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EZ way to start your own Inca Berry from seed

How to Start your own Inca Berry

(Physalis peruviana)


The Inca Berry is a tasty fruit but the plant only lives about 3 years.  Therefore, you need to propagate it regularly.  Many have tried cuttings but they don’t seem to work well.  Fortunately the Inca Berry is very easy to grow from seed.


Step 1:

Grab a ripe Inca Berry and squeeze out the flesh and seeds.

propagate Inca Berry

squeeze Inca Berry

Step 2:

Drop the whole mess in a small pot with soil.  There is no seed drying or seed prep necessary.

Inca berry in the pot

Inca berry in the pot

Step 3:

Spray the Inca Berry mess with seeds with water (this will spread out the seeds and also minimally bury the seeds).

Spray the inca berry

Spray the Inca Berry with water

Step 4:

Keep the soil moist.  In about a month the Inca Berry seeds will have germinated and you will have more plants than you know what to do with (the picture below is a month after the picture above).  Divide the Inca Berry plants and share.

propagate Inca Berry

Keep they young Inca Berry moist and watch it grow

You can read more about the Inca Berry on my earlier post (see link below)



If you don’t have access to the fruit, then buying seeds would be my second choice.
The cool thing is that once you get them going, you wont need to buy Inca Berry seeds again because you just use the fruit to grow additional plants.
I found what looks to be good Inca Berry (Physalis Peruvian) seeds on Amazon (see link below).
CAPE GOOSEBERRY “Physalis Peruviana” 25-Annual Seeds



Check out my virtual video tasting below

About Thomas Osborne, MD

Dr. Osborne is a Harvard trained Radiologist and Neuroradiologist who loves to share his insight about medicine and gardening.


  1. Good day Dr.,

    I am impressed on your gardening knowledge. I am a farmer by heart and wish to grow plants in an organic way just like the plants and trees have been before fertilizer.

    Thank you very much for your sharing your fascination on plants and your experiments.

    I share your love of nature and desire to help people. I am from the Philippines and I have a degree in Mech. Engineering, did some work Saudi Arabia and lucky to have a break.

    Regards and thanks again,


    • Thomas Osborne, MD

      Hey Bill
      Thank you for your note; I am happy to hear that you enjoy the website.

      I am finding that there are a lot of highly educated science professionals like yourself that have farming in their blood.

      I am sure you are growing all kinds of fantastic plants in the Philippines. I had some awesome tropical fruit when I was there…. and ummm… ube ice cream! So good.


  2. I forgot to harvest seed last year and just allowed the veiled golden berries to dry. only two sub performing plants popped up after several months. how do I get these dried berries to germinate? smash after soaking in water? or are they toast? these two microsurvivors may not be best choice for propagating … but they did what none of the other dried berries have been able to do.
    also notice last year a problem with some tote of infestation that caused leaves to develop numerous tiny holes on nearly all
    leaves. first couple of years we had no such pest issue and the plants were twice the size. this years two plants are perhaps 25% + 15% of the first year’s plant size. berries look smler but not ripe yet, so. Maybe they will continue to grow.

    any ideas ? many thanks from South Central Tejas … 3 mi N of Alamo.

    • Thomas Osborne, MD

      Hey JD Kapp, Thanks for the great questions.

      Dry seed germination:
      I only have personal experience with fresh seed germination for Physalis peruviana. Therefore, I can only speculate about your dry seed germination question. However, since the plant is so closely related to the tomatillo, I would expect that similar growing conditions could work.

      Leaf Hole infestation:
      I am not exactly sure whats eating the leaves, but I have seen beetles make Swiss Cheese out of different plant leaves. If the holes are really tiny, it could be fungal. Snails can sometimes make a similar mess. You might want to take a look at the plant at night to see if you catch the villain. In theory, tomato horned worms should also like these plants, but I haven’t seen them on the golden berries myself. Besides, the horned worms should cause more of a “munched on the side” of the leaf look. Cutworm is another possible pest, but their damage is usually more dramatic when they cut down entire branches.

      Perhaps another reader could offer some insight.

      Please keep us updated.


  3. I bought dried Inca berries at our local food co-op, opened one of them, recovered the seeds, planted them one by one in a small pot with dirt (of course, dirt), and they are still there, growing. It was an experiment. Someone had told me that we couldn’t grow from seeds coming from dried food, as they are radiated at the border, for safety reason or to kill us all, I don’t know. I feel that our food should stay alive and therefore, avoid radiation. But what do I know. Anyway, the seeds germinated and I have beautiful little plants now. It seems that they would not survive our winter here, in the mountains. I live in British Columbia, Canada – in the Kootenays, near the Rockies, and it can get cold in the winter: -25 Celsius is not rare, and we could have that for few weeks in a row. So I’m a bit disappointed. However, I’m going to plant half of my plants outside, mulch them very well, and keep half inside for the winter. I know… I neglected those plants and should have planted those months ago… I just needed to find them a good spot, create a good bed, with dirt and everything, as where I live, there’s not much top soil and I have to start from square one each time I create a bed. So, that’s my excuse. I’ll keep you posted on the results of my not so scientific or rigorous experiment.

    • Thomas Osborne, MD

      Hey Chantal

      What a great story. That is awesome that you were able to grow Inca berries from dried fruit.

      As far as your cold British Columbia growing conditions… I would be rather surprised if they made it through the winter outside.
      However, I would expect that the plants grown inside your house by a bright window would have a good chance of making it through the winter.

      Either way, if you are able to save some seeds from this years crop, then you could just grow your Inca berries as an annual (like a tomato).

      I do look forward to hearing about how things go.
      Thanks for the info!


  4. Hello, I live in Northern Ireland and have been given 1 Inca berry plant as a gift. I have kept it indoors as weather very changeable and cold this summer, not much sun. Just wondering do I need more than one plant for pollination or should I have moved it to the greenhouse beside my tomato plants. I have only two flowers on my Inca berry plant which is nearly 6 foot tall. Do you think these will fruit and do you have any pictures of an Inca berry plant in full flower. Any advice appreciated. Thanks Ann

    • Thomas Osborne, MD

      Hey Ann
      Sounds like you are in a tricky situation.

      A low-flowering rate may be related to a lot of factors.
      Top of the list may be the age of the plant and the growing conditions.
      If your plant is 6F tall then it is likely old enough.

      These plants do like direct sunlight. Therefore, for your area, the more light the better.
      In fact, if your plant is really tall and leggy (thin) then it might be growing tall as a way of reaching to find more light.
      Overall, if you dont have a bright greenhouse than growing indoors will be a challenge… if for no other reason than the reduced amount of sunlight.
      Of course, growing outdoors also means you might be fighting off bugs.
      But, the bottom line is: not enough sun, not enough energy to make flowers or fruit.

      My advice would be to migrate it outside, moving slowly to a location with as much full sun as possible.
      (move slowly to full sun so it can adapt).

      I would only bring it back in when there is a threat of frost.
      Otherwise, they should do fine in chilly, nonfreezing, conditions.
      A big container will also help to keep the soil conditions more constant and prevent it from getting root-bound.

      Hope this helps and please keep us posted.


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