About Growing Ground Cherries

Asked July 1, 2017, 3:17 PM EDT

Hello and thank you in advance for your reply and assistance. I am writing to ask if it's possible to grow ground cherries in a container? I live in a townhome and don't have space for raised beds or a garden. If ground cherries can be grown in a container, is it possible for me to find plants and grow them this year yet or is it too late in the season?

Washington County Minnesota

1 Response

Thank you for the question. Ground cherries are from the same family of plants as tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers (solanaceae, or nightshade) and are possible to grow in containers. If you have grown tomatoes in containers or even the garden the same principles apply. You will need a large container and something like a tomato cage or other staking for support. Container plants need close attention to water and fertility. It is getting a bit late in the season to plant ground cherries and get a crop and I'm not sure where you would find decent sized plants to give you a head start now. I have never seen them at typical nurseries but you could try calling around to check. If you can't find them, you could order seed and start them as you would tomato plants, early in the spring and indoors. Here are a few resources for you:
http://myfolia.com/plants/741-ground-cherry-physalis-pruinosa This is not a research based source but has good information.

Thank you for contacting Extension.