Mexican tomato in a bright flashlight, or how to grow vegetable physalis

Vegetable physalis is, unfortunately, not a habitual resident of our gardens. This vegetable is grown by rare enthusiasts, and the fruits of the Mexican tomato - so often called vegetable physalis - are extremely healthy and tasty. They make caviar, vegetable stew, add to the first dishes, salt and pickle, make candied fruit and boil jam. And growing it is no more difficult than other members of the nightshade family, for example, eggplant or tomatoes.

Grade description

Edible physalis is usually divided into two large varieties: vegetable physalis and berry. The berry variety, the most popular representative of which is strawberry physalis, can grow everywhere. It is used not only in fresh form, but also dried, used to make stewed fruit, preserves and even sweets. Varieties of berry physalis have a sweet or sour-sweet taste, they are medium-sized, most often amber-yellow.

Vegetable physalis, unlike berry physalis, has larger fruits (up to 80 g). They can have a variety of colors: yellow, green and even purple. The variety is more productive, has fewer requirements for heat and light.

In the photo in the upper row are the fruits of the vegetable physalis, and in the lower - berry

Vegetable physalis is an annual with large, fragrant, yellow or bright orange flowers resembling small bells. One plant of this crop can produce up to 200 fruits. There are tall (about 1 m) and undersized, almost creeping on the ground, varieties. The physalis fruit has a rounded shape and is formed in an overgrown cup, which covers it like a cover.

It is the small case of the berry that is responsible for its protection from frost, pests and many diseases, and also contributes to long-term storage.

Photo gallery: appearance of vegetable physalis

The physalis fruit is enclosed in a green box, which is formed by fused sepals.

Harvesting vegetable physalis begins in June and ends in late autumn

Physalis flowers can have yellow, orange, less often white, sometimes lilac color

Physalis fruit is a fleshy berry of yellow-green or yellow-orange color, similar to a tomato, tastes from very pleasant to hot-bitter

When ripening, the color of the case, in which the physalis fruit is enclosed, changes to a brighter

Growing Regions and Culture Features

The birthplace of the physalis is considered Central America. This vegetable was especially fond of the inhabitants of Mexico. They widely use its fruits in the preparation of hot sauces and salads.

The culture grows well not only in the southern regions, but also in the northern regions of the Non-Chernozem region, and other areas with a short daylight hours. Physalis is the most cold-resistant member of the nightshade family. Its seedlings can tolerate a drop in temperature to -3 degrees, and a powerful root system helps the culture fight drought. The vegetable is unpretentious, resistant to diseases, including late blight, and pests, it ripens quite early and is well stored.

Mexican physalis is a typical vegetable crop, similar in its biological properties to tomato, but more cold-resistant, drought-resistant, less demanding on light

Gardeners growing physalis note that working with this crop always leaves only the most pleasant experience.

Composition, useful properties and application of vegetable physalis

The fruits of vegetable physalis are rich in carbohydrates, glucose and fructose. They contain many active substances: tannin, polyphenol, physalin, cryptoxanin, as well as a large amount of organic acids and vitamins. Lycopene, a strong antioxidant that is used in medicine for the prevention of cancer, gives the fruits a bright color. Nutritionists recommend including vegetable physalis in their diet due to the presence of pectin, a substance that helps cleanse the body of toxins, toxins, cholesterol and heavy metals.

In 100 grams of berries of this plant contains only 32 kilocalories, that is, almost half as much as grapes and mangoes

Traditional medicine notes the anti-inflammatory, hemostatic, analgesic, diuretic and choleretic effects of the fruits of physalis. Official medicine recommends using the vegetable to people suffering from diabetes, hypertension, cholecystitis and even a stomach ulcer, as well as a tonic.

You should know that the aerial part of the plant, as well as the capsules of the fetus contain a large amount of alkaloids, which can have a negative effect on the human body.

The most actively vegetable physalis is used in cooking:

  • physalis gives a delicate taste to vegetable stew and side dishes;
  • it is recommended to be added to soups, borscht and sauces;
  • from baked physalis not only excellent caviar is obtained, but also a filling for pies;
  • those housewives who tried to pickle this vegetable, note its similarity to canned tomatoes;
  • gourmets claim that the jam from the fruits of physalis resembles fig.

True, many gardeners note a not very pleasant taste even of ripened raw fruits.

Photo gallery: culinary delights from physalis

Caviar from physalis can immediately be served to the table, or you can roll up for the winter

Pickled physalis for the winter resembles pickled green tomatoes to taste, only the taste of physalis is slightly softer

Before soaking, the washed physalis fruits should be scalded with boiling water, then dipped in cold water

Physalis is cooked not only with paprika, tomatoes and coriander, it goes well with meat, giving it a special aroma and piquant taste

To make jam, the physalis vegetables are not only washed, but also blanched in hot water to remove the bitterness and mucous coating

Video: Physalis Jam

Growing Vegetable Physalis

Physalis compares favorably with many garden crops in that its cultivation does not require special material and labor costs. With minimal care, it gives a good harvest, pleases with its appearance on almost any soil, and grows well in open areas and in partial shade.

Only too acidic soils and stagnation of moisture adversely affect the growth and productivity of the crop.

Agrotechnical methods of growing crops are completely standard and include

  • preparation of planting material;
  • preparing the site for planting;
  • sowing, which is carried out through seedlings or directly by seeds into the soil;
  • care, consisting of weeding, loosening, watering and top dressing;
  • harvesting, processing and storage of crops.

Preparing planting material

Seed preparation should begin with calibration. To do this, you need a 5% saline solution in which planting material is placed. After mixing, light seeds will remain on the surface, which are usually less viable, therefore it is not recommended to take them for sowing. A good harvest will give seeds that have sunk to the bottom of the tank.

In saline, feeble and damaged specimens will float along with debris, while large, full-bodied specimens will be at the bottom

The selected seeds must be washed with water and dried. Then they are recommended to hold for half an hour in a pink solution of potassium permanganate for disinfection.

Soil preparation

Vegetable physalis is recommended to be planted after cabbage and cucumbers, but solanaceous crops - tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, eggplant and physalis itself - are undesirable precursors for vegetables. The bed is prepared in advance, about two weeks before sowing seeds or planting seedlings. The soil is dug up and seasoned with humus (half a bucket per 1 sq. M) and ash (100 g per 1 sq. M).

Fresh manure in the garden is not recommended.


Vegetable physalis can be sown directly into the soil. Seeds germinate at a low (+ 10–12 degrees) temperature, seedlings easily tolerate spring return frosts. Ground sowing usually yields higher yields, as the plants do not transplant, dive, and therefore do not injure their root system. As a result, the bushes grow powerful, do not get sick. Sowing in open ground is carried out in late April or early May, focusing on weather conditions.

When determining the planting scheme, it is necessary to take into account the characteristics of the variety, namely the tallness and sprawl of the bush.

Analyzing the experience of gardeners, we can say that the rows should be located at a distance of about 70 cm from each other. After the appearance of these leaves, mandatory thinning is performed, leaving at least 50 cm between the seedlings. Remote plants are used as seedlings, planting them in free places. They take root well, give a full-fledged crop, but its collection will be postponed for one to two weeks.

In any case, soil plantings give a later harvest compared to seedling cultivation. Seedlings are planted in the ground 30–35 days after emergence. By this time, they should have 5-7 true leaflets and a well-developed root system. When determining the timing of planting physalis seedlings in open ground, you should focus on the characteristics of a particular region and the weather conditions of the season.

If in your area suitable conditions for planting seedlings in the ground occur in mid-May, then, respectively, sowing seedlings should be carried out in mid-April.

Sowing physalis seedlings

This process is identical to the tomato planting familiar to many gardeners. There are two ways to plant seeds:

  • immediately into separate containers and grow without picking, sprinkling the earth with the growth of seedlings;
  • in a total capacity, and then plant the seedlings in separate cups.

In shops, special soil for physalis is not sold, but since this plant is the closest relative to peppers and tomatoes, a mixture intended for growing seedlings of these crops is quite suitable.

Ready soil contains the whole complex of nutrients necessary for a rich harvest

Many people prepare the nutrient mixture for planting physalis on their own. To do this, take the following components:

  • peat;
  • humus;
  • garden land;
  • river sand;
  • wood ash.

The ratio of these ingredients should be 2: 1: 1: 0.5 + 0.5 cups per 5 liters of soil mix

The sowing procedure includes standard steps:

  1. The tank is filled with prepared soil mixture.
  2. Seeds that have undergone pre-sowing treatment are carefully distributed over the soil surface.

    Gently distribute the seeds on the surface of the soil using a piece of plain white paper

  3. Fill the seeds with a layer of soil no more than 1 cm, slightly compacted so that when irrigated they are not washed to the surface.

    Depth of planting of seeds of vegetable physalis - no more than 1 cm

  4. Watering is carried out in small doses, waiting for the absorption of moisture.

    Watering is carried out carefully, starting from the edge of the tank, in small portions.

  5. The container is covered with a transparent material (plastic cover, glass or a simple plastic bag), and put on a light windowsill. Planting is aired daily, watered as necessary.

    Shelter containers with seeds planted with transparent material helps to create greenhouse conditions that contribute to quick and friendly shoots

At room temperature in the region of +20 degrees, seedlings will appear in 5-6 days.

Physalis pick

A picking is recommended to be carried out after the appearance of 2-3 true leaves on the seedlings. The soil mixture is used the same as for sowing seeds, additionally adding 1 teaspoon of complex mineral fertilizer for each half a bucket of soil.

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The picking process itself is carried out as follows:

  1. Fill cassettes with prepared soil mixture.

    Cassettes fill with soil mix about 1 cm below the edges

  2. In the middle of the container, a recess is made so that a seedling fits into it to the cotyledon leaves. On the buried stalk, lateral roots will quickly appear that will strengthen the root system of the plant.

    The seedling is planted in a small hole, and then they press the earth to the root of the plant

  3. If the roots of the seedling are too long, then they can be cut without harm to the plant.

    Removing the tip of the main root will not harm the plant, but will contribute to the growth of additional lateral roots

  4. The soil is slightly compacted.
  5. Produce watering. After moistening, the soil may settle slightly. In this case, add soil in such a way that it is below the edge of the tank by about 1 cm.

    Watering seedlings is carried out with room temperature water

Many gardeners plant vegetable physalis seeds in well-equipped greenhouses. By mid-April, the soil in them is sufficiently warmed up and the conditions for the growth of culture will be quite suitable.

Further seedling care

Physalis seedlings, as well as other vegetable crops, will grow well in a sufficiently lit place, but not in direct sunlight. Watering seedlings is carried out as necessary, and young physalis prefers organic fertilizing. You can use a solution of mullein (1:10) or bird droppings (1:20). Suitable for feeding plants and special fertilizers for seedlings. Their advantages are:

  • fast solubility;
  • lack of sediment;
  • the content of not only the basic elements of nutrition, but also trace elements.

The trading network offers a wide selection of water-soluble fertilizers suitable for seedling of vegetable physalis

Feeding is carried out necessarily under the root, so that the young leaves do not get burns.

Before planting in open ground, home seedlings are recommended to be hardened. To do this, containers with seedlings are taken out into the open air for a week: first, for several hours during the day, gradually increasing the residence time. At an air temperature of not lower than +12 degrees, seedlings can be left on the street or in a greenhouse for the night.

Planting seedlings in open ground

The plan for planting seedlings in the ground should be roughly the same as when sowing seeds. The process of planting seedlings is as follows:

  1. On the prepared bed, holes are prepared according to the above scheme. The depth of the hole should correspond to the size of the root system of the seedling along with a lump of earth.
  2. A handful of humus is added to each well and mixed with ground.
  3. Seedlings are carefully removed from the container, being careful not to damage the roots.
  4. Place the seedling in the hole, deepening to the first real leaf.

    Physalis seedlings are planted in open ground in May (1-2 weeks earlier than tomatoes)

  5. The seedling is covered with earth.
  6. Lightly compacted, watered and mulched with peat.

    After transplanting, the bed with physalis must be watered

Physalis Care

Further care for vegetable physalis is completely standard and will not be difficult even for inexperienced gardeners:

  • the soil must be maintained in a loose and wet state;
  • remove weeds on time;
  • if necessary, tie up the bush, as the height of some varieties is more than 1 m;
  • every 2 weeks you need to feed the bushes, alternating the application of organic matter (for example 10% infusion of mullein) with complex mineral fertilizers (15-20 g per bucket of water);
  • if physalis is planted in a humid area, then it is recommended to plant plants. This will strengthen them, will contribute to better ripening of fruits.

Physalis stepsoning, unlike tomatoes, does not require. In autumn, it is recommended to pinch the top of the bush. This will limit growth and accelerate fruit ripening.

Physalis fruits are formed at the branching points of the stem, so the stronger the branches branch, the higher the yield

All gardeners note the excellent resistance of vegetable physalis to almost all pests and diseases.

Ripening vegetable physalis and harvesting fruits

Most of the fruits of physalis are formed on two branches of the first order and four - the second. On the remaining shoots, both flowers and fruits will be single. Fruiting lasts until frost. The main signs of ripening will be:

  • discoloration of the case and the fetus itself;
  • drying and lightening of covers;
  • shedding fruit.

The fruits of vegetable physalis ripen gradually, so the harvest is stretched from June to October

If the fruits on the branches have reached market size, but have not ripened, then the plant is torn out with the roots and suspended for ripening in a dry room.

Ripe fruits are cleaned from covering covers and stored at a temperature of +1 to +5 degrees. The shelf life of fresh physalis under these conditions can be up to 2 months.

Harvesting the seeds of vegetable physalis

If you want to collect your own physalis seeds, then this is easy:

  1. A large, selected fruit is cut, poured with water, preferably rain, and left for a day to soften.

    For harvesting seeds, you need to choose the well-ripened fruits of vegetable physalis

  2. The mass is periodically mixed, and then rubbed through a sieve.
  3. The selected seeds must be washed and dried.
  4. Store planting material in a dry room in fabric or paper bags. Subject to storage conditions, the seeds retain their germination for three to four years.

Collected seeds do not always retain varietal characteristics, especially if several varieties of physalis grew on the site. This plant is easily pollinated, but most often bushes from seeds obtained independently grow not worse than the parent, and in many ways even surpass them.

Video: growing vegetable physalis

Reviews gardeners about vegetable physalis

I also raised physalis this year. It’s delicious to pickle it. If necessary, I can lay out the recipe. But in fact there is nothing unusual in this recipe, the only thing that is offered is to pierce the fruits in order to better marinate. It is very important when you remove the case (the so-called fruit shell, it’s written in my smart book) thoroughly rinse the fruit to get rid of the sticky coating, which gives bitterness to the fruit. I was surprised how easy (unlike tomatoes) physalis grows. No pests, no diseases.


The most unpretentious vegetable physalis is Mexican vegetable; it is colder than tomatoes. Just sow the seeds in a big box, water it, and most importantly - in the sun. So they grow in a box, I don’t even plant them. If they are extended, then they can be cut off and put into water by one third, literally in a few days they are already with roots. I plant in late May, early June in the open ground in a sunny place. If there is still a threat of night frosts, then I cover with a film, acrylic, etc. It is rarely necessary to plant. Ripen from late August to September, then it is all yellow and the jam is excellent. The most important thing in physalis is the jelly substance, due to it we get marmalade. Strawberry is very tasty, we eat it in the country. I want to warn you that Peruvian is still for sale, so there is a lot of fuss with it, only in the greenhouse, the vegetative period is longer than the above, in principle, it does not ripen to the end in the Moscow Region. I have been growing vegetable physalis for 17 years. I wish you success.


I sow the seeds of vegetable physalis under winter, somewhere from October 1 to 10, it sprouts perfectly, then in May I plant it at a distance of 30–40 cm from each other. not stepson. I tie up. I feed 1 time complex as soon as it begins to bloom. Roll up like tomatoes.


We roll it, just like tomatoes. But the wife cannot eat tomatoes, because of problems with acidity. But physalis, sweep only give. Under the potato is a sweet deal. Taste sweet and sour. But never harsh. Very tasty. But we don’t cook jam with him. So goes to salads in the summer. There are many bushes. Plus, physalis is recommended for patients with diabetes mellitus ..


We have also been growing physalis on the site for many years, but for some reason I am not happy with it freshly. But the jam from it is very tasty, cook constantly, in jars, roll up for the winter too, it also tastes good and looks good on the plot ..


I collected two buckets from about one square meter. Cooked physalis jam with decorative quince, taste and aroma similar to gooseberry jam. Most pickled. Still blooming in full and the sea of ​​unripe fruits. Surprisingly, despite the proximity to late blight tomatoes, endless dampness and cold in the open ground, physalis did not get sick with anything.


Если вы ещё не выращивали физалис и вас заинтересовало это растение, то начните эксперименты с мексиканского овощного — нетребовательной культуры, которая достойно может заменить более сложные в выращивании томаты и дополнить ваше меню вкусными соленьями, салатами и десертами.


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