Goji berry is a cold hardy plant that grows in most of the United States and up into Canada. It begins bearing fruit within two years. Goji has become known in the past few years for potential health benefits and now is being used as an herbal supplement and the berries are made into juice. The interest in growing goji has also increased. It is an easy plant to grow, but is difficult to germinate. Once established it has little special needs and is bothered by few pests.
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Things you need
- Goji berry plant
- Deep pot with drainage holes (twice as deep as the root ball)
- Potting soil
- Rain water or distilled water
- Balanced fertiliser
Pot your goji plant in a deep pot. Goji can survive periods of drought due to a deep root system. The roots need to grow long and deep but remain dry. Mix 2 parts potting soil, 1 part compost and a handful of sand in the pot.
Remove the goji plant from its old pot and gently pull out the roots to spread them. Dig a depression in the potting medium and place the plant in the soil so the roots will be just 1/8 inch below the pot rim. Fill with the potting medium and press down firmly to remove any air pockets.
Water the pot until the moisture spills out the drainage holes. Goji doesn't do well when it sits in moisture yet it needs moderate water. Use rain water or distilled water. Goji is sensitive to treated municipal water and chemicals. Place the goji plant in a sunny to partially sunny location.
Water only when the roots are nearly dry. To check, tip the pot and stick your finger in the drainage hole. If the plant is barely cool and not wet then it is time to water again. Water until it pours out of the drainage holes and then let it dry out again. Watering pots in this way helps leach out salts and excess minerals that build up in soil and cause toxicity.
Fertilise the plant in early spring and again during flowering. Use balanced fertiliser diluted to half strength. The package directions will tell you how much to mix. Water the fertiliser in until the water seeps through the bottom.
Prune the deadwood in winter. Over the winter, you can bury the goji berry pot in a sheltered spot in the yard and cover it with straw or move it indoors for the season. You should not have to worry about watering it in winter unless you are growing it in a tropical climate. If you bring the plant indoors you will need to water half as much in the dormant winter period.
Tips and warnings
- You can plant Goji berry directly into the garden but the potted method gives you more control over its growing conditions. Outdoor planting requires much the same care as potted planting, but chose a semishady moist location.
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