Growing and Saving the Seed Of Goji Berry
Latin names Lycium barbarum and Lycium chinense. Goji berry is a deciduous woody shrub, hardy from USDA zones 4-9 that belongs to the solanaceae family. These nutritious berries are typically only available for purchase in dried form. By growing your own, you'll be able to enjoy the tasty berries freshly harvested! Goji berry bushes are hardy, easy to grow and prolific. This shrub has a slightly weepy form and can reach to 10 feet tall and 4 feet wide.
Native to China, it is extensively grown in the arid and semi-arid regions throughout northwest China. Goji has been used in China as food and medicine for over 4,000 years.
- Ornamental and edible
- Excellent for edible ornamental gardens and temperate permaculture design
- Start seeds indoors in trays, then transplant out.
- To aid germination, soak seeds overnight in warm water (70 to 85 F).
- Plant in a very fine potting mix that includes sand, and keep soil moist until seeds sprout.
- Sow seeds 1/4 inch deep, about 2-3 seeds per pot and separate when first true leaves have appeared.
- Transplant out after all chance of frost has passed.
- Provide full sun. First-year plants should be kept well watered, but once established, goji berry shrubs can be quite drought tolerant.
- Goji prefers an alkaline soil that is fairly dry, but will tolerate most soils.
- The plants will grow into a shrub and should be spaced about 4-6 feet apart.
- Powdery mildew can be an issue if the plants have poor air circulation. This can be prevented by adequately spacing the plants to ensure good air flow. Do not crowd plants!
- Consider covering plants in bird netting if birds or squirrels are eating your berries.
- Self pollinating.
- Save seeds by allowing berries to dry on plants before picking them.
- You can dry the berries whole for seed saving, or crush the berries and spread the seeds out to dry.
- Spread berries or seeds on a paper towel and allow to further dry for a few days in a dry location out of direct sunlight.
- Store seeds in a cool, dark, dry place.