Andean berry, Physalis peruviana - care tips

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The Andean berry is one of the nightshade family. In a natural garden design, the exotic greenhouse becomes a real eye-catcher. Planted together with autumn blossoms like asters, the result is a harmonious interplay of colors. The healthy fruits of the Physalis peruviana are eaten raw or used as garnish for desserts and cocktails. Since they are relatively easy to cultivate and in the trade are quite expensive, more and more hobby gardeners are trying to grow the Andean berry.
Care of the Andean berry
The cultivation of Cape gooseberries is similar to that of tomatoes. The plants need a lot of sun, water, hardly any fertilizer and do not have to be cut back. Even a vote is not necessary.
site conditions
The Andean berry is a true sun child. Its fruits ripen particularly well in sunny places. It can be cultivated both in the tub and in the garden. If the nightshade plant is too dark, the plant avenges itself with fewer flowers and fruits.

  • warm location with direct sunlight
  • sheltered place
soil conditions
The substrate should be loose, nutrient poor, calcareous or enriched with some humus. As Andean berries spread bush-like, it makes sense to plant the Physalis at a distance of at least 60 centimeters.
Pouring and fertilizing
The exotic plants do not like too dry and too wet feet. Nevertheless, the growth depends on the casting behavior. If the Physalis peruviana is poured a lot, it bears many fruits. Overwatering should be avoided. If the plant is cultivated in a bucket, it needs more water.
  • normal water requirement for outdoor plants
  • cultivated in a bucket it needs a lot of water
  • do not let it dry out
The plants usually come without additional fertilizer, since they provide themselves.
  • in the case of fertilizer surplus, the plant reacts with strong growth of the shoots
  • The result is little flowers and therefore hardly fruits
  • Andean berries in pots, on the other hand, require fertilizer every four weeks during the growth phase
To cut
A cut is useful only for multi-year culture. The exotic plant does not have to be cut or spiked. Otherwise:
  • the Cape Gooseberry is cut back in spring
  • cut to half or one third of the planting height
  • Vomiting is not recommended
Propagation from seeds
  • Sowing already in February
  • Place seeds on sprouting soil and cover with a little soil
  • Keep it evenly moist, not wet
  • set bright and warm at 25° C
  • optimal is a mini greenhouse
  • avoid direct sunlight
  • ventilate regularly
  • Germination time about a week
  • If there are first leaves after cotyledons, they can be piqued
  • Shortening the roots promotes branching
Tip: If you do not want to pick the seeds individually out of the fruit with the toothpick, simply brush the pulp on the kitchen crepe and let it dry. Then pick up the seeds and plant.
Propagation by cuttings
  • In autumn, cut 10 cm long runner and place in pots
  • if the cuttings go awry through unfavorable winter quarters, possibly cut new offshoots in February
  • place lower third in potting soil
  • Keep the substrate constantly moist
  • after the "icy saints" in the field or put the bucket
Since the physalis is not hardy, it should move to a winter quarters before the first frosts. Greenhouse or conservatory are ideal locations. Unripe fruits develop further and can be harvested in winter. If you cultivate the Andean berry in the field, you should cut it back and repot it into pots.
  • as an evergreen, it needs a bright location
  • Wintering cool, but not cold
  • ideal temperature is 5 to 10° C
  • rarely pour, do not allow to dry out
Tip: In case of space problems simply cut cuttings in the autumn and overwinter.
Diseases and pests
Diseases are of no importance to the Andean berry. Due to a lot of wetness, however, the gray mold blight (Botrytis) can occur. A sufficient planting distance eliminates the problem. Among the pests are white flies and aphids. These are easily controlled by biological means.
frequently asked Questions
  • Are the berries of the physalis poisonous or edible? - some species like the lantern flower (Physalis alkekengi) are poisonous. Varieties such as Physalis peruviana and Physalis pruinosa (Erdkirsche) are edible and extremely tasty.
  • Are the fruits of the Andean berry ripening? - No, because they are among the non-climacteric (non-ripening) fruits.
  • Which planting partners are suitable for the Cape Gooseberry? - Potatoes, tomatoes, aubergines and peppers are not recommended. However, the exotic plant tolerates salad and beans.Among the ornamental plants, the plant prefers asters, chrysanthemums or bluebells as a plant partner.
Tips for quicks
  • Andean berry, also called cape gooseberry, bladder cherry or lantern flower
  • from the family Solanaceae family
  • 90 known species worldwide
  • usually annual plant
  • Physalis peruviana is edible
  • Location: full sun, bright, sheltered from the wind
  • loosely nutrient-poor soil, enrich with humus
  • as outdoor plant normal water requirement
  • Cultivated in pots, the Andean berry needs a lot of water
  • do not allow to dry out and do not keep too moist
  • no additional fertilizer necessary as self-sufficient
  • Annual plants do not require pruning
  • Cut perennial plants to half or one third of the planting height
  • go out unnecessarily
  • Propagation from seeds and cuttings possible
  • Hibernation: cool, bright, at 5 to 10° C
  • Pests: White flies and aphids
  • Diseases: sometimes gray mold
Worth knowing about the Andean berry shortly
The Andean berry is usually perennial, but is grown here usually year old. It's just not frost resistant. The plants require a lot of space, grow very large. The shoots break off easily. You should definitely tie them. The plant is pulled multiphonous, it must be nice bushy. The fruits need a long maturation period. In our latitudes, they often do not fully mature. But it only taste ripe berries.
  • The Andean berry likes it warm and absolutely sunny. Favorable is a wind protected Platzt, so that the long shoots do not break off.
  • The plant substrate should be neither too wet nor too dry, similar to tomatoes.
  • It can be low in nutrients and sour, neutral or chalky.
  • The planting distance should be about one meter, as the plant bushy pretty spreads.
  • It does not have to be overpowered. But the plant bale should not dry out either.
  • Cutting is only necessary when cultivating for several years. Then, in the spring, you cut neatly back to 1/3 to ½.
  • Diseases are barely known. White pests always appear as pests.
The plants are very sensitive to frost. They survive no sub-zero temperatures. You can also overwinter the physalis, they are actually perennial plants. The hibernation must be bright and cool, but not cold. The best temperatures are around 15° C.

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