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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 look good in the garden, and can also be used as dried flowers.

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

Note: Plants can be invasive.


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 via their roots. We recommend using garden edging, to contain their spread in your flower garden.

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.

Insect and Disease:

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

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