Japanese Lantern Plants Look Stunning And Now I Want To Start Growing Them

No other plants ideally represent the beginning of life, death, and renewal of life than the Japanese lantern plants. These fast-growing perennials are also called Chinese lanterns, winter cherries, bladder cherries, and strawberry groundcherries. It got its name from the fact that the flowers are shaped like a bladder or strawberry, they bloom in winter, and the orange papery exterior resembles paper lanterns that are typically seen in China and Japan.

The Japanese lantern plants are easily identifiable by their large, bright orange pods which contain the fruits. The flowers initially appear as ordinary white blooms in July which then turn into green pods in August. These bladder-shaped pods turn to beautiful bright orange in September and continue to change to deep orange and red in winter. Unfortunately, these attractive flowers don’t stay beautiful forever. Come spring season, the red-colored paper case begins to dry up and crumble away. And the once-gorgeous pod will then look like a dreary skeleton.


Japanese Lantern Plants

japanese lantern plants

The papery case turning into a dismal skeleton doesn’t signify the ultimate death of the flower itself. As the exterior slowly withers away, it reveals a bright-colored fruit inside which contains the seeds. All year round, you can watch the flowers bloom, wither, and bear fruits – in accordance with the seasons. The bright and lantern-like flowers also hold a cultural significance in Japan as offerings intended to guide the souls of the departed.

japanese lantern plants orange pods


winter berries orange pod


bladder berries orange pods


japanese lantern plants flowers

If you want these beautiful Japanese lantern plants in your garden then we know where you can find the seeds. This Etsy shop sells a pack of 100 seeds that can be readily planted on your garden or in pots. Take note that it may take a year before the plants are fully grown. Since young seedlings cannot survive in frost, the best time to sow the seeds is from February to April.

This will give you better chance of growing bright-colored lanterns in the same year. If you intend to place them indoors, plant the seeds in pots preferably weeks before last frost.



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Do not cover the seedlings because they require light to germinate. Plant the seedlings 2 feet apart. Care and maintenance requires average watering once a week. When the orange pods appear in time for fall, the Japanese lantern plants can serve as an accent for Halloween to make an attractive decoration on your garden.



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Source/Seeds: Etsy

Feature image: Pixabay/Pixabay