Keep your garden growing - see what to plant right now

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
    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

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.
17 Apr 17, Diane (Australia - temperate climate)
I gave my father 3 Cape Gooseberry seedlings for his 90th birthday on 13th April. He lives and works on a farm in the Hunter Valley, NSW growing oranges commercially. In the Winter they get frosts and the summer it is very hot. When would be the best time to plant the seedlings and where? In the meantime does he keep them protected for the winter and where? How much water do they need? 50 years ago he had a Cape Gooseberry bush growing next to the house and it had fruit on it for many years. He can't remember how to look after it and neither can I as I was too young, but I do remember how nice they were to eat and mum made beautiful jam from them. Thank you for any advice.
13 Apr 17, Rosemary (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Where can I buy cape gooseberry seeds. I have rung Yates and Diggers but no success. I live in s aus. Thank you
15 Apr 17, Caroline Johnson (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Hi Rosemary, I bought two cape gooseberries only a few months ago and planted them in my n. facing Adelaide Hills food garden. They have grown like crazy and are loaded with fruit...trouble is I just cannot remember where I got them...but I buy seedlings at Heynes Norwood, or Crafers garden centre sometimes and only once recently at Cleland nursery in Stirling. they are as tall and wider than staked tomatoe bushes with a fruit for every leaf!
14 Apr 17, Ken (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Look online for The Seed Collection. Green Harvest and Eden Seeds. They all have it along with lots of other fascinating seeds.
04 Apr 17, Arlene Davis (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
The leaves of my cape gooseberry plant has white spots and is turning brown. The pod has black - looks like fungal growth inside. Is there a home remedy for this and can the fruit be eaten?
05 Apr 17, John (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Sounds very much like a fungal problem to me. Many organic gardeners use a 10% milk solution in water to control mildew. You could give this a try as a first resort. Using a copper based spray is also okay. To prevent fungal problems plants need good air circulation particularly in humid areas. If your plant is dense it may be a good idea to thin it out a bit, cape gooseberries are normally treated as an annual so save some seeds and plant them in the spring in a sunny, airy spot. Trust this helps.
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
23 Mar 17, Jonno (Australia - temperate climate)
Cape gooseberries are normally treated as an annual. The cooler nights and mornings are probably contibuting to its sad appearance. It may still survive in a sheltered spot. Another alternative would be to buy some seed and germinaate them inside. Grow them on in individual pots ready for planting out in spring. That would get them established for a good season ahead.
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.
Showing 1 - 10 of 299 comments

Post a question, comment or tip about Cape Gooseberry

Please provide your email address if you are hoping for a reply


All comments are reviewed before displaying on the site, so your posting will not appear immediately

Gardenate App

Buy the app for iPhone/iPod, iPad or Android and support GardenGrow

Planting reminders

Join 30,000+ gardeners who rely on GardenGrow. Subscribe to our free planting reminders email newsletter


Home | Vegetables and herbs to plant | Climate zones | About GardenGrow | Contact us | Privacy Policy

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.
We cannot help if you are overrun by giant slugs.