Experience with Physalis peruviana (goldenberry/poha berry)?

I’ve tried with starter plants form 3 different nurseries. Planted some in full sun others in part shade. plants grow fine, but no flowers, no fruit. Supposedly Zone10-hardy and I’m in Zone 7 or 8, so I brought the plants in for winter.

Meanwhile, native annual physalis (groundcherry) grows wild here, fruits, reseeds etc., but fruit are smaller, less attractive, and less flavorful than P. peruviana. Looking for ideas for what to do with the overwintering plants next Spring (other than composting them…!).

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Physalis peruviana takes significantly longer to flower and fruit than pruinosa (grouncherry). How old are the transplants, when are you planting them, are you putting them in pots and what kind of soil do you have if in ground, what if any fertilizer are you using? There are tons of factors that can come into play here.

Also pyruvianas grow true from seed, I personally always grow them from seed to save money.

Do they not hybridize with other Physalis species? I was a little concerned about that for mine, which I grew in my greenhouse for the first time this year, but in the end they didn’t start flowering until the “regular” groundcherries had finished. I started the seeds very late, though, and figure they’ll overlap more next year.

started mine indoors from seed in early may. planted them outdoors in mid june in 15 gal. pots. they started to fruit in mid aug. and fruited until a killing frost took them out. so much better than ground cherries. i will grow them next year. they liked being against the south side of my house.


Seedlings in pots with ordinary garden soil, high in clay and nutrients, no fertilizer. Maybe too rich? Available info suggests they grow better in poor soil. Good point that they might hybridize with local groundcherries (P. pruinosa & closely-related species) if they ever had any flowers…

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@swincher I’ve never heard or read about a hybrid between the two. Doesn’t make it impossible by any means but I’ve read up pretty extensively about them as I went on a bit of a physalis kick over the last few years.

@steveb4 I completely agree, I’m not a fan of pruinosa. They have a very intense tomato-y taste to them with sweetness. Its an odd fruit but pyruvianas are delicious. Also if you’re interested in some awesome pyruviana seeds that you can’t get in the US, theres a shop in germany called Deaflora that has an extensive collection that will ship internationally. I’m currently testing out a perennial physalis alkekengi (chinese lantern plants) that are suppose to produce fruit without the bitterness found in other alkekengis and are suppose to taste similar to pyruviana.

@robertbirder Pervuianas don’t mind clay soils. What makes you think that its high in nutrients if you’re not fertilizing? Not without exceptions but generally clay soil in pots aren’t a great idea due to poor drainage.


a hybrid would be nice.
but 3 different nurseries
in my experience it’s hard to cross them maybe impossible.

too dry?
any Plant-hormone-based herbicides nearby?
sown too late?

That’s great news! I actually really like the pruinosa variety I’ve been growing, and didn’t care for the taste of the peruviana so was worried I may start getting unwanted hybrids if I keep growing both of them. I’m hoping the peruviana will be more tasty when they ripen in summer rather than these ones that ripened in my cool greenhouse this fall.

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I can only recommend Deaflora. the seeds are fresh. everything sprouted. I only had once seeds that didn’t germinate.


do like i did and grow them out in may so they ripen in the heat of Aug. they tasted better than the ones imported. were a deep yellow/ orange with a strong ripe citrus/ pineapple taste. i had them in promix/ compost. i hit them at flower with greenway tomato fertilizer and again as fruit was sizing up.

What variety did you grow? Aunt Molly? Goldie?
I’ve grown Aunt Molly before and they’re delicious but tiny. Looking for something bigger.
I checked out the Deaflora site - wow, lots of others to choose from!

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The largest I’ve read about are geltower ground cherries (available on deaflora as well as in America from farmacieisolde). I’ve personally never grown this variety. In terms of ground cherries I have grown before in regards to size, Aunt molly, pineapple cossack, Marys niagara and new hanover, were all roughly the same size +/- a few millimeters. Taste wise, I prefer peruvianas significantly more so I wouldn’t be the best judge.

The only really notable things I found between those varieties were that some grew lower to the ground than others. Marys niagara was shockingly early to flower/fruit, so much so that it hindered its own growth to support the fruit. Keep in mind I only grew one of each variety.

Physalis peruviana “goldenberry” has much more variety when it comes to fruit size.


ive grown out most of them.


Keep them and plant it in garden after the last frosts in a sunny spot.

Fruits usually appear at the end of summer (120 days to maturity)

If grow from seeds they need to be germinated early in February (same as hot peppers)


Thanks for sharing your experiences. Farmacie Isolde is a fascinating catalog with lots of new-to-me varieties of everything! I’m going to trial: Schoenbrunn’e Gold, Lucie’s Big, and Gelflower selection.

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it’s funny, you can buy a lot of physalis edulis, pruinosa… here.
but some here are interested in cold hardy American non-annual physalis like Physalis longifolia var. subglabrata…
Which is almost impossible to buy here

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The cultivars do not grow true from seed, but the species will unless cross pollinated by a different species.

Unless you’re talking about some hybrid pyruviana, they do grow true from seed. I’m not sure where you’ve read otherwise.

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Actually I just let mine come back as volunteers for the last 2 years.

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I wonder if failure to flower is because of heat. average summer temperature here is 90F/32C, with high humidity (“monsoon climate”). most of the posts in this thread seem to be growling P. Peruviana in cooler-summer climates.

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