Physalis peruviana, also referred to as cape gooseberry and golden berry is a plant species belonging to the nightshade family Solanaceae. This South American plant is native to the lands of Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia.
This perennial plant grows bright yellow-orange berries resembling small tomatoes, which are edible. It is widely cultivated for its berries worldwide. If you want to learn how to grow golden berries, keep following the article.
Goldenberries are very closely related to the Chinese Lantern and the tomatillo. The flowers of goldenberries are bell-shaped, yellow-colored with purple specks on the inside. When the flower falls, the calyx extends to make a lantern-shaped husk that encloses the fruit.
Once the fruits mature, the calyx dries and exposes the ripe fruit. Learn how to grow goldenberries by following our simple instructions.
How to Grow Goldenberries?
Goldenberries are fairly easy to grow and don’t require much care. Just ensure the growing conditions are optimal and watch your berries thrive.
Ideal Conditions for Growing Goldenberries
As the goldenberries are very easy to grow, they can adapt very well to various soils with pH ranging from 5 to 6.1. they can grow in clay and sandy soils. Soil with good fertility or added manure and compost usually results in much healthier and happier plants.
Since goldenberries are tropical plants, they prefer a warm environment. A temperature range of 50-75 degrees is ideal for the berries. The warmer, the better.
Goldenberries love sun. Grow your goldenberry plants at a sunny spot in your garden that receives at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight. Goldenberries can grow in partial shade as well.
Consistently water the goldenberry plants to get a good harvest. This plant is somewhat drought tolerant, but it needs regular watering for the flowers and fruits to grow. If you live in a hot climate, water the plants 2 to 3 times a week. If the climate is cooler, water twice a week will suffice.
Spacings between Plants
When growing your goldenberry plants, make sure to leave enough spacings between the plants to allow them to grow to their full potential. While sowing the seeds, keep them sowing, keeping them 39-59 inches apart, giving them ample room to grow.
The goldenberry plants can grow as tall as one meter, so they have enough space between each plant to allow proper air circulation.
How to Grow Golden Berries from Seeds?
Goldenberries can be easily grown from their seeds. Follow these simple steps to learn how to grow golden berries like a pro!
- Buy some seeds of goldenberries or extract them from the fruit by yourself. Scoop out the seeds and wash them thoroughly. After washing, pat dry them between the layers of paper towels. Let the seeds dry for a few days by placing them in a tray and keeping it in a well-aerated place. Seeds will be ready in 2-4 days.
- If you want the berries ready to be harvested by the summer, you can plant the goldenberries during the winter season. Plant the goldenberries indoors 4 to 6 weeks before the frost hits to give them a head start. But the ideal season to grow goldenberries is in the early spring.
- If you are sowing your seeds during colder weather, then try to provide a warm environment for the seeds to germinate. The soil temperature for the germination of seeds should be in the range of 72-75 degrees.
- Place your pots at a location that receives good sunlight for long hours. If the indoors do not receive enough sunlight, use a grow light to help the seeds germinate.
- Take some small spots with a drainage hole and add a good potting mix to them. Make sure to use a good potting mix to help the seeds germinate.
- Dig a very small hole of about 1/8 inch in your soil and place 2-3 seeds in a pot. Make sure to leave enough space between the seeds to allow them to grow.
- Cover the seeds with a light layer of soil (about 3mm).
- Thoroughly water the seeds and let the water drain out. Water your seeds regularly to help them germinate. Remember not to overwater or let the water stand. Only moisten the soil as needed.
- Depending on the climate conditions, it can take anywhere between 7 to 30 days for the goldenberry seeds to germinate.
- Just be patient and take care of the seeds mentioned, and they will eventually germinate.
- Once your seeds have germinated, and the small plants have grown, you can replant them in your garden.
How to Grow Golden Berries from a Cutting?
Goldenberry plants can be grown using cuttings very easily. All the steps are similar to growing golden berries with seeds.
- Take about 4 inches from a healthy golden berry plant.
- Plant this cutting in a pot and take care of it like you normally would.
- Provide suitable conditions, and the cutting will grow roots in a couple of weeks.
- Once the roots have been established, you can replant your cutting in the garden and watch your lovely plant grow.
Harvesting the Golden Berries
Once your plants have fully grown and matured, they will start flowering. It can take up to 100 or 150 days for the plant to reach maturity. And after maturity and the pollination of flowers, it takes 70 to 80 days for the fruit to mature and be ready for harvest.
The goldenberry plant will produce fruits in its first season, but it needs a longer growing time to have ripe and tasty fruit. The green husk encloses the berry while it is growing. Once the berry is ripe, the husk exposes it. You will know when the goldenberries are ripe and ready to be harvested when the husk dries out and turns brown.
If you have harvested your berries too early, you can still rip them by placing them on a bright window sill for a few days. Keep the berries placed there until their greenish tinge disappears.
Bonus Tips on Growing Golden Berries
- The goldenberry plants do not require to be pruned until after harvesting for the first time.
- Goldenberry plants are quite susceptible to pests and diseases, so keep a close eye and use an organic pesticide like neem oil to keep the pests away.
- Goldenberry plants do not require additional fertilizers. Avoid fertilizing, especially when the plant is flowering. It causes the plant to have dense foliage affecting the growth of fruits and flowers.
- Add a layer of compost to the soil around the plant to keep it moist, and add mulch for protection against frost.
Goldenberry is widely cultivated worldwide for its delicious fruit, which is used in salads and many sauces and savory dishes. The fruit is packed with vitamins, proteins, and phosphorus and is rich in polyphenols and carotenoids. The goldenberry plant is a very low-maintenance plant and easy to grow.
If you wanted to grow goldenberries but didn’t know how, then we hope our article helped. Now you know how to grow golden berries and how to take care of them and harvest them. Please share with us how your harvest turned out in the comments below!