How to Grow Goji

Overview

The berries of the goji plant have become very newsworthy in North America as the list of their beneficial health properties continues to grow. Reports abound of improved eyesight, younger looks and healing of many ailments, thanks to the fruit of the goji. Also known as Chinese wolfberry, Lycium barbarum is native to the Himalayas and has been used and revered in the Far East for many centuries as an herbal remedy. Adapted to the harsh climate of Tibet, goji plants are tough and can be grown in plant hardiness zones 5 and above.

Step 1

Purchase a young goji plant from a reputable nursery. Goji plants may not be easy to find in some areas, but there are quite a few nurseries in the United States that have been growing them for five years or more. Make inquiries at your local garden center or nursery for possible sources.

Step 2

Choose a well-drained location in the yard that gets either full or partial sun. Drainage is critical with goji since they can't tolerate wet ground.

Step 3

Dig a hole twice as wide as the roots and mix in 6 inches of aged compost or rotted manure to enrich the soil. After planting, the base of the stem should be slightly above ground level.

Step 4

Give the goji plant a thorough soaking once a week. This will be much more effective than small amounts of water daily.

Step 5

Prune the plant in spring to remove dead wood. Shape if desired, but trimming may reduce the number of berries.

Step 6

Fertilize with bone meal or other organic products that are high in phosphorus. Regular additions of aged compost to the soil around the plant should eliminate the need for additional fertilizer.

Step 7

Check the plant for insects or signs of disease. Gall mites are the most common insect problem and can usually be eliminated with a topical application of horticultural oil or mineral oil.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Compost or manure

References

  • Columbia University News Service: Goji Berries: The New Miracle Fruit?
  • Victoriana Nursery Gardens: Goji Berry Plant
Keywords: grow goji, grow goji plants, growing goji plants

About this Author

Based in Surrey, British Columbia, Stephen Oakley is a freelance writer focusing on environmental issues, travel and all things outdoors. His background includes many years spent working in the Canadian wilderness and traveling worldwide.