The Q&A Archives: Pods drop off Chinese Lantern before maturing

Question: I've had a small stand of Chinese Lantern plant for a few years. I've never gotten the lovely red pods in fall. The plants bloom and form their pods, but the pods fall off in late July and early August while they are still whitish-green. The pod stems are brown and dry. The plants get intermittent morning and afternoon sun and are in the ground in moist, drained soil. They seem to be healthy, as I have to pull lots of plants from the perimeter of the bed to keep them contained. Any ideas?

Answer: Chinese Lanterns grow best in full sunshine so you might want to pot up one of the plants you dig up and set it in a container in full sunshine. I think you'll notice a difference. The only other reason yours would fail to produce berries is if there is no insect activity in your garden (perhaps you use chemical sprays?). More likely, though, your plants just need more sunshine than they are presently getting.

Best wishes with your Chinese Lanterns!

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