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How Deep Does Chinese Lantern Plant Need to Be Planted?

Updated: April 2, 2022

If you’re looking for a unique, eye-catching plant to add to your garden or home, the Chinese lantern plant (Physalis alkekengi) may be just what you need. This plant, which is also known as the bladder cherry, is known for its distinctive, papery bright orange-red lantern-like calyx that envelopes its fruit.

When it comes to planting Chinese lanterns, one of the most common questions is how deep they need to be planted. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at this topic and provide some tips on how to grow this beautiful plant successfully.

How Deep Should You Plant Chinese Lantern Bulbs?

The depth at which you should plant your Chinese lantern bulbs will depend on several factors, including the size of the bulbs and the type of soil in your garden. Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to plant your bulbs at a depth of around 4-5 inches.

If you’re planting in heavy clay soil, however, you may want to plant them slightly shallower, around 3-4 inches deep. On the other hand, if you have lighter, sandy soil, you may want to plant them deeper, around 5-6 inches deep.

It’s important to note that Chinese lanterns are hardy perennials that can grow up to three feet tall and two feet wide. As such, it’s important to give them enough space to grow and spread out. When planting your bulbs, make sure to space them out about two feet apart.

Tips for Planting Chinese Lanterns

Before planting your Chinese lanterns, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind:

Choose the Right Location

Chinese lanterns prefer full sun or light shade and well-drained soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0. They can be grown in containers or directly in the ground, but if you’re planting them in the ground, make sure to choose a location where they’ll have plenty of room to grow.

Prepare the Soil

Before planting your Chinese lantern bulbs, it’s important to prepare the soil properly. This can be done by adding compost or well-rotted manure to the soil to improve its fertility and drainage.

Plant the Bulbs

To plant your Chinese lantern bulbs, dig a hole that’s about twice as wide as the bulb and about 4-5 inches deep. Place the bulb in the hole with the pointed end facing up, then cover it with soil and water thoroughly.

Water Regularly

Chinese lanterns need regular watering to thrive, especially during dry spells. Make sure to water them deeply once a week, or more often if necessary, to keep the soil moist but not waterlogged.


Can Chinese lanterns be grown indoors?

Yes, Chinese lanterns can be grown indoors as long as they’re kept in a bright, sunny spot and provided with well-draining soil and regular watering.

How long does it take for Chinese lanterns to bloom?

Chinese lanterns typically bloom in mid-summer and continue blooming until fall.

Do Chinese lanterns attract pollinators?

Yes, Chinese lanterns attract bees and other pollinators with their bright orange-red flowers.

Are Chinese lanterns invasive?

Chinese lanterns can be invasive in some regions, so it’s important to check with your local extension office before planting them in your area.

In conclusion, planting Chinese lantern bulbs at a depth of around 4-5 inches is generally recommended for most garden soils. With proper care and attention, this beautiful plant can add a unique touch to any garden or home.