I thought I’d post a little bit about growing goji berries today. I have been attempting to grow several goji plants in my apartment for the past few years, and have planted several of them outdoors, so I have some experience in what works and what doesn’t that I thought I’d share. I’ll also start by saying that if you haven’t considered growing your own goji berry plants yet, you should. It’s a lot cheaper than buying goji juice or berries, and a lot easier than you might think.
Okay, so after researching a little about growing goji plants, I discovered that they like moist, well drained soil, so that means they need a good mulch, although they are drought tolerant once established. But make sure not to overwater. The soil should be moist, not soggy. Also, you must make sure the soil has good drainage so that the roots are never soaking in water, as this will cause them to rot. Goji plants can tolerate nutritionally poor soil, but they’ll grow faster and better in nice, rich organic soil. Don’t use artificial fertilizers, as you won’t get good nutrient content in your berries. Make sure to use vermiculite, compost, or manure. You can use regular potting soil and mix this stuff in. To add better drainage to your soil, mix in a bit of sand and make sure to put rocks in the bottom of your pot if you are growing them in a pot.
Another absolutely crucial thing I should add, is that your plants will need at least 8 hours of direct sunlight a day. One of my plants was by a window that didn’t get this much light and it died. My other plants were also by a window that didn’t get this much light, but I put fluorescent grow lights above them to make up for this and they are doing great. The best thing you can do for your plants is grow them outside, however. You can only do this if you live in a climate that is zone 5 or higher where you live.
It’s easy to find one for your local area with any search engine if you are not in one of these locations.
If you don’t live in a warm enough climate, you can at least put your plants outside during the warm season if possible in direct sun. Make sure to gradually introduce them to outdoor conditions and sunlight, however, or they will be burned. This is called hardening, and involves putting them out only for brief periods at first, and gradually increasing the time. If they sag or otherwise don’t look happy, take them out of the sun immediately until they recover. It is especially important to ensure they stay moist when outside in the heat, especially if you live in hot climate.
That’s all I’m going to write about growing goji plants for now, but if you want to learn more, I covered everything else in the Growing Your Own Goji Berries section of my website. Also, keep in mind that it will take 2 or 3 years before your plants begin bearing fruit, but it’s well worth the wait! Until then, if you want berries, just make sure to do your research and find the best companies offering organic berries for the best prices, which you will also find on this website in the Buying Goji Juice and Berries section.