How To Grow Tomatillos

Plant Type: Annual
Name: Physalis philadelphica
Light: Full sun
Soil Type: Well drained, medium rich
Soil Temperature: 60 – 70°
ph Range: 6.0 – 7.0
Watering: Average
Plant (Payson): May 15 – June 15
Planting Method: Seed or transplant
Germination (days): 10 – 21 when soil is warm
Transplant: When soil is warm
Maturity (days): 75 – 100
Plant Characteristics: Sprawling – use trellis or cage for support
Common Pests: Aphid, leafhoppers, colorado potato beetle, flea beetle, tomato hornworm, fruitworm
Common Diseases: Black spot, tobacco mosaic virus


Tomatillos are native to Mexico and are distant cousins to tomatoes. You need at least two plants for pollination, as tomatillos are self-infertile.

They can spread up to three feet or more. You’ll need to stake them to conserve space.


Work in compost well and insure good drainage. Do not plant where tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, or eggplant were recently.




Set out at the same time as tomatoes. Both need warm soil. Space 2-3 feet apart.


Start indoors 4-5 weeks before average last frost. Sow ¼ inch deep and add a heat mat to attain 75°- 80° F soil.</span



Mulch will help retain moisture and deter some weeds.


Water the soil, not the plant, they do not do well in wet conditions.


Adding Glen’s Magic at planting time is enough.


Weeds compete with plant root growth so watch carefully for the invasion of those undesirable characters.


Bacterial canker, bacterial spot, early blight, Fusarium wilt, tobacco mosaic, verticillium wilt. Tomatillos will be more vulnerable to diseases if allowed to sprawl on the ground so trellis or use cages to support the growing plant and keep the harvest off the ground.


Aphid, leafhoppers, Colorado potato beetle, flea beetle, tomato hornworm, fruitworm


Tomatillos grow with a papery covering around the fruit, similar to Japanese lanterns, to which they are related. In some cases, the outer husk will dry and split, but not always. Harvest when the fruit fills the husk and is a bright green color. Yellowing means the fruit is over-ripe.


Can be stored up to a month in the refrigerator drawer if the husks are left on. Tomatillos can be frozen, but the texture will be less crisp. These fruits are the key ingredient in salsa verde.

 Helpful Links

To aid in your gardening success, here are some useful, trusted links for more information on tomatillos.

How To Mulch Your Garden | Types of Mulch – The Almanac

What Is Mulch | How To Use 8 Types in Your Garden – The Spruce

How To Mulch Your Garden In The Fall – The Spruce

Please remember Payson Community Garden is an organic garden. Some of these sites may contain recommendations for non-organic products. Please see this website or Plant Fair Nursery website for a list of recommended products
that meet the organic standards of Payson Community Garden.


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