How to Grow Chinese Wolfberry


The Chinese wolfberry plant is botanically named Lycium barbarum. The plant is also known as goji for its berries, which are used to make goji juice blends. The berries contain vitamins, amino acids and trace minerals in amounts unseen in most fruits. The plant is a deciduous shrub that will climb a fence, or you can prune it as an informal hedge. Chinese wolfberry is hardy in gardening zones 3 through 7. The berries ripen between August and October.

Step 1

Choose a location that has morning sun with some afternoon shade. The wolfberry plant is a shrub but has vines that can climb up to 15 feet, so you can grow it along a fence or trellis.

Step 2

Dig a hole twice the diameter of the plant's container and a few inches deeper. Mix the soil you removed with an equal amount of compost and a few handfuls of peat moss. This mixture will drain well and give the plant some added nutrition.

Step 3

Fill in 2 inches of the hole with the amended soil and make a small mound on the bottom of the hole. Remove the plant from the container and gently spread out the roots over the mound. Cover halfway with amended soil and water well to compact the soil. Continue to fill until the soil is level with the surrounding ground. Press down firmly to further compact the soil.

Step 4

Water to keep the soil moist during the spring and summer. Do not soak the soil. Reduce watering in the fall to once a week or so, and don't water at all in the winter.

Step 5

Fertilize in the spring and fall with an organic fruit bush fertilizer. Don't fertilize the first spring; wait until fall. Follow manufacturer's directions for amount to use for the number and age of plants you have.

Step 6

Harvest the berries in late summer to early fall. If you have a lot of birds in your area, place a net around the plant in late spring to prevent the birds from eating all of the berries.

Step 7

Prune the bush by half in the winter or early spring. It will grow back thicker and healthier each year.

Things You'll Need

  • 2-year-old wolfberry plants
  • Compost
  • Peat moss
  • Spade
  • Organic fertilizer
  • Bird netting
  • Pruning shears


  • Plants for A Future
  • Group Recipes
  • Victoriana Nursery Gardens
Keywords: Chinese wolfberries, goji bush, planting berry bushes

About this Author

Dale DeVries is a retired realtor with 30 years of experience in almost every facet of the business. DeVries started writing in 1990 when she wrote advertising and training manuals for her real estate agents. Since retiring, she has spent the last two years writing well over a thousand articles online for Associated Content, Bright Hub and Demand Studios.