keep the soil moderately moist, pour more frequently in the spring and occasionally add liquid fertilizer to the irrigation water. From the middle of May plant the maple again.
Before the wintering of the Andean berry, the shoots of potted plants are reduced by one to two thirds
Tip: If you prefer new seed plants in March and overwinter them as described above, you can harvest ripe, aromatic fruits from August onwards.