Ground Cherries: from fruit to sprout

tbschemer(9/10)May 5, 2010

In saving ground cherry seeds, is there anything special I need to do to make sure they germinate later (e.g. cooling period), or can I just extract them, dry them for a week, and then sow them?

The dorm next to mine has this massive ground cherry plant in their yard, and it's fruiting enough that they let me pick a few. I'm not sure what variety they are, but I'm already germinating some Aunt Molly's, so I thought I might grow some of these alongside.

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No there is nothing special that you need to do to them. Some people put them in a blender with just bit of liquid and then blend them. This makes them come away from the fruit easier. The blender won't hurt the seeds amazingly enough. So after blending, you put the goop in a large bowl add some water and swish it around. The good seed will go to the bottom. Carefully dump out most of the water. You may have to add water a few times to get everything out and have clean seeds on the bottom. Then if you have a fine mesh strainer dump into that to remove the excess water from the seeds. If you don't have one being in a dorm, maybe you can figure something else out like put in a coffee filter and squeeze out the excess. Then spread out on paper towels or paper plates to dry.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2010 at 11:35PM
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I wonder if the fermentation method for tomatoes is a good idea? Or, soaking in a bit of bleach water. Are the seeds prone to any diseases?
I'm going to be sprouting ground cherries here in about a month for a fall planting so I'm curious about the answer too. I'd like to save seeds from it to provide for exchanges.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2010 at 10:28AM
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Hi Tracy,
The fermentation wouldn't hurt anything. Though from what I can tell, ground cherries are not susceptible to diseases like tomatoes. When I've grown them the foliage stays nice.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2010 at 9:52PM
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albert_135(Sunset 2 or 3)

What are "ground cherries"? I find a prune and a berry called ground cherries, among perhaps other things.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2010 at 11:19AM
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Ground Cherries are in the genus Physalis. There are a few species that are grown. They are closely related to Tomatillos which are also a Physalis species. The Physalis genus is related to tomatoes. Tomatoes are the genus Lycopersicon. So though related, they don't always have the same disease problems.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   May 13, 2010 at 8:55PM
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As a side note to saving the seed. I didn't have time to save the seed right away. They ended up staying in husk for about three months in a bowl. When I got to them, most had shriveled up to where all that was left was a ball of seeds. Where did all that pulp go??? :-)
Carefully when handling, seed ball is sticky and the seeds easily stick to your fingers making it a challenge to get them off.
So I took the husk off and now going to put in the blender.
Remy, did you take the husk off before blending?


    Bookmark   December 12, 2010 at 3:23PM
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Hi Michael,
The ground cherries got desiccated because conditions were dry enough to cause that instead of rot.
Take the husks off before blending.
Though it sounds like you might not have to blend now. The blending is to get them to separate from the flesh. If all you really have is seeds left, rinsing the seeds to make them un-sticky might work.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2010 at 7:41PM
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Thanks! I was having a hard time figuring out the "correct" way to prepare the seeds for my garden. My plants came up wild and I saved the fruits to plant this year. I really appreciate the help.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2011 at 10:33AM
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