Pineapple Ground Cherry

Organic, Heirloom

This packet yields approximately 100 plants when started indoors.
4.625 out of 5 stars
(8 reviews)
Availability: In Stock
Ground cherries, also known as cape gooseberries, are closely related to tomatillos but boast a unique sweet and tart flavor; 'Pineapple' adds a hint of pineapple, too, and produces an abundance of 1/2" fruits, so you will be able to try several recipes. Excellent in salsa, dried, cooked into jam, or baked like other fruits. As the name suggests, harvest ground cherries when they have fallen to the ground.
$2.29 250 mg (~100 seeds)

Botanical Name: Physalis pruinosa

Days to Maturity: 75 days from transplanting

Family: Solanaceae

Native: Mexico and Central America

Hardiness: Frost-sensitive annual

Plant Dimensions: 12"-18" tall and 18"-24" wide

Variety Information: ½" yellow fruit inside a papery husk

When to Sow Outside: 2 to 4 weeks after your average last frost date, and when soil temperature is at least 60°F.

When to Start Inside: RECOMMENDED. 4 to 6 weeks before your average last frost date. Ideal soil temperature for germination is 80°–85°F.

Days to Emerge: 10 days

Seed Depth: ¼"

Seed Spacing: A group of 3 seeds every 18"

Row Spacing: 36"

Thinning: When 2" tall, thin to 1 every 18"

Harvesting: Fruit is at its sweetest when it falls to the ground (hence the name, ground cherry) and has turned to a warm golden yellow. If the color of the fallen fruit is still light yellow, bring them indoors to ripen in their husks at room temperature.

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Pineapple Ground Cherry Reviews

8 reviews

So fruity and flavorful

5 out of 5 stars Jul 28, 2018
I accidentally tore a hole in the seed packet, and had "volunteer" pineapple tomatillos growing throughout the garden. It's such a pleasant surprise! The flavor is incredible, the plants fruit abundantly, and they'll keep for a month in their husks.
marisa dipaola from NJ

Vigorous Growers

4 out of 5 stars Jan 24, 2019
These tomatillos grow vigorously and fruit abundantly. I allowed them to sprawl, and they certainly grew and fruited non-stop up until a good frost set in. A couple disappointments for me were the small fruit size and the taste. Obviously, taste is subjective, you may really enjoy the fruity buttery flavor, but they were just too different from traditional tomatillos for me and my family. The small size of the fruit means a lot of harvesting and husking to get a decent amount of salsa. However, this plant was a fun experiment and worth the try. They do grow quite well with minimal care required.
Laura Davis from CO

Always counting on Botanical Interests for seeds!

5 out of 5 stars Feb 13, 2021
Great germination rates and fast growth for pretty much every seed I get! Keep up the good work, Botanical Interests. The best seed company out there.
anonymous from AL


5 out of 5 stars Jul 15, 2021
I'd never eaten a ground cherry, and since I try to grow at least one thing I've never grown before each year, these seemed like something fun to try. I started the seeds inside in March, and it took them fooooreeeeeever to start putting some size on. I really thought they were going to be a failed experiment. Once they finally started growing though, they grew really fast. I planted them in the garden the first week in June, and off they went. The are a pretty plant. The don't get very tall, but they really sprawl out, with cute little yellow flowers. I'm a little impatient when it comes to waiting for food ripen when I'm excited to try it...So I of course pulled the first yellow husk I saw, off the plant. The fruit was still kind of green, and I was not impressed with the flavor. It was a bit sour, a little tomato-y, and kinda green tasting. Bummer. Then I found one that had actually fallen to the ground (like it is supposed to do before you eat it) and the fruit was also a beautiful gold color. Oh man! It was soooo good! It tasted exactly like pineapple with a hint of tomato. I can't wait until more fall off. I see some pineapple ground cherry salsa coming in the near future.
Lindsey from CO

New Favorite

4 out of 5 stars Nov 6, 2021
We have a new favorite garden snack, best when you let them FULLY ripen and fall to ground. Too bad they are such a weedy looking plant. Plant them in a sunny area where your neighbors don't have to look at them. I recommend containers or a raised bed. The plants look like a nightshade until they start producing. So be sure to label them if you are planting in ground. No pest issues. Tasty.
Robin from KS

Not fond

4 out of 5 stars Nov 12, 2021
They grew well enough once I got a hold of my moisture issue during germination (not enough). They were very prolific and the plants oddly got rather large. I did not eat any of the fruits, as they kept going missing (I suspect rats) and what didn't took forever to ripen. The odd ones I did taste-test were not very good to me and I know they were ripe. These aren't for everyone and they're such prolific reseeders I'll likely be fighting to control these next year come summer.
Oliver from OR

Wonderful Fruity Flavor

5 out of 5 stars Nov 26, 2021
Wonderfully flavored fruit like berries. Only con about them is that there are a lot of seeds in them, and if you have digestive issues with seeds they might not be for you. But, if you turn them into jelly, you won't have to worry about that. They are such a versatile fruit, definitely worth growing.
Bonnie from PA

Pineapple Ground Cherry

5 out of 5 stars May 20, 2022
In the fall I planted three kinds of tomatillos, green, purple and the pineapple ground cherry. None the seeds germinated. I replanted a couple of months later. Spring hits and they are coming up everywhere! I have yet to eat a fully ripe ground cherry but love them anyway! I can't wait to make a cobbler out of them!
Annalisa from FL

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