days to maturity:
plant spacing: 1 plant per 4 square feet
sunlight requirements: 6-14 hours
look out for:
harvest notes: harvest ripe fruit when red
Goji berry (also known as Christmasberry and Wolfberry) is a new species of plant for us that we are excited to try and grow with our customers in South Florida (Zone 10b). We are right on the cusp of Goji berries growing zones (zone 5-10) so the plants don’t do as well as they might in a cooler climate, but we do see them grow and produce berries for people in South Florida.
Long-prized for their health benefits, Goji berries are loaded with antioxidants and have high concentrations of vitamin B, C, and amino acids. They are often made into juice, herbal teas or eaten fresh as a snack in trail mix. Goji berries are known to boost the immune system, with a high amount of vitamin c and pre-biotic fiber which feeds the probiotic bacteria in our guts in turn enhancing our immune systems. Goji berries support liver health because they contain betaines, a neutral chemical compound shown to reduce fatty deposits in the liver. Hence why you’ll often find goji berries making an appearance in liver cleansing tonics.
While Goji berries are the most popular part of this plant, all parts can be consumed, the leaf, flower, fruit and even the root. The leaves should be eaten cooked and are a bit bitter, so they’re best used in long cooked stews or stir fries.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, this plant has a long history of giving longevity to one who consumes it. The fruits are known for their powerful antioxidant properties and potential benefits to the cardiovascular system.
The plant is a small perennial shrub that can be kept under 6 feet tall with pruning if desired but can reach up to 12 feet if left to sprawl. Goji berries love growing in containers. You’ll get a more compact plant while the container prevents the roots from spreading, like raspberries. Goji berries put down a deep tap root, so the minimum size container should be 7 gallons. Plants can be trained like a grape vine on a trellis or left as a shrub, and they have thorns so be considerate when you choose a planting location.
Goji plants like more alkaline soil so you might want to add some oyster shell flour or something else alkalinizing when you plant them, and once a year from then on. Plant your Goji in full sun to get maximum fruit set, and begin pruning the bush for new growth in year two.