How to Trim Wolfberry Plants


Wolfberries are also called Goji berries, Chinese wolfberry and Lycium barbarum. They are native to Tibet and claims have been made about their healthful antioxidant properties. This plant grows into a shrubby vine that some people grow as a hedge in many different climate zones. If you have hot, dry summers and fairly cold winters (such as those in Washington State and England), you can grow this plant and trim it into the shape you want. Pruning wolfberry plants can help to stimulate fruit production, but do your trimming in early spring so you don't cut off any flowers or forming fruit.

Trimming Wolfberry Plants

Step 1

Train your wolfberry to one main trunk when it is one year old and about two feet tall. This will encourage a strong support system for its many fruiting branches, which will appear as the plant gets older.

Step 2

Cut all secondary vertical branches of one year old plants back to the main trunk, using your pruning shears.

Step 3

Trim your wolfberry plants in early spring when they are about three years old, when you first see signs of new growth appearing from the tips of the old vines and branches. Cut all of the branches to measure two feet from the main trunk.

Step 4

Trim your wolfberry throughout the year to keep it a compact, bushy shape. You might lose some fruit if you prune in this way, but if you need to maintain a smaller plant, you can prune your wolfberry at any time of year.

Step 5

Remove all branches to the main trunk that are fast growing, straight and smooth if you want to maintain a nice canopy-like structure. Some growers like to trim their wolfberries into an umbrella shape.

Step 6

Cut off all suckers and root sprouts that emerge from the plant's base in summer. Such suckers can be numerous---they do not bear fruit and take away nutrition from the plant.

Tips and Warnings

  • Wear gloves and be cautious when you prune wolfberry plants because they have thorns.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears or garden clippers
  • Gloves


  • Gojo
  • For Goji Berries
  • Goji Stop

Who Can Help

  • Victorian Nursery, UK
Keywords: Chinese wolfberry, Goji berry, pruning berries

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, and She earned her B.A. at UCSB and her M.A. from San Jose State University.