Seed Swaps

Chinese lantern   

Physalis alkekengi

  • 38 plantings
  • 5 for swap
  • 3 wanted
  • 29 stashed

Chinese lantern is part of the Physalis genus. Its scientific name is Physalis alkekengi.

Papery orange lanterns appear in late summer and are used in fresh and dried flower arrangements. This plant is grown mainly as an ornamental. It is closely related to the edible tomatillo (P. philadephica = P. ixocarpa_) and Cape gooseberry (_P. peruviana), as well as a number of other species.

This plant is poisonous. 1

When ripe, fruit appear in these approximate colours:   Red.

A type of flowering ornamental / flower, it mainly grows as a perennial plant - which means it typically grows best over a long period (from 3 years+).

Chinese lantern is known for its tree habit and growing to a height of approximately 60.0 cm (1.95 feet). This plant tends to bloom in mid summer.

Chinese lantern is normally quite a low maintenance plant and is normally very easy to grow - great for beginner gardeners!

This plant info is provided by the myfolia gardener's wiki. All details about Chinese lantern have been kindly provided by our members.

How to grow Chinese lantern

  • Full Sun

  • Partial Sun

  • Medium

Young plants are susceptible to frosts though established plants are frost hardy. Plants are slow to break dormancy in cold climates. Young plants may be susceptible to slugs. Full sun to part shade, prefers well-drained, poorer soil.

CAUTION!: All parts of the plant are poisonous except the ripe fruit. Fruits apparently may be eaten when fully ripe or cooked; see: Plants For a Future ( reference page for more information.

CAUTION!: Plant may be invasive if allowed free reign – to avoid this potentiality it is best grown in a pot.

Chinese lantern likes a position of full sun / partial sun and remember to water moderately. Use Zone 2 - Zone 10 as your guideline for the appropriate climate for this plant. Chinese lantern needs a sandy soil with a ph of 5.6 to 7.8 (weakly acidic soil - weakly alkaline soil). Keep in mind when planting that Chinese lantern is thought of as very hardy, so this plant will tend to survive through freezing conditions.

See our list of companion Plants for Chinese lantern to see which plants you should plant in close proximity to encourage growth.

Growing Chinese lantern from seed

Barely cover with soil.

May be Winter Sown.

Try to aim for a seed spacing of at least 1.95 inches (5.0 cm) and sow at a depth of around 0.04 inches (0.1 cm).

By our calculations*, you should look at sowing Chinese lantern about 56 days before your last frost date .

Transplanting Chinese lantern

Ensure that temperatures are mild and all chance of frost has passed before planting out, as Chinese lantern is a very hardy plant.

How long does Chinese lantern take to grow?

These estimates for how long Chinese lantern takes to sprout, grow and harvest are from real observations from real gardeners, right around the world.

Start logging and journaling your observations to participate!

Days to Germination How long does it take Chinese lantern to germinate?
13 days

Average 13 days | Min 7 days | Max 65 days (6)

Days to Transplant How long until I can plant out Chinese lantern?
+ days

Average days | Min days | Max days (0)

Days to Maturity How long until Chinese lantern is ready for harvest / bloom?
+ days

Average days | Min days | Max days (0)

Total Growing Days How long does it take to grow Chinese lantern?
= days

When should I plant Chinese lantern?

Our when to plant Chinese lantern estimates are relative to your last frost date.

Enter your frost dates and we'll calculate your sowing and planting dates for you!

When to sow The number of days to sow Chinese lantern before or after your last frost date.
56 days before Last Frost Date

Chinese lantern Folklore & Trivia

There is a long history of medicinal use (caution: all parts of the plant are poisonous except for the ripe fruit).

Other names for Chinese lantern

Winter cherry, Japanese lantern, Bladder-cherry

Physalis franchetii, Physalis alkekengi var. franchetii

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