How to Grow Goji Berries | Grow Goji Berry Plant From Seed

This article focuses on how to grow goji berries in your home garden to enjoy fresh berries at home. Goji berries (Lycium barbarum), also known as wolfberries, are packed with nutritional benefits and antioxidant properties. Goji berries grown from seed will take a minimum of three years from planting to bear fruit.

Goji Berries
Goji Berries on a Plant

The goji berries are loaded with antioxidants, Vitamin B, C and amino acids. They may boost the immune system, protect against heart disease and cancer, and improve brain activity. Goji berries promote collagen and elastin production in the skin cells, which tightens up the skin, thus diminishing appearance of wrinkles.

Goji berries can be grown from seeds, cuttings and possibly by layering in your home garden. Goji berry plants are perennial plants, so they live for several years producing berries every year, actually their lifespan is about 15 years. The plants thrive best in USDA hardiness zones 3 to 10.

Goji berry plant, however, may die back in colder regions, but the new leaves will again emerge in spring.

How to Grow Goji Berries From Seed

Following is a detailed guide for growing goji berry plants from seed:

Selecting Quality Seeds

Get high-quality goji berry seeds from a garden supplier. Look for seeds that are fresh seeds. You can start germinating seeds indoors in late winter or outside in spring.

Goji Berry Seed Germination

Seed Preparation

Goji berry seeds do not need any preparation for germination. The seeds do not require cold stratification and also pre-soaking is not necessary. But you can soak the goji berry seeds in warm water for about 24 hours before planting to enhance germination. This softens the hard outer coating of the seeds, helping them to germinate faster.

Propagation Medium

Any soil medium which is free-draining is suitable for planting the seeds. You can use seed raising mix form a garden shop or make your own by mixing peat moss and perlite or potting soil and perlite or river sand in equal amount.

Planting the Seeds

Fill a small pot with the seed starting mix or potting soil as mentioned above. Plant the soaked seeds about 1/4 inch deep and one inch apart. Water the soil thoroughly.

Cover the pot with a clear plastic wrap or enclose the pot inside a polythene bag. Place the pot in bright and warm location, preferably around 21°C (70°F). This creates a warm and humid environment to the seeds needed for germination.

Goji berry seeds require plenty of light for germination, so provide plenty of light. You can place the pot in a sunny windowsill.

If temperature outside is too low, then keep the pot indoors and use grow lights to provide adequate light needed for germination.


Keep the soil consistently moist but do not over-water. Use a spray bottle to avoid disturbing the delicate seedlings.

The seed will germinate in a few weeks.

Hardening Seedlings

Before transplanting goji berry plants in full sun, gradually expose them to morning sun for one to two weeks. This helps acclimate the plants to changes in temperature and sunlight.


Once the seedlings have grown to a height of 4-5 inches and have developed 2-3 sets of leaves, transplant them into larger containers with well-draining soil with pH 7 and 8, although the goji plants will grow in soil with a slightly pH lower than that. Goji berry plants will even grow in nutrient-poor soils.

Dig a hole twice the size of the root ball, place the plant inside, spread out the roots and backfill with soil.

Care of Goji Berry Plant

The goji berry plant is easy to grow in a pot or in your backyard. It is drought-tolerant once established.

Light Requirement: Where to Plant

Goji berry plants are best grown in full sun, so place the pot or plant in ground in a location that receives full sun, at least 3 hours each day.


Put a trellis to guide your goji berry plant on it like a grape vine or left as a shrub.


Though the goji plants are drought-tolerant once the roots are established. During the first year, water the plant regularly and deeply, especially during dry periods. Avoid overwatering to prevent blossom drop and end rot. Avoid watering on the foliage to avoid fungal diseases. Water when the soil is dry about 2 inch below the surface.


Apply a layer of mulch like sugarcane mulch around the base of the plants to keep away weeds and contain soil moisture.


Cow manure is good for goji berries. Feed a dilute balanced liquid fertilizer or rose or citrus fertilizer once a month during the growing season.

Pruning Goji berry Plant

Prune the plants to encourage new growth and bushier growth. Lightly prune of the shrubs to keep its spread in check. If left unpruned, the vine can grow up to 12 feet tall with a spread of about 4 feet.

Pruning will allow good air circulation, that will discourage fungal diseases like powdery mildew. Remove any dead or broken branches.

Pest control

Aphids, thrips, and spider mites are common pests on goji berry plant. Spray a neem oil spray periodically to tackle insect problem.

Fruit Harvesting

A single goji berry plant will produce fruit as it is self pollination.

Goji berry plant will begin to bear some fruit in the second year, but the plant will produce good harvest of berries from year 3 and onwards.

A single goji berry plant can grow 1 to 3 kilos, depending on its variety and growing conditions.

The berries become ready to harvest in approximately 90-110 days after flowering when they are fully colored.

Harvest fresh berries by plucking them away from the stems. You can spread a cloth below the plant, and gently shake the plant to drop the sweet berries. Harvest the berries regularly to encourage more pods.

Goji berries can be eaten fresh, frozen or dried. Use fresh berries in smoothies.

You can dry goji berries and use them in homemade high antioxidant trail mix.

You can harvest the leaves for use in soups.