It’s a slow process to grow Goji berries from seed, but once plants are established, they are highly productive. Plants will produce some fruit in the second year of growth, but from year three on, each plant will provide for healthful harvests of Goji berries.
Season & Zone
Exposure: Full sun
Zone: 3-10 – Goji dislikes extreme cold or heat
Sow indoors about 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost. That’s early to mid-February on the coast. It’s important to cultivate strong seedlings, so once the seeds sprout, use generous artificial light.
Sow 2 to 3 seeds in each pot, about 5mm (¼”) deep. Use a sterilized seed starting mix, and do not add fertilizer. Keep soil moist until seeds germinate, and then put under bright lights. After the third true leaf emerges, transplant each seedling on to its own individual pot. Gentle hardening off of seedlings is essential in order to avoid transplant shock.
Goji is a shrubby plant that can, in time, grow 1-3m (3-10′) tall. Growers space Goji plants 60cm (24″) apart in rows that are 2m (6′) apart. Spaced this way, 15 plants in a 30 foot row can produce up to 100 lbs of berries in a year. Goji is self pollinating, so even a single plant will produce fruit.
Goji is unusual in that it prefers relatively infertile, slightly alkaline soil with a pH range of 6.8 to 8.1. Goji reacts poorly to fertilizer and manure, so if you’re growing in a large container, use simple top soil with some perlite mixed in for drainage. Avoid peat-based soils.
If severe winter weather is expected, it is wise to mulch around the bases of your Goji plants, or move container plants into a cool but frost free area such as a garage.
I bought my first goji plant 5 years ago as a small 10″ seedling. The bush is now 5′ tall and taking over the grow box I built to contain it. They grow fast, produce prolifically and provide some of the most nutrient dense berries on the planet.
The health benefits of Goji Berries:
Goji are members of the nightshade family and native to the Himalayan mountains of Tibet and Mongolia. Goji berries have been used medicinally in Chinese medicine for thousands of years.
They have the highest concentration of protein of any other fruit and more carotenoids of any food.
Loaded with vitamin C, high in fiber and 21 trace minerals, Goji berries have 10-15 times the iron found in spinach. They also contain zinc, calcium and selenium.
People are starting to realize the benefits of eating this super fruit and are scrambling to buy the berries fresh, dried or frozen.
But rather than buy them, why not try growing your own?
Goji berry plants are easy to grow, either from seed or cuttings. Of course you could also go to the nursery and spend $20 on an established plant, which is a good solution to getting Goji berries right now. But additionally, it would be wise to grow a bunch of plants to have them all over your property or minimally, on a patio or deck.
Where will they grow?
Goji plants will grow from USDA zone 5-9. So they are pretty cold hardy and will alternatively tolerate pretty hot climates as well. For people in colder than zone 5, it may be wise to grow them in a greenhouse or under some kind of cover. Although I have heard of some people growing them outdoors in colder zones. So, give it a try. You have nothing to lose. In my travels, I have seen Goji berry growing from Alaska and Canada, to Southern California and Texas. So you can see, apart from some of the most southern tropical locations, or the most northern arctic freeze zones, Goji berries can be grown almost anywhere in the US.
I am offering seeds from my own plant here:
Watch the video below to see how easy it is to grow them from seed
- How to Grow and Clone the Goji Berry Plant
- Recorded LIVE
- Health Benefits of Goji Berries
- Goji Berry Facts
- Growing Goji Berries from Seeds
- Goji Berry Recipes
- Goji Berry & Nut Bars
- Goji Berry Tea
- How to Propagate Goji Berry Plants From Cuttings
- Goji Berry Plant Propagation: How To Propagate Goji Berry Seeds And Cuttings
- Goji Berry Plant Propagation
- Rooting Goji Berry Cuttings
How to Grow and Clone the Goji Berry Plant
SHARE THIS POST:Ripe Goji Berries grown at the Garden Pool.
We have found Goji Berry Plants both productive and very easy to grow. We think everyone can grow this super food. Goji Berries (Lycium barbarum or wolfberry) are an easy plant to grow that offers a nutritious and tasty treat, goji berries.
The Goji is from the nightshade family and is typically grown in USDA plant hardiness zones 4b to 9b. Goji berries are renowned as a super food high in antioxidants and nutritional density. In the landscape they can grow to about 8 feet tall and wide, but are mainly hedged, grown on trellis, or potted. They are an easy plant to propagate from cuttings, too.
Who: Dennis & Danielle McClung
When: March 9th, 2013
Where: The Garden Pool in Mesa, AZ
Length: 26 minutes
This class was recorded live in a classroom setting. To be a part of our classes in person, join our meetup group.
Health Benefits of Goji Berries
Goji berries have 18 amino acids, 6 essential vitamins, 11 essential and 22 trace dietary minerals, 8 polysaccharides and 6 monosaccharides. This makes goji berries one of the most nutrient dense foods available.
Goji berries have attractive white and purple flowers.
Goji berries are beneficial in many different health situations that include: boosting the immune system, preventing fatigue, reversing the effects of aging, relieving headaches and insomnia, improving circulation, protecting the retina of the eye and improving eye sight, protecting the liver and kidneys, reducing blood pressure and cholesterol, cancer prevention and heart disease, Goji berries are one of the best sources of the carotenoid antioxidants, more than carrots!
Goji Berry Facts
- Goji berries are an easy to grow SUPER Food!
- Goji berries are extremely high in antioxidants!
- Goji berries are very cold hardy & drought tolerant!
- The goji berry is self-fertile so you only need one plant to get started, although, greater pollination will occur with additional plants.
- Goji berry plants will flower from spring until first frost. Fruit will follow flowers by a few weeks.
Growing Goji Berries from Seeds
- Fill a flat with growing medium, then water the soil thoroughly. Scatter the goji seeds over the top of the soil.
- Gently cover the goji seeds lightly with growing medium. With a mister, spray the top of the soil to wet it.
- Place the flat in an area with bright light, keeping it out of direct sunlight. Watch the soil so it doesn’t dry out. You need to it moist, not soggy. Seeds germinate in about 10-14 days.
Goji Berry Recipes
Goji Berry & Nut Bar with Goji Berry Tea. See the complete recipes in this post.
Goji Berry & Nut Bars
1 Cup Goji Berries
1 Cup Cashews
1 Cup Almonds
Blend 1 Cup goji berries together with 1 cup of cashews, 1 cup almonds, and 10-12 dates in a food processor. Spread in a deep pan to make bars.
Makes 6-8 servings
Goji Berry Tea
½ Cup of Goji Berries
Add goji berries to a 12 oz glass of hot water. Let sit and hydrate for 5 to 10 minutes. You can drink the tea and eat the hydrated berries.
Makes 1 servings
How to Propagate Goji Berry Plants From Cuttings
goji berry image by lefebvre_jonathan from Fotolia.com
Goji berry is the commercial name for a plant that is horticulturally known as wolf berry (Lycium barbarum), a member of the nightshade family. Goji berries grow on a deciduous shrub that reaches 8 feet in height with a 13-foot spread and blooms from June to Augus. Goji berries have a slight liquorice flavor when ripe, which is the only time they should be eaten, cautions Plants for a Future. Goji berry plants are easy to propagate from both seed and cuttings. Take your cuttings in July or August.
Cut a piece of goji berry branch from the current year’s growth, pulling it outward and then sharply down, taking some of the older bark with it. This is known as a “heel cutting.”
Trim the branch to 6 inches long. It should have at least two leaves at the tip.
Combine equal parts of sphagnum peat moss and vermiculite in a large nursery pot and add water, stirring, until the mixture is completely wet. Allow it to drain completely. Scoop the soil into a smaller planting pot and use a pencil to poke a 2-inch-deep hole in the planting medium.
Remove all leaves from the cutting with the exception of two at the tip. Dip the heeled end of the cutting into rooting hormone and then place it in the prepared hole in the planting medium. Pack the soil around the goji cutting. Mist with water from a plant misting bottle.
Place craft sticks into the soil, evenly spaced, around the edges of the pot. They should extend higher than the cutting. Place a plastic bag over the pot, adjusting the plastic so that the craft sticks hold it away from the cutting. Make two or three small slits in the bag to allow air to circulate.
Set the bagged cutting in an area that receives light, but not direct sun, and remains between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Check the planting medium daily. If it begins to dry out, mist lightly with water. You will know that your cutting has rooted when a light tug on it meets with resistance. Remove it from the bag at that time.
Goji Berry Plant Propagation: How To Propagate Goji Berry Seeds And Cuttings
The goji berry plant is a great addition to the garden. Hardy in USDA zones 3 through 10, this large branching shrub produces bright red berries that are both tasty and being touted all over these days as a superfood. But how do you get more goji berry plants? Keep reading to learn more about how to propagate a goji berry plant.
Goji Berry Plant Propagation
Propagating goji berries can be done in two ways: by seed and by cuttings.
While growing goji berry plants from seed is perfectly doable, it takes quite a bit of patience. The seedlings often suffer from damping off (becoming weak and falling over), and even the healthy ones take about three years to really get going.
Rooting goji berry cuttings is
much more reliable and effective. That being said, seeds are best started indoors in the early spring covered with a thin layer of compost. Keep the seeds warm, between 65 and 68 F. (18-20 C.). Transplant the seedlings into a pot to be brought indoors for the first winter before finally planting outside.
Rooting Goji Berry Cuttings
Goji berry plant propagation can be done both with softwood (new growth) cuttings taken in the summer, and with hardwood (old growth) cuttings taken in the winter. Softwood cuttings tend to take root more reliably.
Take your softwood cuttings in early summer – cuttings should be 4 to 6 inches long with at least three sets of leaves. Take the cuttings in the early morning, when their moisture content is highest, and wrap them in a wet towel to keep them from drying out.
Remove the leaves from the bottom half of the cuttings, dip the ends in a rooting hormone, and place them in small pots of half perlite, half peat moss. Wrap and seal the pots in plastic bags and open them up every other day to allow air circulation. The key is to keep the cuttings moist until they root.
Keep them in bright, indirect sunlight. After a few weeks, remove the bag. Bring the pots indoors for their first winter to allow the plants to become established.