Chinese Lantern Plant


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The Chinese Lantern Plant is a striking perennial plant renowned for its vibrant, lantern-like orange husks that encase small, edible fruits. Growing up to 2 feet tall, this hardy plant features bright green, ovate leaves and delicate white flowers that give way to red-orange lanterns in late summer, before fading into lacy white paper lanterns with glowing red centers in fall. Ideal for adding a splash of color to gardens and floral arrangements, Chinese Lanterns thrive in well-drained soil and full to partial sunlight. Beyond their ornamental appeal, Chinese Lantern fruits are edible when fully ripe and are rich in vitamins and antioxidants. Enhance your garden with the distinctive beauty and versatility of Chinese Lanterns.

Also Known As: Chinese Lantern Plant, Japanese Lantern Plant, Winter Cherry, Capee Berry, Cape Gooseberry, Bladder Cherry, Ornamental Groundcherry, Ghost Husk Groundcherry, Skeleton Husk Groundcherry, Life Within Death Lantern.

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Plant Name:
Ground Cherry, Chinese Lantern
Latin Name:
Physalis alkekengi
Days to Germinate: 14-21
Days to Bloom: 60 - 90
Plant Height: 2 - 3 Feet
Spread: 2 - 3 Feet
Growth Habit: Runner
USDA Zones: 3-9
Lifespan: Perennial
Brand: TomorrowSeeds
Sunlight: Full Sun, Partial Shade
Heirloom, Open-Pollinated
Fungicide-Treated Seeds*: No
Seeds Packed For**: 2025

*Fungicide-treated seeds protect the seedlings from diseases until they are up and growing. Do not eat treated seeds.
**Seeds are freshly packed for the growing season of the year listed. Seeds are still viable beyond pack date. Store in a cool and dry location such as the refrigerator or basement to best preserve germination rates.

Planting Instructions:


Soil Preparation:

Several weeks before planting, prepare dig or plow the soil 8-10 inches deep and rake up several times to break up large clods. Work the soil when it is dry enough to not stick to garden tools. You may optionally spread 2-3 inches of organic material, such as manure, compost, peat moss, or rotted hay and mix into the top 4-6 inches of soil. The best growing conditions are 80-90F with 60-70F nights, low humidity, and sparse rainfall. 


Try not to plant seeds until the soil warms in the spring and all danger of frost is past.  Plant 3-4 seeds in 1/2 inch deep holes on raised beds about 6 inches tall or in small containers.  Water the plants after planting. Transplant seedlings to desired location after seedlings are at least 5 inches in height.


Planting Depth: 1 inch
18 inches, transplant.


Care During the Season:

Watering: Avoid dry soil, water about once a day and keep seedlings moist until established.

Weeding: Keep plants as weed-free as possible. When plowing or hoeing do not dig deeper than 1 inch to prevent from cutting the feeder rooters which may slow the plant's growth. 

Fertilizing: Seedlings may be fertilized when they are at least 4 inches tall:.


Only the red ground cherry fruits are edible once calyxes are papery and faded, the rest of the plant is not.