Growing of Physalis and Kiwi fruit

kukuiula-kauai-poha-berry-thinkstock.com_Question. I want to grow Physalis and Kiwi fruit. Can you please guide me where to get the plants?

Answer. Presumably you wish to cultivate edible rather than purely ornamental Physalis in which case Physalis peruviana or Cape gooseberry is the best choice. This perennial species, originating in tropical South America, is surprisingly hardy and the yellowish-orange fruit is tangy yet sweet. It enjoys well-drained soil rich in organic matter, lots of sunshine and needs regular watering. Easy and fast to grow from seed, this should be sown during late spring; it will crop in its first year and is relatively pest and problem free. The plants will need supporting to keep the fruit — encased in a papery lantern — off the ground. Quite a few people grow it in Karachi so I suggest that you ask your local Horticultural Society about a seed or plant source. Otherwise you will have to source seed via the internet as local seed stores do not stock it.

Kiwi fruit Actinida chinensis have become increasingly popular in recent years and vines — unless you find a self-fertile variety you will need both male and female, one male being sufficient for 15 female vines — are available, by bus / post from Lahore. Kiwi vines grow rapidly and can, unless kept pruned, be huge. They require very rich, well drained soil in a sheltered, sunny spot and must be given extra strong support right from the word go. They will need watering daily in hot weather.



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