Goji berry, wolfberry, matrimony vine, and gou-gi-zi are all common names for Lycium barbarum. Goji berry plants have been grown and used in China for centuries. The berries can be eaten fresh, dried, or juiced and are high in protein and antioxidants. Goji berries contain all the essential amino acids. While dried goji berries are available online or from your local health food store, why not grow them yourself and benefit from their freshness?
Check that you are in the right growing zone. Goji berry plants are drought tolerant and hardy to at least USDA zone 5. If you are not in the right zone, you might consider growing the plant in a container, allowing you to move it between the indoors and outdoors, as needed.
- Find the plant.
Goji berry plants can be purchased online or found at local nurseries. Always check the scientific name (
Lycium barbarum ), so that you know you are buying the correct plant.
- If your nursery does not have the plant, ask if they can order it in for you.
Choose a suitable garden location. Plant the goji berry plant in a spot that receives at least 6 hours of sun.
Plant the goji berry plant. Plant in either the spring or fall. When planting, mix 2/3 soil from the planting hole with 1/3 compost.
Water thoroughly right after planting.
Allow the plant to grow several feet tall with support. Alternatively, you may prune the plant to about 4′ and grow it more like a shrub.
Know when to expect a harvest. The goji berry plant may flower and fruit the first growing season. The small flowers are a pretty light purplish color. As the plant gets older, you will have a longer fruiting time period. At around four years old, the plant will likely produce fruit most of the growing season, which is May through October.
Add New Question
Do I need more than one plant to grow the fruit?
No, one plant can produce fruit itself. But you have to wait at least 2 years (perhaps up to 4 or 5) before having some fruit.
At what soil pH do gojis typically grow best?
Gojis need alkaline soil to grow. Typically, 8 is a good pH for the plants.
I have flowers, but no fruit. Is it self-pollinating?
This problem most likely is linked to a lack of pollinating insects. If there aren’t enough bees, you can pollinate the flowers yourself.
How long does it take to grow?
My berries get a dark spot near the stem just before they ripen?
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- Although goji berry plants have attractive flowers, it is not considered an ornamental plant. Keep this in mind when choosing a spot for planting.
- Goji berries are not a fruit many find tasty when raw. Try them many different ways, since you may like them raw. Goji can also be dried, cooked, mixed with other fruits in juices and smoothies, and used with other seasonings to flavor food.
- Goji berries can be invasive so if you see it spreading to areas of your yard where you do not want it, pull it our right away. Reducing watering may reduce the chance of it spreading, as will growing it in containers. Check that the plant is not a declared invasive in your area.
Things You’ll Need
Goji berry plant (or plants) in seedling form
Suitable place in garden or a container
Trowel or spade
Watering can or hose
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The goji plant, also known as Tibetanbarberry or barbarous derevo, has been brought to our open spaces from Tibet and its foothill areas. What is so interesting about this unique berry? First, it contains more vitamins than in pharmacy complex vitamins. Secondly, in the composition of the goji berries there is a large number of minerals – as many as 21. 21. Thirdly, a huge amount of B vitamins, and vitamin C is 500 times more than in the usual orange. Interested in this gift of nature? Then we tell you everything about the cultivation, care and reproduction of goji berries.
Species of this shrubby plantthere are about 40 species, that’s just worth saying that only two types of medicinal properties are beneficial. These two include goji Tibetan and Chinese goji.
- Goji Tibetan was first found by the monks. This bush is characterized by early ripening of berries. But they are very watery and do not succumb to drying. The tastes of the berries are sweet, but they are very strong in the nightshade flavor.
- Goji Chinese appeared as a result of a long andpainstaking work of Chinese breeders. It differs from the previous species in larger berries. They taste more sweet and do not have a nightshade flavor. However, unlike the Tibetan goji, Chinese begins to bear fruit only for 2-4 years after planting.
Now let’s talk more about how to grow goji berries.
How to grow goji from seedlings?
Since the plant is brought from mountain areas,then it is natural that it loves stony soils. Although it is not bad on chernozem. Planted seedlings goji rows, the distance between the bushes should be 1.5-2 meters in the ranks. Between the rows of 2-3 meters. The pit needs to dig about 50 * 50 * 50 cm. There it is worth placing 10-12 liters of fermented humus and 1-1.5 liters of wood ash. After all this is mixed together with the ground, and then it is already possible to plant goji. To the planted young bushes it is necessary to attach a support with a height of 2-3 meters. The next 2-3 years, it is necessary to engage in the formation of skeletal branches of bushes. On these very branches later the fruit shoulders are formed, and then the fruit branches on them. In the next years it will be necessary to behave with goji as well as with grapes – to cut fruit branches, leaving only 1-4 fruit buds on each.
How to grow goji from seeds?
Seeds of goji are kept in berries, for 8-15 pieces ineach. Before planting seeds, the berries with them should be placed for 5-10 minutes in warm water, and then you can get the seeds themselves. Prepare a solution of epine or zircon, and soak the seeds separated from berries for 2-3 hours.
The soil for planting can be made from peat andloam, in proportions of 1: 2. The Earth needs a little loosening and moisturizing. Planting seeds should be at a depth of 2-3 cm, not more. So it will be easier for young shoots to get through. After planting, carefully monitor the soil moisture, drying should not be even for a short period of time. When the first green shoots appear, you need
provide them with sufficient coverage. Container with seeds will need to be rearranged to where a large amount of scattered light will fall on it.
After the appearance of the third pair of leaves isto think about transplanting goji into a deeper container. Now the depth should be about 7 cm. When transplanting try not to damage the long roots of a small goji. You can feed a young sprout as well as all other indoor plants – humus or mineral fertilizers.
That’s all the wisdom of how to get this valuable and useful berry on your site.
The Lycium barbarum variety of Gogi Berry Plants are a perennial in zones 3 to 10, they are actually quite remarkably heat and cold tolerant. Bearing slightly elongated, red fruit, about the size of a raisin, Goji plants are deciduous, which means they drop their leaves every year, usually after the first frost. You can read about pruning below.
Goji Berry plants are very adaptable, but for the very best results, test your soil, and then adjust the pH to between 6.8 – 8.1. You can add lime to raise the pH if necessary or aluminum sulfate to lower it.
GROW GOJI BERRY PLANTS IN CONTAINERS
Gogi Berry plants can easily be grown in containers on your deck or patio. Goji plant roots like to grow deep, but the plant itself will stop growing once the roots touch the bottom of the container, so they won’t grow as large as the plants grow in the ground. One advantage is that you may very well see goji berries in the first or second season, rather than the third, which is normally the case when they are grown in the ground.
It will take approximately 15 plants to feed one person for one year. Nutrition experts recommend eating 10 to 30 grams per day, which equates to about 1/3 to 1 ounce. One ounce is about the size of a single-serve box of raisins.
Your bare root plants will survive for a while without being planted, but we recommend you plant them as soon as possible. We also suggest that you get them established inside, in a sunny location, before moving them outdoors to a sunny location. Your Goji plant will appreciate some afternoon shade if you live in a very hot climate (temps above 100°F).
- Place the bare root plants in a jar or container with room-temperature water and allow them to soak for about 15-minutes.
- Prepare your container. We recommend a pot at least as deep as a five-gallon bucket, but it does not have to be wide. Your container or pot should have drainage holes in the bottom (if it doesn’t make some), so you may also want to provide a drain pan for the container to sit in.
- Mix about 1/3 sand to 2/3 soil in order to provide the best growing medium and drainage, though any good potting soil will work. Fill the container, leaving 2 to 3-inches at the top.
- Dig a hole in the middle of the container a couple of inches deeper than to the crown of the plant (where the roots meet the stem), pushing loose soil back in until with the roots lightly resting on the soil in the hole, the crown is level with the top of the soil.
- Push the soil back in, filling around the roots and up to the crown, gently tamping as you go.
- Water well and push more soil around the plant if necessary, watering again to let the soil settle.
- You should continue to keep your Goji plant moist, but not overly wet, until you see new growth sprouting, usually in about 2-3 weeks.
- Apply an inch or two of mulch in order to help with moisture retention (and because it looks nice). If you mulch, you will depend upon touch to check soil moisture, or water into a large reservoir under the planter so it is wicked from the bottom up.
You may see flowers, after which fruit will follow, depending on when you plant. It could be the first season but more than likely it will be the second season. Remember that containerized plants will feel the heat and cold more because their roots are in soil above the ground. Be weather-aware, providing adequate moisture when it is extremely hot and dry, as containerized plants will usually dry out quicker. Provide protection for your plants if the temperatures become really cold.
GROW GOJI BERRY PLANTS IN THE GROUND
You can grow Goji Berry plants in the ground in any relatively sunny location, as long as you have room for expansion. Adult Goji plants can grow up to 8-feet high and wide, though some gardeners prune their Goji plants to keep them within a desired size range. You can even grow Gogi bushes as a hedge or you can train them to a trellis, in which case, they can get as tall as 10-feet.
We recommend you start your Goji plant in a container, though you don’t need a 5-gallon size. In fact, you can buy a 4- to 6-inch peat pot and not even have to worry about taking it out of the pot to transplant it. This will greatly reduce the stress involved with transplanting, further ensuring your Goji plant will thrive. If you are starting it in a container, just follow steps 1 through 7 above, after which point you can transplant your Goji plant into the ground. Goji plants growing in the ground will sometimes start to produce fruit the second season but will not go into full production until the third year.
If you are putting it directly into the ground:
- Choose a sunny site if you live anywhere but in the desert southwest, where you will either want to have shade or be able to put up a shade cloth during the hottest part of the day.
- Follow step 1 above, and then prepare your soil, testing and amending it if needed.
- Mature Goji Berry bushes can reach up to 8 feet high and wide unless they’re regularly pruned, so space accordingly. We recommend not closer than 48 inches between plants and 8 feet between rows.
- Skip to step 4, and continue through step 8 above, applying mulch immediately, rather than waiting, and carefully monitoring soil moisture. It is critical that it not be allowed to dry out until you see new growth start to sprout, usually in about two weeks.
Once the average daytime temperature drops below 50 degrees, your Goji plant will start going into dormancy. It will stay dormant until the springtime temps are up above 50 degrees. If you live in an area that does not get that cold, keeping your plant pruned back to new growth is the key to keeping the berries coming.
PRUNING YOUR GOJI BERRY PLANTS
Pruning is normally done in the winter, but they can also be gently trimmed throughout the season to shape the canopy and to improve berry yield, though pruning incorrectly or over-pruning can reduce your yield dramatically. It is also important to have the right tool for the job. A dull or inadequate pruner can do more damage than good.
You will not want to prune them heavily the first year. You first need to identify the largest, healthy shoot, which will be the main trunk. Then, gradually remove the lower lateral shoots, with the goal of keeping the trunk clear for the first 15 inches, and then when your Goji plant reaches 24 inches, remove the growing tip to stimulate the growth of additional side branches.
To prune adult plants, just remove the branches above the maximum height you want. You should maintain clearance from the ground up of about 15 inches. You can also identify any ineffective branches. These usually grow very fast, straight and smooth and will not be very productive, so if they aren’t essential to the overall look, they can simply be removed. Goji Berry plants grow similarly to a weeping willow. If allowed to grow un-pruned, you can end up with a mighty wild look.
We hope this has helped you to understand the needs of the Goji berry plant. Fertilizer is not necessary as excess nitrogen will kill the plants.
For preparing this amazingly healthy superfood, we have discovered a cookbook, Goji Berries :The Ultimate Recipe Guide – Over 30 Delicious & Best Selling Recipes It’s filled with illustrations and recipes for everything from breakfast to main dishes and even includes a chapter on appetizers!
We wish you much planting success and good health! Happy Gardening!
Goji berry plants are easy to grow. After all, they originated in the Himalayan mountains and are thus used to harsh growing conditions. If you want to harvest your own goji berries instead of buy them from health stores, all you have to do is try. You do not have to spend a lot to grow these trees.
Step 1 – Obtain Goji Berry Seeds
There are 2 ways to get seeds for this plant. First, you can get the seeds directly from the berries that you consume. The downside here is that you can’t be sure about the variety or the genetic quality of your own berries.
Second, you can buy quality seeds from your gardening supplies store. This is the easiest and surest way to get good goji seeds
Step 2 – Prepare the Soil
Goji berries are very sturdy plants and they can be very adaptable. Still, you need nutrient-rich soil to ensure that they will grow and bear fruits fast. Get a potting soil that has plenty of organic materials, including compost, vermiculite and organic wastes. This will eliminate the need for fertilizers to enhance the nutrients in the soil. If planting your goji trees in containers, do not forget to apply organic nutrients to the soil at least once every year.
Step 3 – Prepare the Pots or Containers
If you are going to plant your goji trees outdoors, you do not have to do this step. Simply prepare a patch in your garden or yard that has very good access to sunlight, then add the prepared soil.
If you are planting in containers, make sure they have ample drainage so that excess water is channeled off after you watered your trees. Goji plants don’t like a lot of water, especially if they are already fully grown.
Step 4 – Plant the Seeds
It is important that you plant the seeds during the last days of the winter frost. Make a ½-inch hole in the ground or pot and drop the seed inside. Cover the hole to maintain moisture until the seeds are germinated.
Step 5 – Water the Young Goji Plants CautiouslyAfter germination, you will need to water your goji trees—but not too much! Allow the young trees to dry thoroughly before sprinkling them with water. It is also advisable to water the plants early in the morning so they are kept dry during most of the day. If you live in a place that is wet for the most part of the year, plant your goji in containers and keep them indoors.
Step 6 – Expose Your Goji Berries to Lots of Sunlight
Goji plants may hate water, but they do love lots of sunshine. Make sure that your plants are exposed to ample amounts of sunlight: the more sunlight they get, the more fruits they will bear. If you are planting your trees indoors, you can use full-spectrum lights to give them the amount of light that they need every day.
Follow these steps and you will surely have lush goji trees and bountiful berries in just a few months.