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All About Lifeberry® Goji berries (Lycium Barbarum)

Goji is a sprawling shrub with long, flexible canes and clusters of small, grey-green leaves. The flowers are a brilliant royal purple and they appear in late spring/early summer along the length of the canes. They give way to juicy, bright red fruits that resemble small peppers. They grow sweeter as they mature on the plant. Goji plants continue to flower and produce fruit through the first heavy frost.

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Though they sound exotic and are most often found with a high price tag in health food stores, Goji berries are actually easy to grow hardy plants. If they weren’t, well, we wouldn’t have added them to the line of Proven Winners® ColorChoice flowering shrubs. We’ve got two varieties of tasty, beautiful goji berries: Sweet Lifeberry® and Big Lifeberry®. These exceptional strains were specially selected in China, where goji has been grown for centuries for its purported health-giving properties and brilliant fruit color (red symbolizes joy in Chinese culture). Sweet Lifeberry and Big Lifeberry goji have been a hit in Europe and we are pleased to finally offer them to North American gardeners.

Description: Goji is a sprawling shrub with long, flexible canes and clusters of small, grey-green leaves. The flowers are a brilliant royal purple and they appear in late spring/early summer along the length of the canes. They give way to juicy, bright red fruits that resemble small peppers. They grow sweeter as they mature on the plant. Goji plants continue to flower and produce fruit through the first heavy frost.

How to grow

Zone: hardy to USDA zone 5; heat tolerant to AHS zone 9

Exposure: Full sun is best, but tolerates a bit of shade.

Height: 5-7’ (1.5-2.1 m)

Water: The plants tolerate some drought once established, but for best fruit set and quality, water regularly.

Soil: Any well-drained soil will do.

Staking: Goji naturally wants to sprawl and creep along the ground. To save space and to make harvesting the berries easier, you can bundle the strongest 3-5 canes around a 6-8’/1.8-2.4m tall stake (choose something sturdy, like 1”x1” wood).

Pests: Goji berry plants will not be bothered by insects or diseases, but birds, deer, and raccoons may all find the fruit as appealing as you do. If you notice damage to the fruit or plant, or have a problem with these visitors damaging other plants in your garden, use a netting or repellent, particularly once the plant begins flowering and fruiting.

Pruning: Goji does not require pruning to grow well and produce fruit. However, you may find the plant is more manageable and easier to harvest when its lateral (horizontal) branches are lightly pruned to encourage branching and the production of vigorous new growth.

Harvesting: Goji berries begin to ripen in early summer. They should be plucked off by hand when they are brilliant red and taste sweet. They come off the plant easily, without the need for pruners or a knife.

Fertilizing: For an abundant crop, apply a fertilizer formulated for flowering woody plants in early spring, just as new growth begins. Rose fertilizer is an excellent, readily available choice.

FAQ

Can I grow goji berry in a container?

Yes! Goji will do great in a container. Just be sure to choose one large enough – it should be at least 18” in diameter and have a drainage hole. The container should also be weatherproof so that it can remain outside, planted with your goji, all year long. Use any regular potting soil to plant in and be sure to keep a close eye on watering, particularly during the hottest part of the summer.

When are my goji berries ready to harvest?

Goji berries turn red very quickly but will taste slightly bitter until they are fully ripe. Taste is your best indicator, but in general, the berries should spend several weeks on the vine before being harvested. It is best to harvest before the first frost, however, because cold can diminish the flavor of the fruit.

Where can I grow goji berries?

Goji berries will thrive in the majority of the US and Canada. They are hardy to USDA zone 5, with maximum low temperature around -18 degrees F/-27 degrees C; if you live in a colder climate and would like to try goji, you will get berries that summer but the plant may not come back next year. Goji is very tolerant of hot and dry climates –in fact, many of its relatives grow wild in the deserts of Arizona, Texas, and Mexico.

Do I need two gojis for pollination?

No – gojis are self-fruitful. They do not require another plant to bear fruit. 

How do I use my goji berries?

You can use your goji berries in the same way that you use those that you purchase in the store. They can be used fresh if you wish, or they can be frozen or dried. To dry gojis, harvest them and simply spread the fresh berries in a single layer on a sheet of newspaper. Keep in a cool, dry spot, out of bright light, until the berries are dry. They keep their color well and can be used as is or rehydrated with liquid, as your recipe and preferences dictate. To freeze, place in a freezer bag and lay flat until frozen. This keeps them from sticking together in large clumps. Well-sealed frozen goji berries should keep for several months and can be used straight from the freezer in your recipe.

Here are two of our favorite recipes for using your goji harvest:

Uncle Buck’s Goji Salsa

  • 8 c. Big Lifeberry gojis
  • 8 c. tomatoes, peeled and diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 T. black pepper
  • ¼ c. salt
  • ¾ c. sugar
  • 1 c. white vinegar
  • 3 onions, chopped
  • 4 green peppers, chopped
  • 15 jalapeño pepper, minced
  • 12 oz. can tomato paste

Bring all ingredients (except tomato paste) to boil. Simmer 45 minutes. After 30 minutes, stir in tomato paste.  Yields 8 quarts.

Sweet Lifeberry® Breakfast Bars

  • ¾ c. brown sugar firmly packed
  • ¾ c. granulated sugar
  • 8 oz. low-fat vanilla yogurt
  • 2  egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 2 T. vegetable oil
  • 2 T. nonfat milk
  • 2 t. vanilla
  • 1½ c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 1 t. ground cinnamon
  • ½ t. salt (optional)
  • 3 c. old fashioned oats
  • 1 c. dried Sweet Lifeberry goji berries

Preheat oven to 350°F. In large bowl combine sugars, yogurt, egg whites, oil, milk and vanilla; mix well. In medium bowl combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well. Add dry ingredients to wet mix; mix well. Stir in oats and goji berries. Spread dough onto bottom of ungreased 13 x 9 baking pan. Bake 28-32 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely on wire rack. Cut into bars. Store tightly covered.

Do I need to do anything to my gojis for winter?

If you live in zone 5 or warmer, you’ve got nothing to worry about! A 2-3” thick layer of shredded bark mulch over the entire root zone of the plant is a welcome blanket to insulate against fluctuating temperatures and conserve moisture. Other than that, however, goji require no special treatment for the winter.

Do I need to prune my goji berries every year?

Your goji will grow and thrive, even if you never prune it once. However, it will be easier to harvest with some selective pruning. Simply shorten the horizontal branches by about half to two-thirds in early spring, just as the buds begin to break. Plants can withstand severe pruning, but fruiting may be minimal in the following season.

Got more goji questions? We’re here to help! Contact us anytime.

319 Readers Rated This: 12345 (3.2)
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous Mon, 09/26/2016 - 7:37am

I purchased my Goji bush last spring. I had some beautiful flowers and berries last year. I mulched it with straw from my chicken coop (which was rich with manure) over winter. This year my bush is about 6 ft tall and produced a good crop in August. I was so sad when I picked my last berry but it started to bloom again in early September and is bearing a heavier crop of fruit now at the end of September. I am so surprised and happy becuse I was not aware that they produced 2 crops in one year. I was just wondering if this is normafor the plant to do this.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous Fri, 09/02/2016 - 8:55am

Hello !
I am confused with various types of goji berries, could you please inform for what reason are they used (JB1, JB2,JB3, JB4.....NQ1,NQ2......)
thank you

Stacey Hirvela's picture
Stacey Hirvela Mon, 09/12/2016 - 7:03am

Hi there - I'm afraid I'm not sure what you mean. I'm not familiar with these terms and how they apply to goji berries.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous Mon, 08/29/2016 - 12:29pm

Mine is 4 years old and is 10 ft. tall. So far, no berries, Lots of blooms and plenty of bees. What's wrong?

Stacey Hirvela's picture
Stacey Hirvela Thu, 09/01/2016 - 7:59am

So your plant is flowering but fruit is not developing? That's really strange. If the plant is growing vigorously and producing flowers, the fruit should be forming. Gojis are heavy feeders, so it might be a good idea to fertilize it monthly with a tomato fertilizer from May-July. They also like a more alkaline soil pH. I would recommend cutting the plant back quite hard next spring - by about half its total height - to encourage lateral branching. Gojis fruit heaviest on these lateral branches, so between that and the fertilizer, you should get a good crop.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous Sat, 08/27/2016 - 9:44am

I have a good number of berries on my first year plants. There are a lot of red ones on the vines, but have only had one that tasted sweet. The others have an unpleasant medicinal taste. I have some dried ones on the vine, so don't think I am testing too soon. What am I doing wrong? Nell in Georgia

Stacey Hirvela's picture
Stacey Hirvela Mon, 08/29/2016 - 7:26am

Fresh goji berries do have a very odd taste - kind of like a cross between a green pepper and an unripe cherry tomato. However, they become much sweeter when you dry them, so harvest your berries, spread them out in a single layer on a sheet of newspaper, and leave them to dry for a week or so. They will shrivel up a bit and become kind of leathery. At this point, you can store them and use them as you wish.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous Tue, 08/16/2016 - 5:57pm

I've been reading the comments on this site & am very appreciative of all the information available here. I was one of those purchasing these very expensive berries from the health food store so was delighted to find I could grow them! My question is does this plant like b the same b environment as strawberries? W have a very large raised cement bed with extra room & I want to put them there. Thanks!

Stacey Hirvela's picture
Stacey Hirvela Mon, 08/29/2016 - 7:21am

In terms of light and moisture, goji can grow in the same places as strawberries. However, goji prefer neutral to alkaline soils and strawberries prefer slightly acidic. Goji can still do well in slightly acidic soils, but you may find that you need to apply more fertilizer in spring and early summer to make up for pH difference.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous Wed, 07/06/2016 - 9:29am

My Goji Bush patch is out of control...it is about 4 years old and the bushes are large and keep spreading.
this spring I cut them back a lot but now I have many suckers this year and do have a lot of blooms, but I seem to have more foliage than berries. what I cannot figure out is which stocks to save and which ones to cut down. I have them staked and roped off the ground. Should I cut the suckers now in the spring or wait until fall?

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous Sun, 07/31/2016 - 2:27pm

I picked up a goji plant and noticed a lot of suckers growing to, so each time I went to the base of the sucker and snipped them out and started new plants 4 to be exact. Then a few weeks later I noticed more. I decided to leave them thinking maybe I was sending the plant into a shock each time. Now the new ones grew about 3.5+ ft since June 28th to now. They are covered in berries just as much as the rest of the plant if not more, and less time (I think I may have been shocking it before) plus I've been giving it miracle gro-rose plant food and Epsom salt 2x a week rotating every other time. Long story short- I'd leave the suckers for now. In Ohio my blooms started 7-13. Blooms last @2days and have over 300 unripe green berries as of now and about 2-3 dozen flowers.

Stacey Hirvela's picture
Stacey Hirvela Wed, 07/06/2016 - 2:19pm

Cut out all but one-third of the strongest, most vigorous shoots. You can do this now. Bundle the remaining canes around a stake and leave them to grow this season. In spring, cut these branches back by about one-third their total height. This encourages the lateral growth which bears the most flowers and fruit. When new shoots appear from the ground, cut them off as you see them to direct the energy to just the established portion of the plant.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous Sun, 06/19/2016 - 11:00am

I planted a Goji berry last year and it grew about 2 feet last summer and this spring only has one limb with a few real small leaves down low and upper part doesn't have anything on it! What do you think happened and what should I do to get it going again? I mixed up a gallon of water and 1 tbs of Miracid and poured around it after I mixed in some lime in the soil and do you think this will fire it back up?

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous Sun, 06/05/2016 - 8:26am

Very suprised to read that they should be fertilized. Mine definitely look like they need something, but I have consistently read warnings not to fertiize - especially with nitrogen or you will kill them. One seller stated that if you gave them anything at all she would not replace them if they died - especially warns against Miracle Grow. I have put compost on them and mulch. As with everything else on the net the inconsistencies saying compost has nutrient value to others saying it only conditions the soil.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous Mon, 07/25/2016 - 7:51pm

What I have used since I first bought my plant is what I clean out my rabbit cage, wood chips (untreated except rabbit urine) rabbit poop and the spilt rabbit food. My plant went from dying at the store to almost too much to eat very fast.

Stacey Hirvela's picture
Stacey Hirvela Mon, 06/06/2016 - 2:58pm

We definitely fertilize our liners (= starter plants) here with no problems. I have never heard that before but will look into it. They are quite nutrient-needy so show their unhappiness dramatically.

Jillrake's picture
Jillrake Sun, 06/05/2016 - 6:57am

I just bought a potted goji from lowes it was three gallons pw. Will that fruit this year or will it take another year or two?

Stacey Hirvela's picture
Stacey Hirvela Mon, 06/06/2016 - 3:00pm

It may fruit this year, but it depends on growing conditions. Give it a very sunny spot, keep it well-cared-for, and you may get some fruit. Naturally, the yield will increase significantly each year once it is established.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous Sat, 06/04/2016 - 1:47pm

I live in southern Illinois and have to goji plants, not sure of the kind.
First year tons of blooms, didn't expect any fruit, being such young plants, but can I expect fruit this year?
The plants are growing beautifully. Have them staked with tomato stakes which seems to be doing a great job so far. They have a lot of canes growing and hanging over everywhere.
Do things sound like I'm on the right track with my caring for them?
Thank you

Stacey Hirvela's picture
Stacey Hirvela Mon, 06/06/2016 - 3:01pm

It does indeed! It is definitely strange that you saw a lot of flowers and little fruit. Perhaps there was an issue with insects pollinating the flowers. If your plant is growing vigorously this year, you should expect flowers to begin to form in about a month or so, and fruit to start ripening in about mid-August.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous Mon, 05/30/2016 - 11:05am

I am interested in adding some Goji berries to my landscaping, but have Black Walnut trees in the vicinity. Can someone tell me if Goji berry is tolerant of juglone?

Stacey Hirvela's picture
Stacey Hirvela Tue, 05/31/2016 - 1:42pm

There are no definitive accounts on goji's tolerance to juglone either way, I'm afraid. However, since it is closely related to tomatoes which are notoriously sensitive to juglone, my suspicion would be that they would not tolerate it and I would not recommend them in those conditions.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous Thu, 05/26/2016 - 12:37pm

Do you have any pictures showing how high I need to stake my Goji Berry plant? Do I need 3 feet above the ground, or more like 6 feet? Thanks.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous Wed, 09/14/2016 - 5:46pm

I just use Tomato Cage to help support the Goji Berry stems.

Stacey Hirvela's picture
Stacey Hirvela Tue, 05/31/2016 - 1:39pm

I'm sorry, we don't have any photos or diagrams. I recommend getting a 1 x 1" wood stake, 8' tall. Drive it in the ground at least a foot if possible (this isn't always possible; just sink it as deep as you can). Then take your canes and bundle them around the stake, about 6" from the tips of the stems. These will then "weep" over and that's where most of the fruit will form. Next year, you can re-tie the main stems farther up the stake in early spring, and also in early spring, cut off 2-3" of the stem tips to encourage lateral branching, where most of the fruit forms.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous Wed, 05/25/2016 - 9:26am

Hi! I am in zone 5 (NE Kansas) and I planted 3 Lifeberry Gojis last fall. I would estimate that they are about 3 feet tall. They are mulched well and also trellised. Mostly full sun but do get some shade earlier in the day.
When we purchased these plants, they had several berries on them; however they have not flowered at all so far this spring. I have not specifically looked, but I don't recall seeing new canes/growth either.
Can you offer any suggestions or recommendations? Should I feed them at all? I follow only organic practices so I would not want to use any type of chemical fertilizers.
Thanks so much for your help!
Cassie

Stacey Hirvela's picture
Stacey Hirvela Thu, 05/26/2016 - 12:08pm

Hi Cassie - It's actually way too early for gojis to begin flowering in northeast Kansas, so I don't think you have anything to worry about. Here in Michigan, goji berry plants generally start flowering in mid-July, with harvests beginning in late August. I would expect a similar time frame for you, so a little more time will, I think, resolve the issue.

Goji plants flower and fruit best on lateral, rather than vertical, growth. For the very best results, I recommend that you stake the plant with a heavy 1x1" wood stake, bundle the canes around it, then trim the ends of the branches (take off about 5-6"). This will encourage lateral branching.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous Mon, 05/23/2016 - 5:12am

HI. I planted a Goji Berry tree about 4 years ago in my flower garden in northern California. Sunny but part shade, well fertilized and well watered, all surrounding flowers are lush, flowering, gorgeous. Goji has not grown one inch in 4 years. It is alive, green, but still a three foot tall sapling. It did put out a thimble full of berries one year but nothing for a couple of years. It just sits there. I don't want to transplant since I understand the tap root can be very long. What can I do to stimulate some growth in this tree?

Stacey Hirvela's picture
Stacey Hirvela Tue, 05/24/2016 - 11:05am

Hi there - very strange indeed. I wouldn't hesitate about transplanting. Gojis are very tough and can easily withstand transplanting, so if you think that would work well, go for it. Goji plants dislike acid soil, so if the soil is acidic, that may be why it isn't growing much. They also grow, flower, and fruit most vigorously on lateral branches, not on the tall main branches. I recommend that you cut off about one-quarter of the plant at the top, which will encourage the lateral branching. If you'd like to send us a photo, we can give you more specific advice - just click here and select "shrubs" as the category and I'll give you an email address to send them to: https://www.provenwinners.com/feedback.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous Fri, 05/13/2016 - 12:01pm

I live in southern Ca, I bought my plant from you guys. I planted my plant in a pot in December. It has grown to be about 4 feet tall but now the leaves are yellowing and falling off. What might be the cause of this? I measured the nitrogen content and it read to have low nitrogen? but the symptoms appear to be high nitrogen?

Stacey Hirvela's picture
Stacey Hirvela Thu, 05/19/2016 - 10:14am

It could definitely be a nitrogen deficiency - gojis are heavy feeders and can be fertilized regularly with a tomato fertilizer during the growing season (stop in about early August to allow the plant to proceed toward dormancy with shorter days). Gojis also prefer alkaline soil, and most container mixes are fairly acidic. You might also try scratching a handful of lime into the soil and see if that helps.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous Wed, 05/11/2016 - 11:04pm

I live in zone 5, and this is the third year my goji berries have been growing (bought from a local nursery). They are 20+ tall stalks- maybe 6 ft, and the foliage looks great. Last year, I had three tiny flowers. No berries. I'm hoping to have some this year! Or might this be a non-fruit bearing variety? Should I just buy some new plants?

Stacey Hirvela's picture
Stacey Hirvela Thu, 05/19/2016 - 10:11am

There shouldn't be any non-fruiting varieties on the market, as goji has little ornamental value. If your plant isn't flowering or fruiting well, it may be that they aren't getting enough sun. It's also important to know that gojis primarily flower and fruit on their lateral, rather than their vertical, growth. If your plant is shooting up very high and not putting on any branches, you'll see little growth. I recommend that you bundle the canes around a study 8' tall stake so that the ends of the branches flop over in a fountain-like pattern. Then prune back the tips to allow the lateral growth to form. Do this now and you should start seeing flowers and fruit this summer.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous Tue, 03/22/2016 - 11:51am

Live in Palm Springs Ca. just received two goji berry plants and am confused because they do not look the same as a plant
I order last year. The new ones have long slender leaves where as the original has oval leaves, are they the same thing?
Also am concerned about our heat here. The original plant, there were two, had a rough go but is starting top take off since I potted it . any advice?

Stacey Hirvela's picture
Stacey Hirvela Wed, 03/23/2016 - 2:58pm

Where did you order your plants from? Depending on where they were grown, that could account for the difference in the leaves - it may just be that they were grown in a cooler climate, or in a greenhouse, or are younger plants. Any of these can cause those differences. If you'd like to send us a photo of the plants for confirmation, please contact us here: https://www.provenwinners.com/feedback and select "shrubs." Though they may struggle to acclimatize in your heat at first, they will settle in with time. Just keep them well-watered and try to keep them shaded during the hottest part of the day until they really start to take off.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous Tue, 03/15/2016 - 2:01pm

I live in northern Alberta, Canada on ten acres. I have a successful 1/4 acre patch of Goji Berries. The plants thrive and are cold tolerant to -40 degree Celsius, the absolute outside range we have encounter was -54 degrees Celsius. Perhaps the largest difference, from what I can gather online, is the yield per bush. We can get anywhere from 1-3 Lbs per bush, however I have read of growers getting as much as 7 lbs per bush in more temperate climes. I would suggest a revision of the Plant Hardiness Guide.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous Wed, 06/15/2016 - 7:53pm

Hi, I live in Edmonton, Alberta. Just bought a gogi shrub from Costco. I was glad you said they could grow here. Would you happen to have any tips before I plant it? Would be very appreciated. Thanks, Lindsy

Stacey Hirvela's picture
Stacey Hirvela Thu, 04/07/2016 - 5:39am

Thank you both so much for your input - it's great to hear first-hand experience with these plants. We try to keep our hardiness estimates pretty conservative at first so as not to disappoint cold climate gardeners, so we appreciate your report.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous Sat, 04/02/2016 - 2:00am

I also have bright red goji berry on my Alberta zone 3 acreage. They survive quite handily to at least -40°C. I also have 2 purple honeyberry, also very hardy to Alberta conditions. There is no mistaking the plants as they are completely different plants and flavor of berries. All of my goji plants were purchased properly labelled from a reliable nursery.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous Wed, 03/16/2016 - 2:27pm

Thank you for your comments, but just to be certain, you are growing the red fruited Goji Berry (Lycium barbarum)? The hardiness levels you mention seem much more in line with blue fruited, Honey Berry or Haskap (Lonicera caerulea).

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous Fri, 03/04/2016 - 5:04pm

I purchased 4 Goji plans from Proven Winner, they grow beautiful in my green house. When is the best time for me to plant them to ground?

Stacey Hirvela's picture
Stacey Hirvela Mon, 03/07/2016 - 3:11pm

Because the plants have been in a warm greenhouse, they will need to be introduced to the outdoors gradually. Whenever it is over 50° F during the day, put the plants in a shaded location for the day. They can finally go in the ground when the soil is workable (totally thawed, not soggy at all) and nighttime temperatures are consistently in the 40s.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous Mon, 10/05/2015 - 7:31am

I live in an apartment and I have grown a beautiful Goji berries in a pot all summer. I want to bring it inside and keep it going through the winter.
I have read that Goji need a dormant period. Should I let it go dormant in the pot or will it do well growing indoor?
I have growing lights to give it the light they need.

Thanks for your help

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous Sun, 04/17/2016 - 6:24pm

I had phenomenal success with reestablishing my Gojis inside of a grow tent with LED lights. Seemed to love the 18 hour light cycle and the vegetative growth was explosive. I've put it outdoors in the California spring time weather and am experiencing much slower growth. There's definitely room to cultivate these super berries indoors! Methods just have to be established :)

Stacey Hirvela's picture
Stacey Hirvela Mon, 10/05/2015 - 9:35am

If you have grow lights, you might be able to grow goji indoors. However, I would not recommend it - it will be stressful on the plant and difficult to manage moisture levels. Good air circulation is also crucial to growing a plant indoors successfully, and most homes do not have such conditions. As long as goji is hardy in your area, I would recommend that you keep it on your balcony or patio through winter - it will be happier this way, and you'll have less work, too.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous Tue, 09/15/2015 - 4:07pm

I purchased two different types of gojis from Wojo's in Michigan. I live in zone 5. This is the second year that I've had them. One bears fruit a bit earlier than the other. I have some fruit that have dried directly on the vine. I don't spray any thing on them or on the lawn they are next to. Is this an acceptable means of drying the fruit for consumption?

Stacey Hirvela's picture
Stacey Hirvela Fri, 09/18/2015 - 7:08am

If the fruits are drying on the vine, this indicates that they are becoming too ripe. You need to harvest them sooner. The best way to know when to harvest one is to taste them every few days starting in mid-late August. The flesh should be slightly sweet (the seeds will still have a touch of bitterness) and the berry totally soft. You can use berries that are starting to dry on the vine and dry them more thoroughly indoors, although if they have begun to take on any black spots, you should throw them away.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous Wed, 08/19/2015 - 5:43pm

I recently acquired 2 goji plants from my brother who recently moved to Florida. I live in the snow belt of lower northen peninsula of michigan. The plants are in their first year, and growing and flowering great. My brother had planted them in big tubs, but I would like to transplant them out in the yard. When is the best time to do this. We usually have frost through the first week of June.

Stacey Hirvela's picture
Stacey Hirvela Thu, 08/20/2015 - 3:17pm

Goji berries are hardy to USDA zone 5 - you can check your zone here: http://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/. As long as you live in zone 5 or warmer, it is fine to transplant your gojis in the landscape now. If you live in a colder area, I would recommend keeping them in the tubs for now and moving the tubs to a protected location, like your garage, for winter - they don't need or want a warm location, just a place with a bit of protection from the worst of winter. Then next spring, you can transplant them out as early as possible in the season. That way, they'll have all summer to grow the roots they'll need to hopefully survive your winters.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous Wed, 08/19/2015 - 10:50am

My Goji is in its second year, overwinter ed well and tripled in height through the spring, summer. It is vine and spread out. At the start of August, the leaves started to yellow and fall off. The ends seem to still be growing, flowering for the first time and fruiting. The fruit is smaller than a pea and quickly shrivel after starting to turn red. Is this plant having an early fall cycle, or is there something in the soil I need to look for? It is in the same soil where my blackberries are (which are huge!) And my kaleidoscope butterfly bush (also huge). It gets 8 hrs of sun a day and plenty of water. Thanks for your assistance.

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