Winterize Physalis plants and cut properly

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Winterize Physalis plants and cut properly: properly

Physalis plants are native to the Andes and are here perennial plants, but not frost hardy and thus found in temperate climate only as annuals. With appropriate hibernation, it is also possible in the local climes to preserve the physalis. How this works and what role the blend plays here, we reveal here.


If the Physalis plants, also known as Andean berries or Cape gooseberries, are cultivated in pots, hibernation is relatively easy. In principle, it is only necessary to bring the physalis into the house when the outside temperatures drop below 12-15° C.
Of course, successful wintering requires more than just setting it in a safe area.


To ensure that the Physalis plant can optimally prepare for the dormancy during the winter, appropriate measures must be taken in advance. These include:
  • Harvest ripe fruits
  • Gradual reduction in pouring from September, but never allow to dry out
  • Complete fertilization at the beginning of September
  • Intersect as needed
Tip: Immature, still green berries can and should be left on the plant. They are still ripening on the plant. If, on the other hand, they are harvested immature, maturation no longer takes place.


Cut physalis properly and overwinter

The Physalis plant also needs as much light as possible in the winter quarter, so that no Vergeilungstriebe can form. These arise when the plants are too warm and dark at the same time. The shoots are weak and usually rarely leafy. They serve to counteract the light and thus provide sufficient synthesis performance. If they occur, the plant must either be made lighter or cooler. The twisted shoots can be cut off.
To make sure that it does not get that far, the following points have to be taken into consideration in the winter location:
  • Keep temperatures between 12 and 15° C
  • Physalis plants should be as bright as possible, if necessary use a planting lamp by the hour
  • Protect plants from drafts

to water

Even if the amount of water poured should be reduced as early as September, so that the Physalis plants can prepare for hibernation, the substrate and root ball should not dry out. It is therefore important to regularly check the moisture content of the soil. If the uppermost layer has dried off, it should and should be watered.
However, during wintering, it is better to administer only small amounts of water at a time, rather than pouring out as in the growth phase. Therefore, the condition of the soil should be checked more often to prevent it from drying out. It is also important that no cold water is used to water the Physalis plants. It should also be at room temperature, so do not be cooler than 12° C.

Winter protection outdoors

In regions with very mild winters, the Physalis plants may remain outdoors if adequately protected. Hibernation is more difficult then. Necessary in these cases are:
  • Reduction of watering and renouncement of fertilization from September
  • Removal of damaged or dead plant parts
  • Harvest the plant and leave no berries on the plant
  • Apply mulch, brushwood and / or straw as protection for the roots
  • Wrap perennial with garden fleece to protect leaves and shoots from frost
  • Water in dry winters on frost-free days
The problem with this type of hibernation is that while the plant needs to be protected, it also needs light and water at the same time. Although a cover reduces the risk of frost damage, but also the incidence of light. If you do not always want to protect yourself and remove it on sunny, warm days, the Physalis plants will better winter in the house.


Cuts and hibernation - these care measures seem to have nothing in common at first glance. In fact, there are two main reasons for blending the Physalis plants before and even in hibernation:

1. The plants are often too large to be hibernated easily in the house without waste. Shortening shoots makes hibernation easier or even possible.

2. If the crop is blended, forces are saved. The shoots do not need to be stored and preserved. The lower watering and the lack of fertilizer therefore do not lead to a limited supply of Physalis.

Nevertheless, it should be mentioned that the Physalis plants do not necessarily have to be blended.As alternatives, it is also advisable to let the plants hibernate in a nursery or to make them a bit lighter and warmer, so that more can be poured and fertilizer can start again earlier.

Thin out

Cut physalis properly and overwinter

An important care measure in the Physalis plants is the regular Auslichten. Here only disturbing shoots are removed, which cross over, grow too close to each other and carry neither flowers nor fruits. In this way, fruiting shoots get more light and air, the risk of disease and even a difficult-to-control pest infestation is reduced.
Please note the following points:
  • Use clean cutting tool
  • Disinfect scissors or blades before and after use
  • Exposing as often as possible and in short intervals, so that the measure is gentle on the crop
Can be cut so the whole year and as needed. This also applies to the time of wintering.

horny urges

As already mentioned, Geiltriebe form when the Physalis plants are warm but at the same time too dark. The shoots strive for the light, but are weak and leafy. If therefore very long and usually pale colored shoots fail, a change of the location or the conditions on the site must be made. If it is not possible to lower the temperature, the location must be made lighter. Since especially the natural incidence of light in winter is not always sufficient, can be created here with planting lamps remedy.
In terms of blending, the Geiltriebe are no obstacle. They are easy to identify and remove. It is important that the trimming of the light-seeking shoots does not solve the cause of their formation. If they are only removed, as long as new Geiltriebe follow until the care conditions are changed or the plant has exhausted its powers.

radical waste

If the Physalis plants are too big for hibernation in the house, we recommend a more radical blend, a radical blend. For this, the height of the plant is reduced by a third to half. For a visually beautiful image, a main shoot can be left a little longer than the surrounding shoots.
The measure can be carried out particularly gently from autumn to winter.

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