Life in the city can be hellishly unbearable at this time of year. Barricaded in the air-conditioned rooms, we wait for the afternoon hours for the summer heat to subside so we finally get out and get some fresh air. Of course, that piece of concrete will surely look better if we add a jar of the plant and turn the balcony into a green summer oasis.
However, if you live in a house and have a garden that can be your summer oasis. Today we will teach you how to plant one of the most interesting plants in the world also known as Chinese lanterns.
This plant is so stunning, it will immediately turn your garden or balcony into a magical fairy tale. So let’s begin.
The Magnificent Chinese Lantern Plant
The Physalis alkekengi which is known by the name of a Chinese lantern, winter cherry, and strawberry ground cherry is a perennial plant. This plant is highly vigorous and likes to spread a lot. It produces small creamy flowers in the summer. However, in the fall, its blossoms produce edible berries that are closed with a big paper looking flowers. These big flowers look like small Chinese lanterns, thus the origin of the name of the plant.
You can plant the Chinese lantern directly in your garden, or in containers. It can be a great groundcover as it likes to spread a lot. You should choose soil-like chalk or sand and it doesn’t matter the pH value of it. Place a few seeds in a pot and cover them with soil. Put the pot in the sun. Water the plant regularly.
However, check the soil in-between watering. You shouldn’t overwater the pot because its roots can root. So, if you decide to plant it, choose a pot with a good draining system.
The plant grows between 60-75 cm in height, however, its roots spread from 60-90cm underground. The Chinese lantern can be very invasive, so if this happens you should dig out the roots in the fall.
It’s deer and disease resistant. Although, looking pretty, this plant is poisonous for both people and animals. You can consume the berries only if they are fully ripe, but we suggest to avoid eating them altogether. You can enjoy the Chinese lanterns like ornamental plants, but, keep them away from your pets.
This plant is very unique and beautiful looking, but if you are concerned about the poisonous nature of this plant, you can go for its cousin the goji berries.
Goji berries are a great alternative to Chinese lanterns, but its berries are safe for consumption and packed with many nutritional properties.