Ground Cherry Grex

Several varieties and species of ground cherries were included in the Grex.

How did they grow for you?

Did you find anything you really love?

How’s the flavor?

We could sure use more diversity of ground cherries for next year if anyone wants to try growing them. They have the potential to become one of those self-seeding weedy crop species.


I am handling the ground cherries exactly like the true potato seeds. I seeded some in trays in late Feb or early March and transplanted in garden after the last frost. They don’t look to happy but not much does right now.

I will direct seed the rest of my seed’s hopefully this weekend and hope for the best. I will report my findings as they come along. Thank you for the opportunity.

My ground cherry seeds went into the soil April 8th. They just started coming up on the 17th. I have many different kinds from several sources including multiple EFN and a Canadian Seeds of Diversity grex they’re citizen-breeding for upright growth. The going to seed ground cherry seeds germinated first, the other ones are only starting to come up. I was favourably impressed with the way the going to seed seedlings quadrupled in size overnight.

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Got them started and they’re starting to sprout in my basement

when they get a little bigger I’ll split them up and plant them out

Very poor germination in all my ground cherries this year, except in some I got from a trade from @Alma . Almost none of my EFN ones came up. Still, I’ll have enough for a small patch.

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ya, they need to be covered with plastic to keep the moisture in for a long time. A few of mine still haven’t sprouted and they’ve been in for almost 2 or 3 weeks now

I’m glad to hear they sprouted! Hopefully the fruits get bigger up north.

I’ve managed to get a few healthy looking ground cherry plants.

The successful ones came from my seeding in 72 cell trays back in late February/early March. None of my direct seeding effort yielded results.

My wife is excited about the fruit forming on these. She rarely gets excited about what I am growing. I plan to increase my efforts on this moving forward. I just picked up 2 varieties from Territorial seed.

I plan to play a lot with these all the way up to frost. I expect to be able to send some of these seeds back.

Thank you for the opportunity. I never heard of ground cherry until I saw it being offered to this community.


A heavy rain shower surprised me today. After, I went out and noticed a small handful of ground cherries on the ground. They were delicious, hints of apple and grape.

I already have 100-200 seeds drying on a paper plate. Hopefully I can accumulate 1000 which is the goal.

Also, I have some ground cherry seed coming in from a seed order I recently placed. As soon as I can, I will put those in seed trays and eventually get those out in the garden.

I’ve read they are native to southern US and Mexico. However, I’ve also read they stop producing in high heat. I prefer to learn things the hard way and test these claims. Hopefully I will discover some that are able to produce in 85 to 100 degree weather (highs) which is the usual where I live in the summer.

I’m hoping that ground cherries can mix with tomatillos. I’ve got a couple of tomatillos that are supposed to be sweet and fruity when ripe and if they can mix with ground cherries I hope to make larger fruiting, and thus easier to collect.

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I tried to find answer to that earlier. Not a lot of references, but seems like they do not mix. Same as p.peruviana don’t with north/central american species. Atleast not easily. The latter should mix quite freely with each other. I have some 5-6 species to cross this season and hopefully something bigger fruited will pop up in the coming years.

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Planted the Going To Seed Groundcherry grex yesterday.

Some plants look like tomatillos.

Others look like I expect from groundcherries.

I have one p. peruvianum plant. Don’t know why I’d grow one plant. I suppose that I should plant it next to the groundcherries, just to see if anything takes.


A few of mine aren’t doing well, but a couple have flowers on them. Looking forward to seeing how things work

The few plants that came up for me are still producing. Most weekends I get a couple handfuls. We experienced a lot of wind and rain lately, so today’s harvest is much bigger than usual. I had to throw away about half of this weekend’s haul due to rot.

I’ve noticed that the wind and rain will bring down unripe cherries sometimes. I think I will try to select against weak cherry stems eventually. However, my only selection this year is rot. I am only saving seeds from cherries that did not rot before I managed to collect them. I want to have plenty of seeds to give back to the community. I am very excited about what these plants are doing for me. I am thankful for having this crop brought to my attention here on this forum.


GTS ground cherry mix doing well do far in the Missouri Ozarks.


Here’s my seed harvest to return.

This crop has been one of my favorite to grow. I am making a second go at it this year. A few weeks ago, I planted some of the first seeds in a 72 cell tray. Just about all of them germinated. However, very high temperatures scorched them. All but 6 died in the trays. I transplanted the 6 survivors in the garden. 4 of them managed to survive. They are now growing. I have also direct seeded some of these and other varieties in that same garden bed. Some of the direct seed effort has worked. I might have 15 baby ground cherry plants in the garden now. If I can manage to get a second harvest this year, it would mean a second generation from the GTS mix and hopefully crossed with other varieties, particularly pineapple.


The original wild population of the perennial ground cherries from which I contributed seeds has been obliterated by human activity this year. While I do suspect there will be some volunteers in that area in the future from the cumulative seed around, there has been some earth moving and I am grateful for this seed exchange as a way to share and to receive ground cherries.

The exchange led me to take gathering those Burgey’s Creek ground cherry seeds to start Burgey’s Creek in my own garden more seriously at what turns out to have been a good time. It’s gratifying to think that those plants are much more likely to continue on in multiple places than if I had only tossed some rotten berries around my garden last year as was my original plan for myself.

As for my other GtS ground cherry starts this year, I had some educational failures with starting new varieties, but enough successes to plan to submit some completely different ground cherry seeds to this year’s exchange. Knock on wood. Ground cherries are just now starting to set fruit here, so I have a little while to go yet.

I hope you find a lot of delicious ones!

Thank you. I didn’t know these are perennial. I already put down the originals that came up for me except 1. The one remaining I have left to see how it continues handling the summer heat. I’ve also been smushing and bearing the cherries in random spots in the garden.

Could I suggest considering splitting the physalis submissions into the categories sweet and savory?

I think that may be more practical from a breeding standpoint than tomatillos and ground cherries as the division.

This photo portrays some wild or feral physalis I am saving from the hoe over at the neighbor’s place where they are growing in the sorghum field. Also in these terracotta pots are creeping cucumber gathered over at my sister’s place where they are perennial. I hope to share seeds from both of these but it may happen this year or next year.