The old scientific name for this plant was Physalis franchetti.
The old scientific name for this plant was Physalis franchetti. It is now officially Physalis alkekengi. We continue to list Chinese Lantern under both names for convenience. Bushy 60 cm (24") plants are filled with orange lantern shaped pods which are as attractive in the garden as they are in dried bouquets. Pods form during the months of August and September. Very unusual but attractive plants. Hardy to Zone 3 with protection. Thrives unprotected to Zone 4.
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How To Grow
600 seeds/gram. Start seed indoors in a soil-less mix anytime before the start of March. Germinate at 20 C (70 F) for approx 20-25 days. Do not cover seeds as light is beneficial for germination. Grow on under lights at a slightly cooler temperature before hardening off and transplanting to the garden 60 cm (2`) apart in rich, slightly acidic soil for best blooms. Spreads quickly by underground stems so it can become somewhat weedy if not controlled.
Blooming Season Begins
Start Indoors or Sow Direct in Spring or Late Summer