Jerusalem Cherry Seeds
USDA Zones: 8 - 11
Height: 16 inches
Bloom Season: Late spring to early summer
Bloom Color: White
Environment: Full sun to partial shade
Soil Type: Rich, well-drained soil, pH 6.6 - 7.5
Temperature: 60 - 65F
Average Germ Time: 14 - 21 days
Light Required: No
Depth: 1/4 - 1/2 inch deep in loose soil
Sowing Rate: 2 - 3 seeds per plant
Moisture: Keep seeds moist until germination
Plant Spacing: 9 - 12 inches
Care & Maintenance: Jerusalem Cherry
Jerusalem Cherry (Solanum Pseudocapsicum) - Grown from Jerusalem Cherry seeds, this ornamental plant is a nightshade species with poisonous fruit. It was a popular, old-fashioned ornamental that still is as lovely today as ever. It is commonly known as the Jerusalem Cherry, Madeira Winter Cherry, or simply Winter Cherry. These perennials can be grown decoratively as house plants or outdoors as an ornamental plant. Jerusalem Cherry will grow as a perennial outdoors down to USDA Zone 8. In colder zones, Jerusalem Cherry will only be an annual. Indoors or in frost-free zones, Jerusalem Cherry plants will live up to 10 years, producing fruit usually in their second or third year, and every year after that.
The Winter Cherry plant does produce inedible fruit with primarily the poison solanocapsine, which is similar to other alkaloids found in their genus, such as solanine and atropine. Although the toxin is poisonous, it is generally not life-threatening. It may cause gastric problems, including vomiting and gastroenteritis.
Sow the Jerusalem Cherry seeds indoors onto regular potting compost. Transplant the seedlings into individual pots once they have two pairs of true leaves and are large enough to handle. Jerusalem Cherry is an excellent plant addition, especially for container gardening, whether indoors as a house plant or outdoors in the garden. Winter Cherry plants often produce fruit around the Christmas season making them a useful gift to give.