How to grow goji berries

Discovering how to cultivate goji berries introduces you to one of the most nutritious and simple fruits available. This cheerful plant, also identified as the wolfberry, originated in Chinese medicine and has been admired for its therapeutic and anti-ageing characteristics for a long time. In addition to its impressive history, the goji bush (Lycium barbarum) is gaining popularity among kitchen garden enthusiasts because of its special mix of hardiness, resistance to drought, low upkeep, and ability to resist pests and disease.

The shrub yields a lot of fruit and is also attractive to wildlife. It is a stunning perennial that displays bright violet flowers in late spring and early summer, followed by long, flexible branches that are heavy with fruits. Goji berries can be eaten fresh or dried, frozen or as juice. They become sweeter if you leave them on the stems for longer. These crops have high levels of vitamins, fibers, amino acids and antioxidants, and they rival the best fruit trees. Growing goji berries can boost the immune system, improve skin and eye health, as well as act as a powerful anti-inflammatory and mood enhancer.

This highly versatile shrub can produce an extended harvest in your kitchen garden, as it flowers and sets fruit throughout the summer. It can thrive in various locations, including raised beds, dedicated borders, and even large containers. The goji is a perfect fit for large or small gardens, thanks to its beautiful appearance. Don’t hesitate – make space for these delightful gojis!

According to plant specialist Tamara Hogan, goji berries thrive when they have plenty of sunlight. Thus, the more sunshine they receive, the more fruitful your harvest will be. “Fruit-bearing plants require light to grow, so remember that when deciding on your planting location,” advises Tamara. For optimal growth, it’s best to select a west or south-facing spot in your garden that gets at least eight hours of sunlight each day. “If you live in a warmer area, shading plants from the afternoon sun can help them tolerate the heat,” advises Tamara. “Shade alone may not increase fruit production, but it will reduce damage caused by high temperatures and exposure to direct sunlight.”

Experts consider goji shrubs to be some of the most undemanding and drought-resistant plants. It is therefore essential to identify the type of soil in your garden to plant your shrub in the right spot.” You can prepare the soil before planting by adjusting its pH level and condition.

“These plants thrive in soil with a pH level of 6.5-8,” explains Nina Roberts, plant manager at ShrubHub. If your soil is too acidic, Derek Carter, founder and owner of Food Forest Nursery, recommends adding lime to raise the pH level. Alternatively, Tamara suggests planting your gojis in containers to better manage the soil composition.

Additionally, ensure that your soil has good drainage. If your soil is heavy, Nina recommends adding some organic matter or planting in a raised bed. Derek agrees that the growing conditions should be on the slightly poor or infertile end of the spectrum. “These shrubs thrive in sandy soils of moderate or even low quality,” he explains. Goji berries grow well from pot-based or bare-root plants sourced from garden centres and mail-order suppliers like those found here.

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