The Q&A Archives: Aggressive Chinese Lanterns

Question: Three years ago I planted chinese lanterns. The first two years they were great. Now the lanterns are taking over my whole herb garden. Is there any way to control this plant?

Answer: Chinese Lantern (Physalis alkekengi) grows from long fleshy underground stems which spread rapidly, and become (as you have found) a nuisance in the garden if they are not planted in a confined area.

If you plant them in a container, or an area with definite sides, extending down into the soil to stop the spread of those "fleshy, underground stems", you should be able to contain it. However, you have the problem now, which means to get them under WILL have to totally remove them from the garden. At that point, you can "contain" them as I suggested above.

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