Fancy growing yourself some superfoods? Goji berries are one of the most nutritious foods you can take as they’re chock full of vitamins.
Where do you plant them in a garden though?
How much space do they need? Can your soil support it? Does it get enough sunlight to fruit?
Lots of questions, but they’re not always easy to answer.
Well, every question’s important though because if you plant these in the wrong location, at best, you’ll get little fruit, and at worst, you’ll kill the plant!
Congrats on getting off to a terrific start, because for the goji berry plant, it really is about location, location, location! ‘
Read on to find the perfect spot in your garden.
Where to plant goji berry in the garden?
Plant goji berry shrubs in a place that’s expected to get at least 6 hours of direct sunlight. More sun means more fruit. Soil pH should be under 7.0, and it needs to drain well, too. Goji berry plants need to be acclimated before transplanting outdoors. Each plant will grow to 3 feet wide so plan your space before planting.
Choosing the Best Spot for Your Goji Berry Plant
Goji berry plants grow in almost any climate. They won’t always bear fruit though. For that, they need full sun. Six hours of it at least.
The best place in your garden to grow a goji berry shrub is in the brightest location.
These need at least six hours of full sun to produce fruit. After all, the more hours of direct sunlight they’re getting, the more fruit they’ll yield.
Planning your Space
Goji berry plants grow big and wide. They need pruning to control growth and encourage fruit production.
If you plan to let this reach peak maturity, you’ll need to dedicate a part of your garden for it to establish.
Most goji berry varieties produce an abundance of fruit after five years.
An ideal size for the most fruit yield is six feet tall with a three-feet wide canopy. When grown wider or taller, fruit production will be impacted. Usually, bigger plants produce more berries that are smaller-sized.
Regular pruning (twice annually) keeps the size of this shrub manageable, prevents roots spreading, suckers sprouting and fruits being produced in abundance ‘til late fall.
In addition to growing these as fruit-producing bushes, they can also be trellis trained or grown vertically.
For fencing with goji berries, or growing a hedge, it’s best to plant these five feet apart.
Three feet spacing is the minimal distance to have between goji berry plants to prevent lateral shoots crossing. Five feet provides more breathing room and makes pruning more manageable.
Goji berry plants can grow in almost any soil type. However, it will only produce fruit when the roots are surrounded by well-draining soil.
An ideal mix is sandy or loamy soil, which are light to medium garden soils. Clay-heavy soils won’t have sufficient drainage and will need amendments done.
When transplanting in garden soil, dig a hole that’s double the size of the rootstock. Drop the bare-root stalks into the ground then backfill with a suitable soil mix.
Loam soil is mostly sand and silt with a small percentage (tiny bit) of clay in it. Under 10% clay is what your ground soil needs to be for sufficient drainage.
If your natural ground soil is clay-heavy, opt for a soil mixture that’s two-thirds potting mix, one part sand, and use that to backfill around the root stalks.
You can also read up on making the ideal potting mix.
That aside, take note that the soil’s acidity level is best to be 6.5 to 7.0. Over 8.1 is too high and will need to be lowered.
Goji berries can be paired with certain edible plants provided they have similar soil requirements. As an example, blueberries need a soil pH under 5.5 so you couldn’t (or shouldn’t try to) grow blueberries in the same soil as a goji berry plant.
Peas, spinach, carrots, and broccoli are low-growing vegetables to plant in the spring that won’t shade out your goji berry bush.
Instead, these vegetables benefit from the partial shade, or dappled sunlight they’d get from being grown under the canopy of a goji berry plant.
Acclimating Goji Berry Plants
Before transplanting any new plant into the garden, it’s often good practice to acclimate it gradually to its new growing conditions.
This will need to be done with goji berry plants as they spend their first year indoors. These are cold hardy but they are not shock resistant.
Take them out of a greenhouse and drop them in-ground soil with sub-zero temperatures with a different pH and they’re likely to struggle. Possibly die even.
Before planting in full sun, you’ll need a spot that gets partial shade.
Start by placing the goji berry outside in the shade for a few hours each day. Gradually increase time outdoors by one to two hours daily, bringing the plant back inside each day.
After a few days, start moving the plant from its shaded spot into the sunny part of your garden in the morning to expose it to direct morning sun.
Return it to the shade before the hottest afternoon sun comes out.
Once the goji berry has had a few days exposed to the morning sun, then introduce it to the warmer afternoon soon.
You’ll likely need to water the plant more when you expose it to warmer temperatures more.
After around a week of gradual exposure to afternoon sun, it’ll be ready for transplanting in the garden soil.
Frequently Asked Questions Related to Where Goji Plants Grow Best
Can goji berry plants be grown under trees?
While it isn’t ideal, you can actually grow goji berry plants in the shade, but they will not produce as much fruit. Other trailing vines, bromeliads, or orchids grow (or bloom) better when attached to the bark of trees.
When should goji berry plants be transplanted in the garden?
You should only place goji berry plants in garden soil when they’re two years of age. If growing from seed, keep it indoors for the first year. If you’re buying from a nursery, find out its age because if it’s a young cutting, it won’t be ready for transplanting and will need to be kept indoors for its first year. Once night temperatures reach 40 degrees Fahrenheit continuously, start to acclimate them to outdoor conditions over a few weeks then transplant them in the garden. Ideally, plants should be one foot tall before transplanting.
Marcel runs the place around here. He has a deep passion for houseplants & gardening and is constantly on the lookout for yet another special plant to add to his arsenal of houseplants, succulents & cacti.
Marcel is also the founder of Iseli International Commerce, a sole proprietorship company that publishes a variety of websites and online magazines.