Chinese Lantern Pods: An Old Favorite Re-Discovered

I love Chinese lanterns! These colorful beauties are a natural for fall décor. They can be dried and used in wreaths and floral arrangements around the home. One of my clients, Dottie, gave me a beautiful bunch of these plants last week. As soon as I saw them I was transported back to my childhood.

Chinese lantern pods in a floral arrangement

My parents never grew them in our garden, despite my pleading with them every year. Chrysanthemums were de rigueur for fall paintings for them. But my dear childhood friend, Debbie, who lived across the street from me, had them in her garden…and every fall I got a big bunch to take home with me. I was in color heaven.

Chinese lantern plants and Chinese teapot

Funny thing, though, my husband never saw these before – it was brand new to him. But he loves them now and we are planning on planting some for next fall’s bounty.

Chinese plantern plants on a blue chalk paint table

Grown on a plant named Physalis Alkekengi, these colorful pods will bring that color punch to your home.  Look at that vibrant orange color!

blue teapot and orange Chinese lantern pods

You don’t have to be a gardening whizz to grow Chinese lanterns….but I would recommend drying the seeds and planting them in a container – perhaps a half whiskey barrel or some large clay pots because these babies can spread. You can also control who can gain access to them as they can be poisonous to pets and small children. My friend Debbie and I were always digging in the ground and picking flowers etc in her yard – and we are still here! But these plants are part of the Nightshade family – so just be careful if you decide to bring them into your garden.

Have you used this plant in decorating for fall?  How have you used it?  Let me know!


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