Tomatillo Growing Guide

Physalis philadelphica, Physalis ixocarpa


Crop Rotation Group

Solanaceae (Potato and tomato family) 


Average garden soil.


Full sun.

Frost tolerant

None. Tomatillos are tropical plants that require warm conditions.


Mix a balanced organic fertiliser into the soil before planting.


Single Plants: 90cm (2' 11") each way (minimum)
Rows: 90cm (2' 11") with 90cm (2' 11") row gap (minimum)

Sow and Plant

Start seeds indoors in late spring and set seedlings out after the last frost has passed and the soil is warm. Set plants about 3 feet (1 m) apart. Grow at least two plants, spaced close together, to ensure good pollination.
Our Garden Planner can produce a personalised calendar of when to sow, plant and harvest for your area.


Tomatillos can reseed if allowed to do so, but extra seedlings are easy to lift and move or pull out.


After the outer husks of some fruit turn from green to tan, look for ripe tomatillos that have fallen to the ground. Gather and store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Wash before cooking to remove sticky residue.


Plants sometimes wait until late in the season to bear an abundance of fruits. Slightly green (immature) tomatillos have the tart citrus flavor most people prefer.

Planting and Harvesting Calendar

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Pests which Affect Tomatillo