Keep your garden growing - see what to plant right now

Growing Cape Gooseberry, also Golden Berry, Inca Berry

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
    S   P              

(Best months for growing Cape Gooseberry in USA - Zone 5a regions)

S = Plant undercover in seed trays P = Sow seed

  • Easy to grow. Sow in garden. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 50°F and 77°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 39 - 59 inches apart
  • Harvest in 14-16 weeks.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Will happily grow in a flower border but tends to sprawl over other plants.
  • Cape Gooseberry plant
  • Flowers
  • unripe fruit

A straggling bush up to one metre tall that bears yellow fruits inside a brown papery envelope. It is perennial. The cape gooseberry is related to tomatillo, ground cherry and husk tomato, all in the genus Physalis.

Cape Gooseberry is very easy to grow and as the fruit are popular with birds the plants can be easily spread around the garden. If you have plenty of room then plants grow better with 1.5m of space. Spacing closer works but you may get less fruit.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Cape Gooseberry

The berry is the size of a cherry tomato, is very aromatic and full of tiny seeds. They are delicious eaten fresh or can be made into jam. They can be added to salads, desserts and cooked dishes, they are delicious stewed with other fruit, especially apples. They also go well in savoury dishes with meat or seafood. Can be preserved dried as 'Inca Berries'

Your comments and tips

28 May 20, Reda Soliman (USA - Zone 5b climate)
Can I plant golden gooseberry fruit at Illinois ZIP Code 60007
28 May 20, Liz (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Have a look at this page www.gardenate.com/plant/Cape Gooseberry?zone=14
01 May 20, Wilma (South Africa - Semi-arid climate)
I have been successful with planting my own gooseberry plant from seeds. Mind however not a bush but long stem which need support. How can I "train" or prune it into a bush.
14 Apr 20, Tina Christopher (Australia - temperate climate)
While leaning over the gooseberry plant , I started coughing And difficult in breathing , can you get a reaction of this plant
08 Apr 20, Hugh Thenasia (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
50cm between plants is not even close to sufficient IMHO. I have 2.5m between plants and can only just harvest comfortably...
09 Apr 20, Anon (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
Never grown them but 50cm sounds far too close. If like tomatoes then 90-100 cm should be sufficient. The further apart the more soil the plant has to draw nutrient from and then the bigger the plant in size. I have zucchini plants approx 1.2m across, nothing growing near them.
07 Apr 20, Charlene (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
Hi, Do they prefer sunlight, shade or semi shade?
08 Apr 20, Hugh Thenasia (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
Bright sunlight is best and no need to water heavily. ;-)
08 Apr 20, Anon (Australia - temperate climate)
Most vegetables need a fair amount of sunlight, that is one of the main ingredients for them to grow. Some only need 4-6 hrs, some 6-8 hrs. Try growing something in shade and see how it grows. Read up on the internet how many hours of sun plants need.
02 Apr 20, aileen cooke (Australia - temperate climate)
last time... the fruit failed to mature and some leaves went yellow and fell and the branches became straggly now it's autumn.it has bulked up. it's having another go...with flower. I love the plant. where am I going wrong?
Showing 1 - 10 of 469 comments

I live in Canberra, australia. Is it too late to put in some seed?

- Margaret

Please provide your email address if you are hoping for a reply


All comments are reviewed before displaying on the site, so your posting will not appear immediately

Gardenate App

Put Gardenate in your pocket. Get our app for iPhone, iPad or Android to add your own plants and record your plantings and harvests

Planting Reminders

Join our 60,000+ gardeners who already use Gardenate and subscribe to the free Gardenate planting reminders email newsletter.


Home | Vegetables and herbs to plant | Climate zones | About Gardenate | Contact us | Privacy Policy

This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. Gardenate is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
We cannot help if you are overrun by giant slugs.