When to harvest ground cherries? 

In this brief article, we are going to answer the question “when to harvest ground cherries?”. We will discuss how to determine the maturity of ground cherries and how to harvest them. In the end, we will understand whether ground cherries keep ripping after being picked. 

When to harvest ground cherries? 

When the skin color changes from green to yellowish-white, it’s time to harvest the ground cherries. When it reaches this point, the cherry would be extremely simple to pluck, and it may even fall to the earth on its own.

It would be much simpler to harvest all of the ground cherries from the ground but if you used weed control fabric, which would warm the soil in the surrounding area and prevent it from sprouting.

If the developing season has ended and the first significant frost is predicted, but some wrappers are still greener than they are yellow, pick them nevertheless. The same thing happens to ground cherries when they are brought inside as it does to tomatoes.

During maturation, the husk changes color from green to a papery brown, and then the fruit falls to the ground. Give it a slight jiggle if you choose to do so. Collect the fruit that has fallen on the ground, strip it of its husk, and savor it. 

You should cut open one or two of them to see whether they are ready to eat. They have a rich flavor that is similar to that of pineapple. 

The fruit develops in 60 days on average, however, if the cherry husk is still green, the ground cherry is not ripe and should not be eaten. Cherries that have not been fully ripened and pulverized might be toxic.

How to determine the maturity of ground cherries?

Ground cherries typically take 60 to 70 days from planting in spring to mature, although this may vary depending on the area’s moderate summer weather since they ripen most rapidly in warm, sunny conditions. 

After blooming, the ground cherries begin to grow, and they frequently develop under the branches. Check on your plant after you start seeing fruit, or you risk losing a large portion of your crop if the ground cherries start to drop.

With time, the outer shell of an unripe ground cherry starts to harden. Its husk becomes golden-yellow as it matures and surrounds a cherry-sized tomato in a paper lantern-like fashion. 

Unripe ground cherries contain green fruit, thus, avoid harvesting them. Additionally, the husk needs to start drying out and becoming papery.

How to harvest ground cherries?

When picking ground cherries, one must pay close attention to detail to ensure that only fully developed fruits are collected. Raise the branches, and investigate the fruits that are located below them. 

Leave the fruit that isn’t ready yet on the plant so it can finish ripening. Pick the ground cherry with a gentle grip and a tiny twist while pushing it away from the branch will allow you to remove it. 

Another option is to use shears to sever the connection between the fruit and the branch at the base of the stem. Keep your hands away from the branches and vegetation while harvesting fruit.

When they have reached their full potential, ground cherries fall to the ground. If you inspect your plants every day, collecting fallen fruits assures ripeness. Check the plants every day after the fruit is ripe. 

Mulching its bushes prevents the fruits from sinking into the garden soil, so keep them clean. Once you’ve collected the fruits, wash them well and preserve them in their husks for at least two weeks.

Will ground cherries keep ripening after being picked? 

The ground cherries might continue to mature after being removed from the plant. Even while the flavor won’t be quite as wonderful as that of vine-ripened ground cherries, they will still have a delicious and pleasant taste.

When your ground cherries have reached their full maturity, you may store them in the fridge in a dish covered with a piece of cloth or paper towel. The shelf life of ground cherries might extend beyond one’s expectations before they go rancid. 

They can often be stored in the refrigerator for one to two weeks, although in certain cases they may remain fresh for up to one month before becoming mushy.

It is also possible to freeze ground cherries if you have a significant crop and wish to preserve them for later use. Preserve in an airtight container in the freezer for up to three months before using.


In this brief article, we answered the question “when to harvest ground cherries?”. We discussed how to determine the maturity of ground cherries and how to harvest them. In the end, we understood whether ground cherries keep ripening after being picked. 



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Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.