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Growing Cape Gooseberry, also Golden Berry, Inca Berry

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
                  P P P

(Best months for growing Cape Gooseberry in New Zealand - cool/mountain regions)

P = Plant in the garden.

  • Easy to grow. Sow in garden. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 50°F and 77°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 20 inches apart
  • Harvest in 14-16 weeks.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Will happily grow in a flower border
  • Cape Gooseberry plant
    Cape Gooseberry plant
  • Flowers
  • unripe fruit
    unripe fruit

A straggling bush up to one metre tall that bears yellow fruits inside a brown papery envelope. It is perennial. The cape gooseberry is related to tomatillo, ground cherry and husk tomato, all in the genus Physalis.

The Cape Gooseberry is very easy to grow and as the fruit are popular with birds and plants can be easily spread around the garden.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Cape Gooseberry

The berry is the size of a cherry tomato, is very aromatic and full of tiny seeds. They are delicious eaten fresh or can be made into jam. They can be added to salads, desserts and cooked dishes, they are delicious stewed with other fruit, especially apples. They also go well in savoury dishes with meat or seafood. Can be preserved dried.

Your comments and tips

23 May 17, Anabela C. Tortorell (USA - Zone 7b climate)
I live in Georgia, USA and returned from a visit to Portugal in January, 2017 and one of my cousins who lives in the area of Arganil (North Portugal) gave me a few very ripe Cape Gooseberries to try. I planted the very ripe fruits in some potted soil once the weather was warm enough outside and kept it moist, and sure enough I have quite a few seedlings which are ready for transplant to my garden. So buy some Gooseberries, let them ripen, plant a few crushed fruits to release the seeds and be patient. So give it a try and good luck!!
28 May 17, John (Australia - temperate climate)
Hello Anabela, It's good to hear some successes and good results from gardeners. More food bearing trees and shrubs should be planted as it is fun to just go out and pick something that you've grown yourself. Keep it up!
23 May 17, Marilize du Toit (South Africa - Semi-arid climate)
When do I prune a gooseberry bush. We live in the southern Cape so winter rainfall area. bush has just become overgrown
24 May 17, John (Australia - temperate climate)
If you get frosts in your area it would be better to prune them after frosts have finished. Cutting them back now would promote some new growth which could be damaged by frosts.
22 May 17, Wilgara (Australia - temperate climate)
At what time would you plant the seeds Johnno? I have a hot house. This plant was a gift to me and I just harvested the seeds from the last fruit which was about the size of a large pea. It is still in the pot. Many thanks. Wilgara
24 May 17, Jonno (Australia - temperate climate)
You would normally plant the seeds from August through December but you could start them in June or July in a hot house ready for a good start in spring.
13 May 17, Mary (Australia - temperate climate)
In Nov 2016 I posted that I'd bought seeds of the Johnson World Kitchen brand. I sowed them straight into the ground. I am now (in May) harvesting big cape gooseberries which are great. Very easy to grow, I use composted horse manure/kitchen scraps and they seem to love it.
02 May 17, Elizabeth Medgyesy (USA - Zone 5a climate)
My two year old Cape Gooseberry plants have big strong shoots that have tiny plants along them. I'd like to cut them and transplant them to get more of this delicious berry. Any suggestions on how and where to cut the plant and then transplant the best way?
25 Apr 17, malcolm (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Cape gooseberries. My grandfather got some from north Queensland, way back when and grew them at Sandgate, Qld., so I grew up with them. I moved from Alderley to Brighton to Runcorn and the gooseberries followed. Here at Runcorn is the only place I have not planted them but they appeared from nowhere. Easy to grow from fruit. After 2 years, a ladybird type bug eats the leaves and the plant dies, but plenty of seedlings grow.Ps. my grandfather passed away in 1977 and I'm 62, so they've been around for quite awhile.
10 May 17, Akmar (Australia - tropical climate)
Hi Malcolm. Do u care to prolong the lineage of your gooseberries? I've been actively looking for gooseberry seeds. A few days back i found one but it was a much smaller variety. U can whatsapp me on +60173080355.
Showing 1 - 10 of 309 comments

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