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The Ultimate Guide to Growing Goji Berries in Pots

Introduction

Goji berries are also known as wolfberries. These nutrient-packed berries are quite easy to grow, even in limited spaces. We will provide you with how to grow goji berries in a pot on your balconies or patios.

Selecting the Right Pot and Location

Ideal Pot Size and Material

Begin with the basics of a spacious, sturdy pot. Aim for a pot at least 18 inches in diameter when growing goji berries in containers. They can grant each seedling enough room to grow.


Terracotta is porous, allowing the plant’s roots to breathe. Its weight can lend stability to prolifically fruiting shrubs. Ensure your goji berry pot has ample drainage holes.

Choosing the Right Location

Situate a 5 gallon garden pot in a location with at least 8 hours of direct sun. Windowsills and balconies are great homes for these bushes. Shield goji berries in pots from strong gusts. This keeps their delicate branches from snapping.

Preparing the Potting Mix

Recommended Soil Composition for Goji Berries

A loose, sandy loam soil with good drainage is preferred. It can mitigate root rot common in more compact soils. This composition allows excess water to escape, preventing stagnation around the roots.

Adding Organic Matter and Nutrients

Mixing in compost or well-rotted manure fortifies the soil with essential nutrients, while also improving its structure. This organic matter acts as a slow-release nutrient source. It can encourage root development and overall plant health.

Ensuring Proper pH Levels

Goji berries favor slightly acidic soil, with a pH range of 6.8 to 8.1. Acidity in this range promotes the intake of key plant nutrients. For example, iron and zinc. These effectively contribute to robust growth and disease resistance.

How to Grow Goji Berries in Containers?

Growing Goji Berry Plants from Seeds

When to plant goji berry seeds? You should plant goji berry seeds indoors 6–8 weeks before the last frost, or after the last spring frost. Soak the goji berry seeds in water for a few hours. Then, plant them ¼ inch deep in the potting mix. Keep the soil moist and wait for germination. This can take up to two weeks.


If you opt for seedlings, acquire them from a nursery. Carefully transplant them into your prepared pot. Ensure the root ball is not disturbed when planting goji berry in pot. Plant the seedling at the same depth as it was in its original container. Water thoroughly to reduce transplant shock.

Growing Goji Berry Plants from Cuttings

Take cuttings from the goji berry plant during the growing season. The cutting should be about six inches long with at least two sets of leaves. Remove the lower set of leaves. Dip the cutting in rooting hormones.


Plant the cutting in a small pot fill with a soilless potting medium. Water well and keep the cutting in a warm, sunny location. It should develop roots within a few weeks. After the roots form, you can transplant the cutting into a larger pot or into the ground.

Depth and Spacing Requirements

Whether planting seeds or seedlings, you should not bury them too deep. The crown of the plant (the base of the stem) should be level with the soil surface.


If you're planting more than one goji berry bush in a larger pot, space them at least 4 to 5 feet apart. This allows for the growth of the mature plants.

growing goji berries in pots

When Do Goji Berries Bloom?

They typically mature and start producing fruit in a few years. Goji berries in containers will bloom in late spring or early summer.

Caring for Potted Goji Berry Plants

Watering Needs and Frequency

Water your goji berry every 4-7 days. Keep the soil consistently moist, never sopping. To gauge the moisture level, you can insert your finger into the soil down to your second knuckle. If it feels dry, it's time to water. Consider using a drip irrigation system when growing goji berry plants in pots.

Fertilization Schedule and Recommended Fertilizers

Fertilize your goji berry plant with a balanced fertilizer. For example, an NPK ratio of 10-10-10. Apply the fertilizer in the spring when the plant is beginning to sprout new growth. Then, again in early summer to support the growth and development of the berries.


For goji berry plant in pot, follow the instructions on the fertilizer package and avoid overfeeding. Too much nitrogen can lead to lush, leafy growth at the expense of fruit production. Always water goji berry in container before and after applying the fertilizer. This prevents root burn and spreads the nutrients uniformly throughout the soil.

Pruning and Training Goji Berry Plants

Begin by removing any dead or damaged branches at the base. Next, prune the oldest canes to make room for new growth. Encourage a strong framework and shape your plant as desired.


You can train goji berries against a trellis or wall for support. This promotes better air circulation and exposes the plant to more light, leading to increased fruiting. Pinch back the tips of the branches throughout the growing season. This can promote bushier growth and more flowering sites.

Pests and Diseases Management

Common Pests and Diseases

Aphids, spider mites and gall mites are common pests. Powdery mildew, root rot and anthracnose are common diseases. Pay attention to them when growing goji berries in containers. Act swiftly at the first sign of infestation.

Preventing and Controlling Pests and Diseases

To control pests, you can use organic methods. For example, insecticidal soap spray, neem oil, or a horticultural oil mixture. These are safe for the environment. They won’t compromise the health benefits of your goji berries. Consider introducing beneficial insects like ladybugs.


In terms of diseases, potted goji berry are relatively disease-resistant. However, they can fall victim to root rot if they are overwatered. Always ensure proper drainage and avoid excess moisture to prevent this fungal disease.

Harvesting and Storage

Signs for Harvest

The berries will turn a bright red color when they are ripe. They should be soft and slightly sweet. The fruits come in bunches and mature at different times. So you may need to harvest your plant several times throughout the season.

Techniques for Harvesting Berries

Simply pluck the ripe berries from the stem. To ensure you don't damage the plant, hold the stem between your fingers. Gently twist the berry until it comes off.

Proper Storage Methods

If you plan to eat your berries fresh, store them in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. You can dry your goji berries for longer storage. Spreading them out on a tray in a well-ventilated area out of direct sunlight. When they are fully dry, store them in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Yellowing Leaves

This can be a sign of overwatering, nutrient deficiencies, or pests. Ensure your plant is getting the right amount of water and light. Feed it with a balanced fertilizer to address any nutrient deficiencies.

Wilting

Overwatering is a common cause of wilting in goji berries. Make sure your plant's soil is well-draining when growing goji berries in pots. You should not water too frequently.

Poor Fruit Set

If your goji berry isn't producing fruits, it could be due to lack of pollination or insufficient sunlight. Hand-pollinate the flowers if necessary. Ensure your plant is getting plenty of sun during the flowering season.

Conclusion

Growing goji in pots is easier than you might think. You can enjoy a fresh supply of goji berries right at home by following these steps.

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