How to Grow Purple Tomatillo – A Beginner’s Guide

purple tomatillo plant growing in garden
Purple tomatillo, which are known botanically as Physalis Philadelphica, are a type of vegetable that can easily be grown at home. Continue reading to learn the basics of growing purple tomatillo as well as common mistakes to avoid along the way.

Best Time to Plant Purple Tomatillo

This will depend largely on your local climate, but as a rule of thumb, begin to plant the purple tomatillo seeds spring once all chances of frost have passed. This is the best time to ensure that the seedlings survive the weather.

To check when purple tomatillo are most likely to thrive in your area, see the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map. If you live outside the US, do a quick search for ‘plant hardiness zone + [city]’.

How to Plant Purple Tomatillo the Right Way

There are a number of things to consider that will help you avoid some of the common mistakes of growing purple tomatillo in your home garden.

Often overlooked, your soil can have a huge impact on how well your purple tomatillo grow. Generally, your soil should be well-drained, sandy loam soils. Soil PH levels should be around 6.5 to 7.0.

 18″ apart in rows, keeping each row approximately 2.5′ apart.  2′ apart in rows, keeping rows approximately 3′ apart. The seeds should be sowed at a depth of about  .25″. For each plant, be sure to sow at least a few seeds to ensure that at least one of them will germinate.

Begin thinning your purple tomatillo seedlings thin them to one plant every 2 feet.

How Much Sunlight is Needed to Grow Purple Tomatillo

The amount of sunlight is another key to a successful harvest. Too much sunlight will dry out your purple tomatillo. Not enough sunlight will stunt your its growth or even kill it.

Ideally, your purple tomatillo should be getting full sun, which means as much sunlight as you can possibly give it, or at least 6 hours or more.

How Much to Water Purple Tomatillo

As you’ve figured by now, a lot can have an impact on how well your purple tomatillo do, and the amount of water is no different.

Ideally, the soil should be damp to touch; not soggy or bone dry. If the leaves on your purple tomatillo begin to change colors or start to look droopy, you need to adjust how much water you’re giving it.

Unfortunately, if you give it too much or too little water, you can kill it, so it’s best to just keep an eye on it and water as needed.

How Long Does it Take Purple Tomatillo to Germinate and Grow?

Now the fun part begins and you get to watch your purple tomatillo grow.

It takes approximately 7-10 days to germinate, and a total of 75-85 days from seed to harvest.

When to Harvest Purple Tomatillo

The best time to harvest your purple tomatillo is  in the morning from midsummer well into fall.

Purple tomatillo can grow up to about two inches.

What Can Purple Tomatillo Be Used For?

Food Use: Adds a unique flavor to salsa.

Flavor Profile: Uniquely sweet, yet tart.

Can Purple Tomatillo Grow in Pots and Containers?

Yes, you will ideally need a 18″+ containerfor each plant. This can help control weeds and keep your plant from growing out of control.

It also gives you the flexibility to move your purple tomatillo around if you need to adjust sunlight or bring it indoors to avoid harsh weather conditions.

Are Purple Tomatillo Safe for Bees?

Yes, purple tomatillo are safe for bees.

According to, bees pollinate human food crops that make up about 90% of the world’s nutrition.

Given their importance in our ecosystem and food supply, I feel it is important to note that growing purple tomatillo is bee-friendly.

Add Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.