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How to Care for a Goji Berry Plant

By Fern Fischer ; Updated September 21, 2017

Goji berry plants are native to China and Tibet. They are tough plants that tolerate extremes of temperature and soil condition. Goji berry plants survive drought, but they grow and produce better when they are evenly watered. They can be grown successfully throughout the US. Goji plants can be started from seeds indoors, or you can start new plants from cuttings. Goji are perennial, and they will grow permanently when you set them outdoors.

Growing Goji

Give your goji berry full sun. Goji need lots of sunlight as young transplants as well as when they are mature. Watch your goji for the first six months, the most critical time in getting it established. Give it plenty of water, and use organic mulch to limit weeds and retain soil moisture. Use light organic fertilizer or compost every three to four weeks.

Give your Goji plant plenty of room for its extensive root system. Plant goji away from drain lines and underground utilities and plumbing. Goji’s well-developed root system is one reason it grows and produces so well.

When goji roots hit the bottom of a pot, the plant stops growing. You can grow goji in containers, but they will not produce many berries when their roots are restricted.

Prune your established goji berry plant to keep it a manageable size for harvesting the fruits. Mature goji shrubs grow to eight to ten feet high and can have viney branches twelve feet or more in length. Trim them back to keep dead or damaged branches out of the plant, and to encourage blooming and fruiting on new growth.

Watch for tomato hornworms, and remove them by hand or use biological controls like trichogamma wasps which feed on them.

Wild animals like birds, rabbits, squirrels, and deer eat the leaves and berries. Control animal pests by covering the goji plants with netting.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Goji plants
  • Balanced organic fertilizer or compost
  • Organic mulch

Tips

  • Start goji plants from seeds indoors early in the spring. Use a plant starter tray, and plant the seeds about 1/4 inch deep in sterile potting soil. Keep the seeds warm and do not allow them to dry out. They should germinate within a week. Transplant the seedlings to larger pots as soon as you notice roots at the bottom of the starter cells or pots.
  • The tender leaves of goji plants are edible, and they are delicious in a salad blend. You can also include them in tea.

About the Author

 

Fern Fischer's print and online work has appeared in publications such as Midwest Gardening, Dolls, Workbasket, Quilts for Today and Cooking Fresh. With a broader focus on organic gardening, health, rural lifestyle, home and family articles, she specializes in topics involving antique and modern quilting, sewing and needlework techniques.