Physalis was originally discovered and named in Peru and was known to the Incas. A herbaceous perennial which grows wild in the Andes. Its name originated in Australia after its journey from South Africa to the Cape of Good Hope even though it is not a native to the Cape.
Grows and fruits well in a pot or may be used as a border plant where the soft grey-green foliage can be used to offset other species. Great border filler, where the fruit can be accessed and freely eaten.
Vitamins A, C & B, high in protein and rich in iron.
How to Eat
Great eaten fresh, dipped in melted chocolate or fondant icing. Use to decorate cheesecakes, pavlovas and gateaux. Cook and put in pies or make into jam or jelly. Compliments seafood, when made into a sauce, as it has a beautiful crisp flavour.
300 fruits a year.
Generic Fruiting Time
Shelter from winds and tolerates moderate salty marine conditions.
Are frost tender and grows as an annual in colder regions. In warmer areas they will grow for several seasons producing seedlings to continue the plants. Frosts can burn the plants but will recover unless the frost was hard. Prune back after all frosts have passed.
Cape Gooseberries will grow in a wide range of soils and pHs. Soil must be well draining. Plants will handle periods of drought but too much moisture could encourage fungal problems.
Plant in early spring as this will help with an earlier fruit set, space 0.5-1.5 apart.
In most situations Cape Gooseberries do not need any fertiliser. Unneeded fertiliser could result in lots of vegetation and little fruit.
Pinch out new shoots to encourage bushy growth. Prune back hard in spring to encourage new growth for fruiting.
Very few problems unless the soil is too wet and causes fungal problems and rot.