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Chinese Lantern, Strawberry Ground Cherry

Short Description

Vividly colored, orange-red, lantern-shaped fruits.

Full Description

Chinese Lantern is largely grown for its vividly colored, orange-red, lantern-shaped fruits that can be cut and dried and used for dried bouquets. Can be invasive; spreads rampantly.
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Item#: 46490A
Order: 1 Pkt. (175 seeds)
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$4.95
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Product properties

Zone This refers to the USDA hardiness zone assigned to each part of the country, based on the minimum winter temperature that a region typically experiences. Hardiness zone ranges are provided for all perennial plants and you should always choose plants that fall within your range.

4-8

Sun The amount of sunlight this product needs daily in order to perform well in the garden. Full sun means 6 hours of direct sun per day; partial sun means 2-4 hours of direct sun per day; shade means little or no direct sun.

Full Sun

Height The typical height of this product at maturity.

24 inches

Spread The width of the plant at maturity.

24 inches

Ornamental Use Ways in which the product may be used in the garden for ornamental effect.

Borders, Dried Flowers

Planting Time The recommended time of the year in which this product should be planted.

Spring

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Video

Introduction to Perennials
Perennials return year after year blooming on their own. Watch this introduction and discover how easy and rewarding growing perennials can be.
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Perennials Tour #1
Take a garden tour and see favorite perennial plants in a garden setting. In this video- Shasta Daisy, Ornamental Grass, Butterfly Bush, Echinacea and Hydrangea.
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Chinese Lantern may be grown from seed sown early indoors and transplanted outside after frost, or sown directly in the garden in summer, or planted as a potted plant.

Sowing Seed Indoors:

  • Sow indoors 6 weeks before outdoor planting time
  • Sow ¼ inch deep in seed-starting formula
  • Keep the soil moist at 70-75 degrees F
  • Seedlings emerge in 15-21 days
  • As soon as seedlings emerge, provide plenty of light on a sunny windowsill or grow seedlings 3-4 inches beneath fluorescent plant lights turned on 16 hours per day, off for 8 hours at night. Raise the lights as the plants grow taller. Incandescent bulbs will not work for this process because they will get too hot. Most plants require a dark period to grow, do not leave lights on for 24 hours.
  • Seedlings do not need much fertilizer, feed when they are 3-4 weeks old using a starter solution (half strength of a complete indoor houseplant food) according to manufacturer’s directions.
  • If you are growing in small cells, you may need to transplant the seedlings to 3 or 4 inch pots when seedlings have at least 2 pairs of true leaves before transplanting to the garden so they have enough room to develop strong roots
  • Before planting in the garden, seedling plants need to be “hardened off”. Accustom young plants to outdoor conditions by moving them to a sheltered place outside for a week. Be sure to protect them from wind and hot sun at first. If frost threatens at night, cover or bring containers indoors, then take them out again in the morning.  This hardening off process toughens the plant’s cell structure and reduces transplant shock and scalding.

Transplanting in the Garden:

  • Select a location in full sun with good rich moist organic, well-drained soil.
  • Prepare the bed by turning the soil under to a depth of 6-12, inches removing any debris, and lightly raking as level as possible.
  • The addition of organic matter (leaf mold, compost, well-rotted manure) benefits all gardens and is essential in recently constructed neighborhoods.
  • Plant on a cloudy day or in late afternoon to reduce transplant shock.
  • Dig a hole for each plant, approximately 24 inches apart large enough to amply accommodate the root ball.
  • Unpot the plant and gently loosen the root ball with your hands to encourage good root growth.
  • Place the top of the root ball even with the level of the surrounding soil. Fill with soil to the top of the root ball. Press soil down firmly with your hand.
  • Thoroughly water and apply a light mulch layer on top of the soil (1-2 inches) to conserve water and reduce weeds.

Sowing Directly in the Garden:

  • Select a location in full sun with good rich moist organic, well-drained soil.
  • Sow seeds thinly in sunny outdoor cold frame or seedbed in spring after danger of frost. In the Deep South, Gulf, and Pacific Coast, sow seeds from fall to spring.
  • Remove weeds and work organic matter into the top 6-8 inches of soil; then level and smooth.
  • Sow thinly ¼ inch deep.
  • Keep moist.
  • Seedlings will emerge in 15-21 days depending on soil and weather conditions.

How to Grow

  • Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their germination.
  • Mulches also help retain soil moisture and maintain even soil temperatures. For perennials, an organic mulch of aged bark or shredded leaves lends a natural look to the bed and will improve the soil as it breaks down in time.  Always keep mulches off a plant’s stems to prevent possible rot.
  • Careful watering is essential in getting perennials off to a good start. Water thoroughly at least once a week to help new roots grow down deeply. Soil should be damp at about 1 inch below the soil surface. You can check this by sticking your finger in the soil. Water early in the morning to give all leaves enough time to dry.  One inch of rain or watering per week is recommended for most perennial plants. You can check to see if you need to add water by using a rain gauge.
  • Until plants become established, some protection from extreme winds and direct, hot sunlight may be necessary.  Good air movement is also important.
  • After new growth appears, a light fertilizer may be applied. Keep granular fertilizers away from the plant crown and foliage to avoid burn injury. Use low rates of a slow release fertilizer such as Garden-tone, as higher rates may encourage root rots.
  • If plants become leggy cut them back for a fresh start. Cut to the ground at the end of the season.

Growing Tips

  • Plants may spread vigorously, consider this when you site the plants.
  • Wait until the seed pods turn a vivid orange shade and harvest for dried arrangements. Cut the stems and remove the leaves, leaving the pods. Stand them upright in a dry, airy location. Once dry they will retain their color and shape for years.
Zone
4-8
Sun
Full Sun
Height
24 inches
Spread
24 inches
Ornamental Use
Borders, Dried Flowers
Planting Time
Spring
Genus
Physalis
Life Cycle
Perennial
Chinese Lantern, Strawberry Ground Cherry is rated 5.0 out of 5 by 2.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Outside my Grandmother's Back Door I bought these as a reminder of my grandmother's garden outside her back door. I vividly remember Chinese Lantern and money plant both attracting my attention as a child. Now with a grandchild of my own, I am eager to pass on my love for gardening and some beautiful memories. The seeds have germinated nicely and hopefully we'll see some growth for next summer.
Date published: 2015-07-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Purchased these as a reminder of my youth, back in the northeast. Never thought they would grow out here. These came up fine the first year and have been spreading ever since. Have them around our fish pond and my husband is really loving them. Gave some to my mother in law, and she could not get them to grow. She lives in town, where as I live about 10 miles outside of town. Even the strong winds here do not do them damage.
Date published: 2008-02-02
  • 2016-05-01T07:06CST
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