How to Grow Goji Berry

Overview

The goji berry (lycium barbarum or Chinese wolfberry) is a shrub native to Tibet, but it also grows in areas that have hot, dry summers. Because the winters are very cold in its native habitat, goji seeds need cold in order to germinate. You can simulate this weather by keeping goji seeds in your freezer for one month before you plant them. People who grow goji berries claim that this plant can succeed in many different climates, so if you'd like to experiment with a plant that is said to have good health benefits, you might try goji.

Step 1

Place several goji berries in a plastic zipper bag and then keep them in your freezer for at least one month. Thaw them in water and then remove the berry's pulp with a knife to free the small seeds contained inside the fruit. Rinse seeds well.

Step 2

Transfer your rinsed seeds to a pan or tray and fill it with water. Allow seeds to remain in this water for about 10 days, and then when you see a small white "tail" emerging from some of the seeds, remove the seeds from the water.

Step 3

Make a planting mix with worm castings, sand and compost. Use the same amount of castings and compost and add 1/2 cup of sand to each gallon of the compost mix.

Step 4

Fill small pots with the planting medium and then plant each seed 1/2 inch deep. Water well and keep in a sunny spot.

Step 5

Transfer your goji plant to a larger pot when it becomes rootbound in its small pot. Lift it gently from the potting soil and use the same mixture for your larger pot.

Step 6

Move your goji to an area that receives full sun when it becomes rootbound in its larger pot. If you live in a hotter climate, provide partial sunlight. Mix one or two shovelfuls of organic compost into the planting hole and then set your goji into the hole, firming the soil firmly around its base.

Step 7

Water your goji well when you first plant it and then keep the soil moist. Mulch with compost around the plant's base and add fresh compost once every year. After about three years, you can begin to harvest your first goji berries.

Things You'll Need

  • Goji berries
  • Plastic zipper bag(s)
  • Refrigerator freezer
  • Baking pan or germination tray
  • Worm castings
  • Compost
  • Sand
  • Small pots with drainage holes
  • Large pots with drainage holes

References

  • Rachel Thorogood
  • Health benefits
Keywords: Goji berry, healthful fruit, Chinese wolfberry

About this Author

Barbara Fahs lives on Hawaii island, where she has created Hi‘iaka's Healing Herb Garden. Barbara wrote "Super Simple Guide to Creating Hawaiian Gardens," and has been a professional writer since 1984. She contributes to Big Island Weekly, Ke Ola magazine, GardenGuides.com and eHow.com. She earned her B.A. at UCSB and her M.A. from San Jose State University.