I read that you should let ground cherries physalis pruinosa, also known as Stawberry Tomato, fall to the ground and then pick them.

It is going to freeze and the plant is loaded with fruit. If I pick the the fruit and let them stand, will they turn yellow and ripen as a tomato would?

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    You could experiment it (take some, leave some, and the rest: look for real answers). I doesn't know about this species, but "ripen after picking" (or the inverse, for storage) is a science. Some do it, some could never ripen, some needs hay or apple nearby to ripen (both release a organic hormone). Commented Oct 27, 2017 at 8:30
  • Welcome Audrey! Do you have any pictures of your plant and fruit you could post for us please? Some people, including me, are confusing it with the type of cherry fruit that falls from a cherry tree. Thanks! Commented Oct 27, 2017 at 19:19

2 Answers 2


When you say its going to freeze, do you mean you're going to have a frost? I don't know what Zone you're in, but it seems unlikely you'll be going straight from cool to the ground freezing solid in a day.

Physalis pruinosa is a frost sensitive plant, obviously, but if there's going to be frost tonight,do not pick your ground cherries - cover them with a tarpaulin or something to keep the frost off, lift it tomorrow, and replace and lift each night if its going to be frosty, until your ground cherries are fully ripe and falling off the plant. More information is available in this article: Tutorial on How to Grow and Store Ground Cherries (Physalis pruinosa).

It is possible to pick them a little under ripe, and they should ripen off indoors in the same way as tomatoes, but it's much better to let them ripen on the plant than off,so just keep the frost off them. The greener they are, the less likely to ripen off fully indoors.


Okay, I answered thinking you were talking about cherries from a tree, did not think right this morning. So I am completely redoing my answer. So...

We grow our own ground cherries and I can say they WILL ripen if picked green. There will be some that fall on the ground and still be pretty green, with slight yellow. Just put them in a box and within 2 weeks they should be pretty rip. So in short they should. Good luck!

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    Note: "ground cherries" are not "cherries", but Physalis. Commented Oct 27, 2017 at 15:07
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    @Giacomo Catenazzi, Oh my bad, I was thinking cherries. I am going to work on re-doing my answer. Thanks for pointing that out!
    – Ljk2000
    Commented Oct 27, 2017 at 18:41

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