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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 in same bed): Will happily grow in a flower border
  • Cape Gooseberry plant
    Cape Gooseberry plant
  • Flowers
    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

22 Mar 17, Peter Lake (Australia - temperate climate)
I have recently purchased and potted up a Cape Gooseberry. It was a bit straggly so I trimmed it back a bit. I have used a good quality potting mix and have kept the water up to the plant. Having done all this the plant is now wilting as if there is too much moisture in the pot. I have kept the pot out of the sun as it has been very hot in Melbourne and the plant was starting to frizzle a bit. Any ideas as to the wilting? I am thinking I might transplant into a garden bed. Do you think this is necessary or should I just leave it. Regards Peter Lake
13 Mar 17, Anton Morrison (Australia - temperate climate)
I have grown cape gooseberry from seeds and have just recently started repotting them. With some of the plants there are obviously more than one plant in them. Should I cut back all but the smallest or will they just carry on regardless? Thanks in advance. A.
14 Mar 17, Ken (Australia - temperate climate)
Normally you would select the strongest plant and cut off or remove the others. This would give the remaining plant the best chance of developing. Cape gooseberies are frost tender and are normally treated as an annual but will cary over in areas with mild winters. You could pot them on and keep them in a protected area until the spring before planting out if you need to.
25 Feb 17, Dogmama (USA - Zone 5a climate)
Can golden berries be grown in Wisconsin?
26 Feb 17, John (Australia - temperate climate)
I am in southern Australia but my research tells me that you could grow them in 5a. you would need to get the seedlings started inside in trays or pots in April for transplanting outside in June. They need 3-4 months to harvest so would be harvestable in September. I trust your season is long enough for this. All the best.
10 Feb 17, Greg (Canada - Zone 7b Mild Temperate climate)
Feb.10, 2017 It would be much appreciated if someone could advise where to purchase seedlings. Thank you, Greg
14 Feb 17, Greg (Canada - Zone 7b Mild Temperate climate)
Hello John from Australia, Thank you kindly for letting me know that Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds in the United States lists seeds foe Golden Berries. I will try to make an order right away. Lets hope they have the seeds and they could mail them to Canada. Unfortunately, many other internet based suppliers (of various items) do not ship to Canada (and this is not something new), they do this because they experience some kind of "red tape" formalities. Thank you John
12 Feb 17, John (Australia - temperate climate)
Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds in the United States lists them. They are very easy to grow from seed, and much cheaper than plants. All the best.
03 Feb 17, Gayle (Australia - tropical climate)
Will gooseberry bushes grow in Rockhampton Central Queensland and can I buy from you (We don't sell plants - Gardenate)
05 Feb 17, John (Australia - temperate climate)
Look up seed catalogues on the net. They are easy to grow from seed.
Showing 1 - 10 of 288 comments

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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. GardenGrow is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
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