Japanese Lanterns and Everlasting Flower Mixes


“I like Japanese Lanterns, but I don’t like to grow just a single thing in a row. I like things in a mix. Do you know of any variety from any seed company that has Japanese Lanterns in their mix. I am starting to make my seed list out for next year, so would appreciate your advice.

Margaret”

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Hi Margaret,

Thanks for your email regarding Japanese Lanterns (Physalis alkekengi var. franchetii).

Japanese Lanterns

As much as I’d like to tell you that Japanese Lanterns are available in some type of everlasting flower mix, it’s just not the case.  Japanese Lanterns are perennials (winter hardy to Zone 3) and require a little bit of indoor work to start the seeds.  Like their cousins, Ground Cherry (Physalis longifolia) and Tomatillo (Physalis ixocarpa), Japanese Lanterns require 4-6 weeks to germinate at a soil temperature of 75-85 F (24-30 C).  If planted directly into the soil in your garden, the small seeds are not usually not great performers.

What I recommend doing is starting the seed inside in February/March and transplanting it into your perennial garden.  You can then plant whatever flowers you like around it so that you achieve the ‘mixed’ effect.

Unfortunately, most American seed companies seem to be shying away from selling anything but the most common plants — consider it the “McDonald’s generation” of gardening where people just don’t understand how fantastically beautiful and very easy to grow most near-nonexistent flowers are.  Let me tell you, you don’t see the same trend in Europe!  Anyway, the only reputable place I have found in the U.S. to buy seed for Japanese Lanterns is from Swallowtail Garden Seeds.

I hope this information helps you out.  If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask!

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© Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk!, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk! with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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