How to Plant Goji Berry Plants

Overview

Goji berries (Lycium barbarum or Chinese wolfberry) are native to Tibet, but adapt to many different climates. Commercial production of the seeds has been growing in the United States, with Washington State leading in their cultivation. If you have hot, dry summers and fairly cold winters, the Goji berry is a plant you might be able to grow, and perhaps even cultivate for sale to the health foods market. Although plants might be hard to find, you can start your own from the seeds inside dried Goji berries, which are available at natural foods stores.

Step 1

Freeze whole Goji berries in plastic bags for one month.

Step 2

Defrost the berries, remove the pulp and separate the small seeds. Rinse the seeds and then soak them in water until they germinate--one week to 10 days later you should begin to see the seeds sprouting.

Step 3

Mix compost and worm castings in equal amounts. Add one cup of fine sand to every gallon of mix. Fill small pots with the potting mix.

Step 4

Plant one sprouted seed in each pot, a half-inch deep. Keep the potting mix damp, and place your pots in a sunny location.

Step 5

Move the young Goji berry bushes outside when the roots begin to show at the bottom of the pots. Choose a sunny location in which to transplant them.

Step 6

Dig a planting hole slightly larger than the plant's root system. Mix the soil with one 2-gallon bucketful of compost. Backfill to within 3 or 4 inches of the surrounding soil surface.

Step 7

Unpot your Goji carefully, making sure not to disturb its roots any more than necessary. Place the plant in the hole and fill it in with the soil-compost mixture. Pat down gently around the base and then water it thoroughly.

Step 8

Spread a layer of mulch around the base of your plant to keep weeds away and help the soil to remain moist. Wood chips, grass clippings, sawdust, dried leaves and other organic materials can serve as mulch.

Things You'll Need

  • Goji berries
  • Plastic bag(s)
  • Freezer
  • Bowl or pan
  • Worm castings
  • Compost
  • Sand
  • Small pots with drainage holes
  • Sunny location
  • Shovel

References

  • GojiJuices.net
  • Rachel Thorogood
  • Dr. Ray Sahelian

Who Can Help

  • HorizonHerbs.com: Information on Goji seeds
  • SnakeRiver.org: Wolfberry facts
Keywords: Goji berry, Lycium barbarum, Chinese wolfberry

About this Author

Barbara Fahs lives on Hawaii island, where she has created Hiā€˜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.