Growing Ground Cherries

Discussion in 'HortForum' started by o 2 joy, Apr 10, 2015.

  1. o 2 joy

    o 2 joy New Member

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    I grew ground cherries (Cape Gooseberry, Physalis peruviana) from seed last year (2014) and kept them in containers outdoors. When the weather cooled down here in the Seattle, WA area, I brought them indoors and they've sat on the front sill of my south-facing living room window all winter. It is now early April and the plants are still in their original pots and have grown quite leggy. Here's my question - now what? I plan to re-pot them in bigger containers with fresh container potting soil and put them outsides once the overnight temperatures are 50 degrees F (10 degrees C). I'm not sure what to do about the legginess - do I prune? If yes, how drastically? Pls help.
     
  2. Eric La Fountaine

    Eric La Fountaine Contributor UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I grow this. I usually bring one plant inside to overwinter. I take cuttings from this plant in early spring. They usually do well and will fruit sooner than plants grown from seed. I have kept plants and grown them on like you are speaking of. They do well also, but I don't have room for that. If you can get more light to the plants their growth will not be leggy.
     
  3. Eric La Fountaine

    Eric La Fountaine Contributor UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    You can prune off the leggy growth and cut them way back, but make sure you give them really good growing conditions afterward with lots of light so the new shoots can do well.
     
  4. o 2 joy

    o 2 joy New Member

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    Thank you Eric. I will prune off the leggy growth and cut them way back as you've suggested. When can I put them outside? Now is too early, right? Should we go with Mother's day or thereabouts?
     
  5. Eric La Fountaine

    Eric La Fountaine Contributor UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    They should go out when night temps are above 10C / 50F. Right now the only energy the plants have been making has been from those wimpy shoots. They are fairly strong growers, but if it seems really weak, you might want to give it more light and let it gain some strength before chopping it all back. If it's been getting some light they are probably OK and I would try to get some cuttings off of those shoots--it's good insurance. These are not really long lived plants, so it's good to refresh with cuttings.
     
  6. Charles Philip

    Charles Philip Active Member

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    I did not know that they were perennial plants.
     

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