The botanical name of Chinese lanterns plants is Physalis alkekengi. The Chinese lanterns plants look like tomatillos or husk tomatoes. They all look alike because they are all members of the nightshade family. The spring flowers are actually pretty enough, but the real delight of a Chinese lantern plant is the large, red-orange, inflated seed pod from which the plant gets its common name. These papery pods enclose a fruit that is edible though not very tasty. While the plant leaves and the unripened fruit are actually poisonous, a lot of people like to make use of the pods in dried flower arrangements. Continue reading to learn more about chinese lantern tree care.


How to propagate Chinese lantern plant

Actually, the growing of Chinese lantern plants is similar to the growing of other members of the nightshade family, such as peppers, tomatoes, and eggplant. The Chinese lantern plant is winter hardy in USDA plant hardiness zones three through nine. In addition to growing Chinese lantern plants from small transplants, a lot of people have success with growing Chinese lantern plant seeds. Chinese lantern plant seeds can be a bit fussy to germinate. You can easily start them indoors in late winter or early spring. The plant actually need light in order to germinate, so lay them on top of the soil and place the pot in an area with bright but indirect light and temperatures between seventy and seventy-five degrees Fahrenheit. You need to have patience with the plant as it takes as long as a month for the seedlings to emerge. Once transplanted outdoors, the Chinese lantern plant care and growth begins with choosing the right site. The Chinese lantern plant needs average, moist but well-drained soil and they also prefers full sun although it will tolerate light shade.


Chinese lantern Tree Care

Caring for the Chinese lantern plants is easy. Make sure you keep the soil moist at all times. Water the plant when there is less than an inch (2.5 cm.) of rainfall in a week and also spread a two to four inch layer of mulch on the soil to prevent water evaporation while keeping the roots cool as well. You can fertilize the plant with a slow-release fertilizer in spring and a balanced general-purpose fertilizer after flowering. If the Chinese lantern plants become leggy after flowering, you can easily cut them back to give them a fresh start. You can cut the plants back nearly to the ground at the end of the season.  

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