How Tall Do Ground Cherries Get?

Ground cherries.

Ground cherries or Physalis pruinosa can grow 1–3 ft. tall and wide. They have a papery husk that splits open to reveal a yellow-orange fruit with an edible interior of translucent, jellylike pulp surrounding many tiny black seeds.

These plants are native to the Americas but have grown in Europe since the 17th century for their sweet flavor and use as a winter food supply. In North America, they are found from Florida northward into Canada.

The plants originated from Mexico, where pre-Columbian people domesticated them. They used them extensively in cooking due to their low cost, availability, and rich nutrition content, including high quantities of vitamin C and minerals, such as potassium, calcium, iron and zinc.

When to Plant Ground Cherries

Ground cherries are fruit that can be eaten fresh or dried. They can be used to make ground cherry pies, jams, and syrups. Ground cherries contain more vitamin C than oranges, and they also have high levels of antioxidants like Vitamin A and beta-carotene.

The best time to plant ground cherries is in the early spring, after the last frost date has passed. This will give them plenty of time to grow before fall, when you’ll want them harvested for preserving and cooking purposes.

How To Select a Planting Site

When choosing the perfect spot for your ground cherry vines, remember these tips:

  1. Ground cherries prefer full sun exposure but will tolerate partial shade.
  2. The soil should have good drainage, so water doesn’t pool around the roots, which could cause them to rot.
  3. Keep in mind that ground cherries need rich soil that is well-drained and has plenty of organic matter added into it, such as compost or aged manure from livestock animals like cows, horses, sheep, goats.

Spacing, Depth, and Support

Ground cherry plants are useful for indoor gardening because they only require light and water. Ground cherries can be used as an attractive addition to any garden, but it is essential that their spacing is at least 2 feet apart, with young plants being planted about 1/4 inch deep in the ground.

A tomato cage or stakes will help prevent them from flipping over while fruits grow. This support structure should also come with fruiting varieties if possible.

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Ground Cherry Care

Light

The ground cherries are sun lovers. They need to get at least six hours of direct sunlight on most days for it to thrive and do well, but they’ll grow just fine with some shade as long as there’s always plenty of light hitting them throughout each day.

Soil

Ground cherries are not picky about their growing soil and only prefer well-drained, rich organic matter and slightly acidic ph. This can range from 5.5-6 on a scale from 0 to 14, where anything below six is considered acid and above seven alkaline.

Ground Cherries need good drainage but don’t mind having loamy or clayey soils as long as there’s enough compost added for nutrients further down the line.

Water

Ground cherries are not very drought-tolerant plants, which can lead them into trouble if the soil they’re planted in becomes dry. They may stop blooming altogether or produce fewer leaves than usual with no fruit crops. So make sure you give these bushy beauties some water every week and maybe even more often during hot weather, so their roots stay happy.

Temperature and Humidity

Ground cherries are well-suited to a wide variety of growing zones within their optimal temperature range. They can tolerate temperatures as low as 55°F and high up to 85 ° F, but frost will prematurely kill them if it threatens before harvest time arrives.

If this should happen, protect your ground cherry plants with row covers or even large pieces of fabric. Humidity isn’t an issue either way for these plants.

Final Word

Ground cherries are a great addition to any backyard garden. They’re easy to grow and fun for children to watch as they ripen, revealing the yellow-orange fruit with an edible interior of translucent jelly-like pulp surrounding many tiny black seeds inside.

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