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Chinese Lantern Plant Size:
Get the Right Size for You

Updated: July 14, 2022

If you are looking for a stunning addition to your garden or home decor, look no further than the Chinese lantern plant. This plant, also known as Physalis alkekengi, is a perennial that produces striking orange-red lantern-shaped seed pods that are sure to catch the eye. But before you rush out to buy one, it’s important to consider the size of the plant and whether it will fit in with your space and gardening needs.

What is the Chinese lantern plant?

The Chinese lantern plant is a member of the nightshade family and is native to Europe and Asia. It grows up to two feet tall and wide and produces small white flowers in the summer that later turn into the distinctive papery lanterns. The plant prefers well-drained soil and full sun or partial shade.

Size Varieties

There are several varieties of Chinese lantern plants, each with different sizes and growth habits. Here are some of the most common types:

  • Dwarf: This variety grows to only 6-12 inches tall and wide, making it ideal for small gardens or container planting.
  • Compact: This type grows to around 18 inches tall and wide, making it a good choice for border planting or as a focal point in a smaller garden.
  • Giant: As the name suggests, this variety can grow up to 4 feet tall and wide. It’s best suited for larger gardens or as a standalone feature in a spacious yard.

Choosing the Right Size for Your Space

When deciding on which size of Chinese lantern plant to get, consider the space you have available. If you have a small garden or planter box, a dwarf or compact variety would be best. These smaller plants are also easier to care for, as they require less watering and pruning.

If you have a larger garden or want to create a dramatic statement with your Chinese lantern plant, a giant variety would be a good choice. Keep in mind that these plants require more space and maintenance, so be prepared to give them the care they need to thrive.

Care and Maintenance

Chinese lantern plants are relatively easy to care for, but they do require some maintenance to keep them healthy and looking their best. Here are some tips for caring for your plant:

  • Water regularly: Chinese lantern plants prefer well-drained soil, but they still need to be watered regularly, especially during hot, dry weather.
  • Prune as needed: Trim back any dead or damaged branches and prune the plant in the fall to encourage new growth.
  • Provide support: Giant varieties may need support from stakes or trellises to keep them upright.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Chinese lantern plants invasive?

Chinese lantern plants can be invasive in some areas, so it’s important to check with your local gardening center or extension office before planting them. If they are invasive in your area, consider planting them in containers instead of directly in the ground.

Can Chinese lantern plants be grown indoors?

Yes, Chinese lantern plants can be grown indoors in a bright location with well-drained soil. However, they may not produce the distinctive seed pods when grown indoors.

How do I harvest Chinese lantern seed pods?

Wait until the seed pods have turned completely orange-red before harvesting them. Cut the stem just below the pod and remove any remaining leaves or stems. Hang the seed pods upside down in a dry, well-ventilated area until they are completely dry. Store them in a cool, dry place until you’re ready to use them for crafts or decor.


Chinese lantern plants are a unique and eye-catching addition to any garden or home decor. With their striking orange-red seed pods and manageable size varieties, there’s a Chinese lantern plant that will fit perfectly into your space and gardening needs. With proper care and maintenance, your Chinese lantern plant will thrive and provide beauty for years to come.

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