Home > Fruit Trees & Bushes > Growing Goji Berries

Growing Goji Berries

By: Kate Bradbury - Updated: 31 Oct 2019 | comments*Discuss
Growing Goji Berries Goji Berries How To

They’re the latest ‘must have’ miracle berry in celebrity circles. Said to banish cellulite, boost your immune system, contain more vitamin C than oranges and more iron than steak, this Himalayan berry is quite a catch. There’s one problem though, they’re very expensive to buy. Good news then, that these little red berries can be grown in the UK’s climate easily, and you can eat piles of fresh goji berries throughout the summer months from just a few, small bushes.

Growing your own goji berries is not only kinder to your wallet; it’s kinder to the environment too. They are now commercially grown in China, Mongolia and Tibet. The food miles involved in shipping them over to health shops in the UK are quite substantial, so if you have room for a bush or two in your garden or on your balcony, they’ll be a wealth of benefits involved.

How to Grow Goji Berries
Once established, goji berries are incredibly easy to grow. They’ll grow in almost any type of soil, and can even thrive in poor soil, as they are used to the mountainous regions in the Himalayas. They are reasonably drought-tolerant, and will even grow in partial shade (though you’ll get more berries from them if you grow them in full sun).

You can grow them from seed, or buy them as young plants. Buying young plants is far easier, as goji berry seeds are prone to rot in the compost and you’re less likely to get good results. The seedlings also need to be kept in warm conditions for 12 months, so for practical reasons, buying young plants is the more sensible option.

Once they’re a year old, however, they are perfectly winter hardy. Unchecked, they grow into a thick bush that reaches up to three metres tall, with vines that can grow to nearly four metres. If regularly pruned, they will form attractive small bushes that produce more berries as a result.

When your plants first arrive it is likely they will just look like bare twigs with some roots on. Don’t worry, this is normal. If planted straight away and watered well they will grow leaves within two-three weeks. Dig a hole around 50cm deep and wide and place the goji berry plant in it.

Firm the soil around the plant and water well. Leave about 1m between plants and mulch the area around the stems with leafmoluld or garden compost to keep the soil moist and well-nourished. You can even grow the bushes into a goji berry hedge; simply plant them 1m apart in a straight line.

After two years the bushes will start to fruit, and from four years you’ll start to get very heavy yields. In early summer the bushes will produce small, delicate, trumpet-shaped flowers that will be either white or purple. Both coloured flowers can feature on one plant, so they provide visual interest before the berry production begins.

The berries will begin to set in autumn. The ripe fruit are sweet and juicy and almost shiny in appearance. The flowers will continue to bloom right up until the first frosts, however, so your plants will be red, white and purple throughout late summer and autumn.

They are beautiful to have in your garden, delicious, nutritious, and cheap and easy to grow. If you want health-boosting berries on tap you should consider investing in a goji berry bush or two.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
Do not even consider growing this invasive 'weed' from China. It has an ultra strong root system which is exceptionally difficult to control..( In the U.K.)It also bears very few fruit for the space taken up. Also it has no visual beauty ..Better to use fruit grown in its natural Himalayan home.
EcoMaster - 31-Oct-19 @ 7:26 PM
Hi, i have a Goji bush planted it after its first year, post 3 years its been in the ground now. was not growing much (3ft ) so i deemed the soil to be too acidic so last year i added ash from my log burner this year its grown massively now stands approx 7ft and is 4ft wide. last year it fruited late wasn`t much on it, being the first year of fruiting so idid not worry about having little fruit, or the fact that it flowered very very late on (last week of july). This year however its done the same (flowering wise wasn`t till July the 2nd it started flowering again. i have lots of flowers (buds still continuing to open) and have fruit growing out of the ones that have pollinated ..but it seems very late on to me ...first gojij i have grown so not sure if this is normal ..am in North Wales UK near the coast... any ideas or opinions appreciated
Kev - 5-Sep-19 @ 3:25 PM
I have a gogi berry bush which is about 6 yrs old and 3m high. It flowers in Aug/Sept which is a bit late. It ripens about 6 fruits if I am lucky, they are orange in color and taste horrible unless I let them dry out on the bush and then they taste sweet. Is my problem my particular variety. I mainly keep it because my peacocks love to eat the leaves.Is there a better variety that I can get?
King John - 29-Jun-19 @ 1:51 PM
We've had the standard red Goji for years, it's in full sun, just one plant, never gets pruned (unless there's bits sticking out and get in your face) and it always produces fruit from early spring it produces flowers which the little wood bumble bee loves and then it just gets on with it.we can crop a tablespoon full at least once a week to add to salads and its a constant race to beat the Robin to the fruit! I've got some 'Black Pearl' seedlings up and going indoors at the moment, they are showing secondary leaf growth so lets hope we get some early spring weather to spur them on.
Dekzion - 16-Dec-18 @ 2:32 PM
Goji berry turning black = normal Goji berry’s looking like twigs = normal
J - 9-Dec-18 @ 4:14 PM
Will some one pls pls answer the questions left here. I'm new to this and just had a small bush delivered it looks like twigs. When do I start feeding it and when can I put it outside. I live in the north of England (Newcastle upon Tyne) Thank you on advance for any help
Aron - 28-Jan-18 @ 12:47 PM
Bought 3 Goji berry young plants last year and they grew a little.However the leaves started to curl inwards and most of the leaves fell off.I also noticed some greyish mould before the leaves dropped.This year, before they came into leaf, I removed them from their pots, washed the roots thoroughly and repotted in fresh pots and compost.They are now leafing up well but again have started showing signs of leaf curl.Any suggestions?
M - 27-Apr-17 @ 5:04 PM
Hi there I planted 2 plants two years ago and spot on with your info they've rehired this year!! Hooray.Quick question....when and by how much do I prune them? Thank you
Topsie - 15-Nov-16 @ 4:28 PM
I bought three plants from amazon. Gave one to the father in law. Planted two in large pots. They shot up to two metres in a matter of weeks. Leafy plants had to be straightened with canes. After three months I had a small amount of fruit and some purple flowers. Leaves gone now for winter. Hopefully bear some fruit next year.
Cristobal - 7-Nov-16 @ 10:09 PM
@hopeeternal - hurrah for you! It's taken its time to settle in.
Jim - 16-Sep-16 @ 2:30 PM
I have a plant that is 15 years old and this is the first year I have seen flowers.
hopeternal - 10-Sep-16 @ 2:00 PM
I've had a bush in my garden for some time. I bought it as a goji berry however the berries look more like black berries -round dark red/ black. The leaves on the bush turn a lovely shade of red in the autumn. I've had fruit on the bush for several years but this is the first year I've managed to pick before local wild life gets it. I'm worried that it's not a goji berry or may not be edible can anyone help?
Sandra - 3-Sep-16 @ 3:59 PM
Pbeatts - Your Question:
I have found that goji Berry like the same as clematis.Head in the sun, but feet in the shade.Some of my goji plants failed when placed fully in the sun, but none died when the roots we're shaded from the sun, but the plant itself was in full sun.

Our Response:
Many thanks for your comments. I'm sure our readers will be interested to know this.
FruitExpert - 16-Jun-16 @ 12:04 PM
I have found that goji Berry like the same as clematis. Head in the sun, but feet in the shade. Some of my goji plants failed when placed fully in the sun, but none died when the roots we're shaded from the sun, but the plant itself was in full sun.
Pbeatts - 15-Jun-16 @ 2:17 PM
My bushes are into year 5 .massive growth they stayed in full leaf all through winter.sent out long thin stems some with mild spikes on.not a single berry but last year I thought they had a couple of mauve ish coloured small flowers on .they are growing very tall and spindly should I cut back hard now ?
Felicity - 26-Feb-16 @ 3:38 PM
My plants have gone mad they are very fast growing and put out long thin branches or stems with plenty of growth .going into year 5 now still not a single fruit at all.plants stayed in full leaf all through the winter .they are growing again new shoots everywhere .should I cut back hard now ?
Felicity - 26-Feb-16 @ 3:35 PM
My goji berry started flowering last year (4yrs old), all flowers were so tiny and the fruits were the size of toothpicks. Will the fruits get bigger or should I get rid of the berry plant? Thanks for your advice.
Jan Lee - 26-Feb-16 @ 2:38 PM
UK here I have grown for 4 years and plants have gone mad and produced really long vine like stems, tied into metal rods and they get bigger and bigger, few flowers but no fruit. Mild winter this year and new growth already showing, cutting back hard because they are all across allotment next to me. will keep you upto date if they ever fruit.
Mort - 28-Dec-15 @ 4:35 PM
I live in East Lothian in Scotland. I tried with seeds first and though they germinated would die within 6 weeks. I got 30cm rooted cuttings this spring and planted them in my fruit cage beside my raspberry plants. 6 months later they are 3 mts tall and still growing so have tied them in like the raspberry canes. Not flowers yet, but they are certainly happy otherwise. Watch this space.
Mike B-R - 30-Aug-15 @ 6:09 PM
Katie - 30-Aug-15 @ 10:05 AM
My gogi berry is in 2nd year. No berries yet but just started blooming late August. I live in Michigan.It sends out new shoots underground that pip up all over the garden. It is a nuisance. How can I control the plant.
Katie - 30-Aug-15 @ 10:01 AM
@Don - There is obviously something your plants do not like, as I have grown a few with some success. However, I've never had a massive crop. I know they are quite sensitive to other pollutants such as chemical fertilisers etc. Or perhaps it is the unreliable English climate which isn't doing them any favours. I find it difficult to grow all manner of plants that should grow here, I have never had any success with lavender despite doing EVERYTHING by the book. Sometimes you just can't win.
Ruth - 24-Aug-15 @ 2:11 PM
I also was informed that Goji plants are easy to grow. This is totally untrue. I have purchased 12 + Goji berry plants. I have 6 still remaining. I've tried different locations, same result. There are all in full sun. I bought plants from different suppliers, bought three year old roots, two year old roots. Some grow a little for first year then die. I mulch, I have fertilized. There is plenty of water. My first plant grew to about three feet tall the first year and it is now three years later and it is still three feet tall, no berries and always looks like it is ready to die. At this rate I may have berries in 10 years or so. Someone is not telling the truth.
Don - 21-Aug-15 @ 9:01 PM
I have repeatedly read not to fertilize the Goji. Mine are two years old and have not grown. Some have died. Others have lost leaves - we had a very wet June so it isn't lack of water - if anything they might be depleted on Nitrogen. I have no idea how to get them growing and would like a suggestion
NMarie - 30-Jul-15 @ 1:12 PM
I am determined to do this Goji thing,after three years at it. I have two large plants (2m) outside. one is the eldest and threatens constantly with white mildew,and has only ever shown one flower. The other has just been moved out of the greenhouse,having come from Victorian Nursery and grown like mad. One more of theirs is left in the green house,and doing fine - I have now stopped watering them persistently and they don't seem to mind.I have also purchased seeds from Suttons,which are now germinating in a propagator. Finally I have cuttings on the go everywhere,m,oct of which seem to be OK. So from all these options I hope to get more than a flower by next year. I am in the Highlands but near the Moray Coast - so the eldest will be spending Winter outside….
Nimby - 21-Jul-15 @ 3:42 PM
Hi.My Goji Berry plant, in its first year looked beautiful in its pot in full sun and produced lots of flowers but one berry.Last year, I moved the plant to a bigger pot and half shade - it didn't like that much.So earlier this year, I pruned it, planted it in the ground in the full sun.It seemed very happy, grew tall and produced lots of lovely fresh branches and leaves.Since then, all the leaves have dropped off, and it has only one remaining branch with lots of still fresh leaves on, but looking like they're about to drop off.What shall I do?Prune it right back and start again?
Kjc - 11-Jul-15 @ 3:22 PM
Hi, Nice day,dear friend Hope this e-mail find you well,-:) This is Sofia Liu,a lovely girl from Yinchuan,Ningxia,we are the first manufacturer exportOrganic Goji berries for 17years. After saw your website,I thought you might be interested in our Goji berries . would you like to get some samples for testing , my friend ? We still have many other models, i can send you our more information if it's okay for you, dear friend -:)I'm here waiting for your reply-:)
Sofia - 25-Mar-15 @ 8:48 AM
"I live in Mildura Victoria Australia. ..... am afraid I have never heard of them (in Oz). Seeds would be my only option and of course would have to go through our Primary industry inspection .......to be available in Australia Where can I buy......here? If not ,am I able to import them.I live on 1 3/4 acres so plenty of room. Peter - 22-Jan-13 @ 5:04 AM Hi Peter. Try going to a Chinese Herbal medicine shop. They should have Gogi Berries (dried) for sale there. Buy a pack and soak a small amount of these in cold water, for a number of days changing the water regularly until the berries are swollen and soft. Squeeze out the pulp into a glass of water and run this through a fairly fine sieve to enable you to wash away the pulp and leaving the small seeds behind. (You may need to leave the pulp in fresh cold water to allow it to break down a little before running it through the sieve). Select out a number of seeds and germinate these under a bright light (or if warm weather, outside in a semi-shaded area). The rest of the dried berries you can soak and place in a blender to drink the juice. Hope this is helpful to you. Bill
Bill - 23-Mar-15 @ 8:25 AM
@Gnomes - thanks for the advice. I'm sure it will be helpful to other users.
FruitExpert - 28-Oct-14 @ 10:07 AM
My gojiberry has just produced its first fruit! It's in its fifth year (possibly held back a year as I moved it off my allotment) and I didn't think it would bare any fruit. I did not even notice it had flowers! I had plans to pull it out this weekend..l so my advice is to persevere with yours, I cut mine back hard in the early spring as it was getting too big and unmanageable, this probably did it some good. Though only a small crop this year I am hoping for more in future years.
Gnomes - 26-Oct-14 @ 7:14 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • ddg
    Re: Pear Trees
    Has anyone ever heard of a 'croft' variety pear tree...once grown in Surrey in the late 1800s-1930s ? I am trying to find any information about this…
    3 March 2021
  • Firefly
    Re: Growing Avocados
    I throw my avocado seeds etc. into my Bokashi Bin, and when I emptied it the other week I was really surprised to see one of the seeds had super…
    28 February 2021
  • Windsor
    Re: Why do we not hear about Winberries?
    During World War 2 in Nantyffyllon South Wales as a young lad I used to pick wimberries on Pwll yr Wlch mountain and…
    9 February 2021
  • And.
    Re: Growing Avocados
    Hi Jambo, noticed you had a 7ft Avocado in your garden. I am lookin for someone who will send me some cutting I am experimenting and doing some…
    26 January 2021
  • Lovescats333
    Re: Why do we not hear about Winberries?
    Wimberry pie is unbelievable. I've just (by accident) found some frozen in lidls! They are called blueberries but…
    16 January 2021
  • And.
    Re: Growing Avocados
    Great site, are any of the gardeners on this site willing to send me some cuttings from their Avocado trees, paticular the ones with a year or to…
    12 January 2021
  • Suni
    Re: How Do I Ensure Jars are Sealed Properly?
    I need advice on sealing pickle jars please.Thanks you.
    17 December 2020
  • Jambo
    Re: Growing Avocados
    I have eight avocado plants in my greenhouse each one in a 20cm pot and growing well. They are all about 45cm tall. My pride and joy avocado tree…
    2 December 2020
  • Monir
    Re: Growing Avocados
    I have About 40 avocado Tree About 1 meter I grow from seed about 10 verity some shoot 3 Brunch some single one and outside in London all year…
    8 November 2020
  • Monir
    Re: Growing Avocados
    I have About 40 avocado Tree About 1 meter I grow from seed about 10 verity some shoot 3 Brunch some single one and outside in London all year…
    8 November 2020