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How to Grow Chinese Lantern Flowers


Chinese Lanterns received their name for the orange-red, paper-like husks they produce, resembling a Chinese Lantern. Native to Asia and Japan, Chinese Lanterns are sometimes called Strawberry Tomato, or Winter Cherry. Chinese Lanterns are related to tomatillos, and are members of the nightshade family.

Chinese Lanterns are perennials. But, many people grow them as annuals. Their paper-like husks contain a berry inside. Flowers are attractive and unique, growing in the garden. The are popular as dried flowers.

Chinese Lantern plants grow 18" - 24". They look good in flower gardens, and are popular in containers on balconies and decks.

Note: Plants can be invasive.

Plant Propagation:

Chinese Lantern are grown from seed. Seeds sprout readily in warm soil.

We recommend an early start indoors in seed trays 6 - 8 weeks before the last frost in your area.

Plants also spread aggressively, via their roots. We recommend using garden edging, to contain their spread in your flower garden and lawn.

How to Grow Chinese Lanterns:

Grow Chinese Lantern in full sun. They will do well in average soils.  If growing as a perennial, select a sunny location where they can grow for years.

Sow seeds early in the season and cover lightly with 1/4" soil. Final spacing of plants should be 18-20" apart.

Water plants during dry periods. Add a general purpose fertilizer once or twice a season.

Once your Chinese Lantern are established, they will grow well and bloom until frost.

After the growing season is over, apply a layer of mulch to protect the roots over the winter months.

Insect and Disease:

If problems occur, treat with insecticides, repellents, or fungicide as needed.

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