Sowing and caring for andean berries correctly

Andean berries most people know only from the supermarket. You can easily grow the plants yourself, even in our country. Here you will find tips for sowing and care.

In this video, we show you step by step how to successfully sow Andean berries.
Credits: CreativeUnit/David Hugle

  • Soil and location requirements of Andean berries
  • Sowing Andean berries
  • Grow ande berries in the garden
  • Care for Andean berries
  • Harvesting tips
  • Soil and site requirements of Andean berries
  • Sowing Andean berries
  • Growing pine berries in the garden
  • Care for Andean berries
  • Tips for harvesting

Andean berries (Physalis peruviana) are nightshade plants and belong to the genus of the bladder family. This makes them related to tomatoes, among others – and just as easy to cultivate in the garden as the latter. When sowing and caring for the perennial Andean berries, it is important to bear in mind that the plants are not hardy. Otherwise, you can soon enjoy exotic fruits from your own cultivation.

From mid-February to early April you can sow Andean berries. Grow the plants in pots on the windowsill or in a warm greenhouse. Important: The seeds need about 25 degrees Celsius to germinate. After two to three weeks, prick out the seedlings. In mid-May, when there is no longer a threat of frost, the young plants can be moved to a sunny spot in the bed.

Andean berries equal to Cape gooseberries

The lack of winter hardiness of Andean berries is quickly explained by their natural location. The original home of the Andean berry is, as the name suggests, in the Andean regions of Peru and Chile. From there, the plant was brought to the beginning of the 19th century. The berries are shipped to South Africa in the early twentieth century and later to Australia. Today, the delicious berries are grown not only there, but also in the U.S., New Zealand, India and southern France.

Fruits and blossoms of the Andean berry

Andean berries have decorative flowers and fruit clusters

The strong growing Andean berries reach heights between 50 and 200 centimeters. Their ovate-pointed leaves and also their stems are softly hairy. The orange-yellow fruits in parchment-like lampion sleeves taste sweet-sour, their aroma is somewhat reminiscent of gooseberries. For this reason and because it is cultivated in South Africa, the Andean berry is also known as the Cape gooseberry.

Soil and location requirements of ande berries

Andean berries are plants that need warmth. Give them a sheltered and full-sun location with loose soil that warms up quickly. Cultivation is not recommended in areas with early fall frosts, where the fruits barely reach maturity. Andean berries thrive best in a vineyard climate. A variety of growing trials have also shown that andeberries are not well suited for greenhouse cultivation. Although it can be harvested earlier here, the plants produce more leaf mass and fewer fruits than in the open field. In addition, the fruits taste less sweet and aromatic.

Sowing Andean berries: how to do it?

Andean berries can be sown from mid-February to early April. They are grown in pots on the windowsill or in a warm greenhouse. The optimal germination temperature is 25 degrees Celsius. After two to three weeks, the seedlings are then pricked out into seven to nine centimeter pots. If you repot the plants later again in larger pots (ten to twelve centimeters), you accelerate the growth.

In this video we show you how to properly prick seedlings.
Credit: MSG/Alexandra Tistounet/Alexander Buggisch

Listen in now: Become a seeding pro with our podcast!

In this episode of our podcast "Grunstadtmenschen" Nicole Edler and MEIN SCHoNER GARTEN editor Folkert Siemens reveal their tips and tricks on the subject of sowing. Listen directly!

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How to grow pine berries in the garden?

In mid-May, after the last frosts, the pre-pulled Andean berries are planted out. The planting distance should be at least 60 centimeters, in particularly warm locations about one meter. Andean berries are very vigorous in sunny locations, so they need a climbing aid such as a trellis made of tension wires for support. In cooler locations the plants do not grow so tall, here it is sufficient if you tie the main shoots to bamboo poles.

How to care for pine berries?

The nutritional needs of Andean berries are rather low. A light fertilization with compost is sufficient. Andean berries also cope well with drought. But if they are well watered in the hot summer, they produce much more fruit.

Tips for harvesting Andean berries

Andean berry drawing

A wooden frame with garden fleece secures the Andean berry harvest

You can recognize ripe ande berries by their parchment-like dried lantern covers. Unfortunately, even in mild climates, the fruit cannot be harvested until mid or late September. If there is a light night frost, the harvest time is already over. You can help with a frame made of roof battens (see picture), over which you spread a double layer of garden fleece. If the weather forecast predicts night frost, you can also dig up the plants, repot them in large containers and let the fruit ripen in the cellar or conservatory.

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