Ground Cherry(?)

Asked August 5, 2016, 10:34 PM EDT

I have been invaded by what I'm told are ground cherries. They look like potato plants with yellow flowers under the leaves. The fruit is in a pouch that look like a paper lantern. There is a pit or seed in the middle-kind of looks like a tomatillo. Where did they come from? How can I get rid of them? When I try to pull them up; the roots are so deep I cannot get them all- it breaks of. Short of using Roundup; what can I do to rid my vegetable garden of them? They are taking over.

Otsego County Michigan

1 Response

Both ground cherries and tomatillos are in the same genus ( Physalis sp.) It is possible that birds distribute the seeds after eating the berries at another location. Seeds and root pieces could possibly have come in with soil or mulch. The seeds may have already been in the soil awaiting ideal conditions to germinate. Control of this deeply rooted rhizomatous invasive can be difficult even with herbicides. Digging and removing as much of the roots as possible will help to diminish the food stored in the roots. Similarly, prolonged solarization or repeated mowings will weaken these stubborn plants. Persistence is key even with herbicides. Check out the following link:

Ground Cherry

I hope this helps,