All About Chinese Lanterns

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Can I Plant
Last Updated: | Reading Time: 3 minutes

Chinese lantern plants (Physalis alkekengi) are an ornamental plant that is native to Asia and Europe. They are a member of the nightshade family and produce bright, orange-red papery husks that look like Chinese lanterns. The husks contain small, yellow-orange berries that can be eaten raw or cooked. The plant is an annual and grows to a height of up to three feet. It prefers full sun and well-drained soil.

Planning Your Garden With Chinese Lanterns

As you plan your garden, it's important to think about the spacing, size, light, and nutrient requirements of all of your plant and how they'll grow together.

Some plants require more water than others, while other plants require dry soil. At the same time, some plants prefer full sun, and other plants need the shade to survive.

By studying what each plant requires and planning ahead where all of your plants will grow best, you can optimize your garden space.

Life Cycle Chinese lanterns are usually annual plants.
USDA Zone Chinese lanterns (Physalis alkekengi) are hardy in USDA Zones 5-9.
Cold Tolerance Chinese lanterns are a warm season crop and can usually only tolerate temperatures as low as 32.
Days to harvest The minimum number of days to harvest Chinese lanterns is usually around 60 days.
Average size The average size of a full grown Chinese Lantern plant is between 1 and 2 feet tall and wide.
Spacing requirements Chinese lanterns should be planted 12-18 inches apart to allow for adequate air circulation and space for the plants to grow.
Sun tolerance Chinese lanterns are generally considered to be sun tolerant and can easily handle full sun exposure. They can also tolerate partial shade, but they may not flower as heavily.
Shade tolerance Chinese lanterns are tolerant of both full sun and partial shade. They will flower best in full sun, but will tolerate some shade.
Water requirements Chinese lanterns prefer soil that is consistently moist but not soggy. They should be watered deeply once or twice a week, allowing the top inch of soil to dry out between waterings. During hot and dry weather, they may need to be watered more frequently.
Fertilizer The amount of fertilizer you should use when growing Chinese lanterns will depend on the type of fertilizer you are using and the soil conditions. Generally, a balanced fertilizer with an N-P-K ratio of 10-10-10 should be applied at a rate of 1-2 tablespoons per gallon of soil. It is best to apply the fertilizer every two weeks during the growing season.
Soil pH Chinese lanterns prefer a slightly acidic soil with a pH of 6.0 to 6.5.

Why Chinese Lanterns are Popular

People like to grow Chinese lanterns because of their attractive, bright-colored flowers and their ease of care. The plants are also known for their long-lasting blooms and the fact that they are easy to propagate, making them a popular choice for gardeners.

Companion Plants For Chinese Lanterns

Companion planting is a great way to maximize your garden space and get the most out of your plants. By planting certain plants together, you can help each other thrive. In some cases, you can even help each other repel pests.

Popular companion plants for chinese lanterns include:

Common Pests For Chinese Lanterns

Plant pests are a common problem for gardeners. By understanding what pests are common for your plants, you can take steps to prevent them from damaging your plants.

When you grow chinese lanterns, keep an eye out for these common pests:

  • snails
  • slugs
  • aphids
  • caterpillars
  • whiteflies
  • spider mites
  • mealybugs

USDA Zones

USDA zones are a popular way of determining which plants can grow in your area. Zones tell you when your average first and last frost date are, as well as how cold you can expect it to get in the winter.

Our site works best if you choose your zone from the list below. If you do not know your USDA zone, then you can use our zone map.

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