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A Gardener’s Guide to Growing Goji Berry Plants

Rajib Singha Nov 26, 2018
Growing goji berry is easy as these plants do well in any kind of soil. Goji berries can grow in full sun, as well as in partial shade.
Light-sandy, medium-loamy and heavy clay; a goji berry plant can grow and bear fruits in any kind of soil. It can also adapt to poor soil conditions. Its growth in the Himalayan regions proves this fact.
The plant can even survive drought, and can be grown indoors too. Goji berry is known to treat cellulite, and strengthen immune system. It also contains ample vitamin C and iron.

Goji Seeds

You will have to sow the goji seeds in 0.5 to 1 cm deep loose soil, preferably covered with medium sand. Spring is the right season to start sowing. After sowing the seed, spray fine and dry biological compost. Then, it's time to spray water over the sowed seeds.
The seedlings will emerge after a wait of 7 to 10 days, and then it is time to expose them to more sunlight. This is to help these tender plants stand firmly on land. The seedlings would need an adequate amount of water for growth and require well-drained soil. While watering, care should be taken not to over water the plants.
When the goji plants develop their first green shoots, it is time to move them into starter pots. The pots require to be placed in warm places. The plants will gradually grow 3-4 inches tall. For the plants to take the form of a bush rather than a tree, nip the growing buds.
After a period of 4-5 years, goji plants will reach a height of 10 inches to 12 inches. When they have outgrown their pots, they can be shifted to larger sized buckets.
It is most unlikely that the plants will start bearing berries during the first year. The plants do not bear any fruits until the third year, after it has been planted. However, you can expect a good harvest in the following years. Indication of fruits will be given by blossoms of small purple trumpet flowers.
And finally when it is time for the harvest, pick your juicy goji berries with care and without haste. This is because the berries bruise easily. As the goji plants grow, they will become larger and sweeter. These berries are very nutritious. Their productivity is similar to that of grape vines. Older the vines; better the grapes.

Few Considerations for Better Growth

Growing goji berry in full sunlight, yields the best results. Choose an area which receives sufficient exposure to the sun. If in case, the plants are not receiving enough sunlight, then an artificial source of light can be arranged.
Until the plants get bigger in size, a 24/7 exposure to the light is beneficial. The area chosen has to be chemical free and pollution free. Using pesticides on the plants or anywhere near them, may hamper their growth and productivity. It is preferable to plant the seeds after the ending frost of the year.
Although goji berries suit various soil types, during their initial growth they prefer moist soil. So, it is important to keep the soil in moist conditions until the germination of the seeds.
Thereafter, the quantity of water may be decreased and allow the soil to get dry before watering again. You can improve the fertility of the soil by combining it with organic matter. Worm castings, rotted manure, vermiculite, etc are some of the organic manures you can use.
Well-drained soil favors growth of goji berries and water logging hampers it. So, if your goji plant is located outdoors, care should be taken for protection against excess rain. It is better for the plant to be watered at its foot only. Watering the leaves promotes fungal growth.
Chinese wolfberry or Lycium Barbarum is another name for goji berry. Health benefits of this fruit are numerous and growing the plant is easy and affordable. The only challenge is the long wait of almost three years for the plant to bear the fruits. Once the plant is ready to produce fruits, you can enjoy the harvest for the next fifteen years or more.