Goji: Planting And Care In The Open Field, Useful Properties

The Berber dereza, or Chinese dereza, or goji berry, or common dereza, or barbarian dereza, or wolfberry (Lycium barbarum), is a species of the genus Dereza in the Solanaceae family. In China it is commonly referred to as Ningxia goji, which translates as "Ningxian dewberry" but to Europeans it sounds like "goji". This crop is found in natural conditions in Tibet, Russia, China and the Himalayas. In the early 21st century goji berries have been touted as a plant with powerful healing properties and able to cope with any disease, people are assured that this culture is concentrated in a large concentration of trace elements and antioxidants. Such a crop was pretentiously called "red diamond", "heavenly berry" and "longevity berry".

But numerous studies conducted by scientists have not confirmed this information, so goji juice cannot be considered medicinal.

Peculiarities of goji berry

Goji: planting and care in the open field, useful properties

The goji berry plant is a deciduous shrub, about 3.5 meters high, with a crown that reaches 6 meters in cross-section. Its powerful root system penetrates deep into the soil and forms a large number of root scions. The yellowish hanging branches have many fine spines on their surface.

The full-length, simple leaflets are small and elliptical in shape, greenish on top and pale bluish underneath. The flowers are bell-shaped and can be purple, pinkish-purple or purplish-brown. They have a mild aroma. The fruit is a small, oblong berry about 20 mm long which may be orange, reddish-coral or purple. Such a shrub begins to bear fruit in its third year of growth but in some cases earlier.

Goji berry (dereza). Growing

Growing Goji in the garden

Goji: planting and care in the open field, useful properties

Growing from seed

Growing the Common Goji Berry can be done by seed or vegetatively, the latter using semi-sprouted cuttings up to about 10 cm long.

Seeds do not require previous stratification. In spring, they should be immersed in warm water for a few hours before sowing. At the time of sowing the seeds should be sunk only 0.

3 cm into a moist soil mixture consisting of loam and peat (2:1). A container with the seeds you need to cover the top of the glass or film, then put it in a warm place (20 to 25 degrees). Remember to let the soil mixture to dry out in any case can not, also protect the seeds from sudden changes in temperature in the room. The first seedlings usually appear after half a month. After this happens, the plants should be moved to a well-lit place, but they should be shaded from direct sunlight.

After the bushes grow leaf plates, they should be transplanted to the garden plot on a school bed. There they will finish growing for 1 year. The plants should be well covered for the winter. In the spring, the grown seedlings can be planted in a permanent place. Such plants will start to flower in 2 or 3 years, but will bear their first fruit in 4 or 5 years after being transplanted into the open soil.


Goji: planting and care in the open field, useful properties

If you want to propagate Pinus truncatula vegetatively, it is best to use old cuttings that have become woody because they take root the quickest. The place of cutting in July or August should be immersed in a solution of a product that stimulates the formation of roots. Then the cuttings should be planted under a film or in a greenhouse. Until the last days of winter, rooting cuttings should be placed in a cool place, for example, remove to unheated veranda, insulated balcony. In the spring time produce cuttings in the open ground.

Grow such a shrub can be absolutely in any soil. However, it grows best in a well-lit area with well-drained slightly acidic soil.

Planting seedlings in the open soil is recommended in the spring time. The size of the planting hole should be 40x40x40 centimeters. If several seedlings are planted, a distance of 1.

5-2 meters should be kept between them. To fill the planting hole you must prepare a soil mixture, for this you must combine the soil with 150-200 grams of superphosphate, 8-10 grams of humus (compost or peat) and 30-40 grams of potassium sulfate (wood ash). The soil mixture should be well mixed.

After the plant is planted its root neck should be deepened into the ground for 10-15 mm. When the planting hole is backfilled, the soil surface in the rooting circle should be compacted.

The plant is watered well and once the liquid has been completely absorbed, the surface is covered with a layer of mulch (peat, bark, mulch or wood shavings).

Gardening of goji

Goji: planting and care in the open field, useful properties


The young bushes of common dewberry should be very well cared for in the first years. The soil in the bed should not dry out completely, but you should also avoid stagnant liquid in the root system, especially at low temperatures, as this can damage the weak roots. As a preventive measure, when it gets colder and during rains, the surface of the rooting circle should be covered with a film. Adult shrubs are more resistant to drought and overwatering and should only be watered during prolonged droughts.


The first year after planting the seedlings, there is no need to feed them, because they will have enough of the nutrients that were introduced into the soil during planting. In subsequent years, mineral compound or compost should be added regularly to the soil in the growing bed.


Goji: planting and care in the open field, useful properties

This shrub needs regular crowning because it grows very fast and can grow to around 3-4 meters high. To increase its yield and make it more attractive, the shrub should be systematically pruned during its first few years by cutting out unwanted branches and stems. As a result, only the most powerful and equidistant from each other branches should remain on the plant, fruit shoulders are formed on them, and fruit branches already grow on them.

In subsequent years, these fruiting branches are shortened, and no more than 4 buds should be left on each branch. This pruning helps to stimulate growth. Most of the fruit is formed on last year's stems.

Before the shrub reaches a height of 200 cm, its lower branches will need to be tied to a support because they must not lie on the surface of the ground.


Pests and diseases

This crop is threatened by pests such as Colorado potato beetles, aphids and winter moth caterpillars.

To kill them, the plant should be sprayed with wormwood infusion.

The common birch can fall ill with phytophthora and powdery mildew. This most often happens when the plant is not fed with wood ash. It should definitely be applied to the soil at the time of planting the seedlings, and if the first symptoms of any of the diseases will be noticed, the bush will need to be powdered on the leaves with wood ash. If this procedure does not have a proper effect, the plant will need a fungicide treatment.


This crop is moderately winter-hardy, it can withstand a decrease in air temperature to minus 15-25 degrees. But if the winter is not snowy, the bush can freeze. In this regard, in deep autumn it should be well covered, for this purpose using lapnik.

When cultivating varieties with low frost resistance, it is recommended to dig up the shrub in autumn together with a large earth clod and plant it in a container. The plant will overwinter in a frost-free cellar at low plus temperatures.

Gathering and storage

Goji: planting and care in the open field, useful properties

After the fruits of the common dewberry have turned a deep red color, you can begin to harvest them. To do this, spread a cloth under the shrub, on which the ripe berries will fall when knocked down. Do not forget to protect your hands with thick gloves, because this plant is covered with sharp needles. Cleaned of debris (branches, leaves, etc.) fruits should be scattered for drying under a shelter.

After a while, the berries should be stripped of all the stalks, then continue to dry in a shady place. Remember that goji berries can only be dried outdoors, do not use any technical devices. To ensure that the fruit dries evenly, it should be systematically turned and stirred. When the skins on the berries peel off easily, it is a sign that the raw material is ready. Store these berries in a glass or ceramic container with a tightly closed lid.

Fresh berries may be frozen and then put in the freezer for storage. They are suitable for making pie fillings as well as for drinks.

Goji species and varieties

The common dereza plant is a genus species. However, this species has 2 varieties:

Tibetan dereza (Lycium barbarum) or Tibetan goji

Goji: planting and care in the open field, useful properties

This form is highly productive. Flowering and fruiting begins in the first year after planting.

The sweet fruit are drop-shaped, about 20 mm long, and have a distinct nightshade flavor. However, this form also has disadvantages, namely, watery berries and excessively large seeds.

Chinese berry (Lycium chinense), or Chinese goji

Goji: planting and care in the open field, useful properties

This shrub is more powerful and taller. The crunchy fruits have an elongated shape and a sweet pleasant taste, and dry very quickly. The disadvantages of this form are low winter hardiness and late entry into fruiting.

In recent years, several varieties of common dereza have been created, which are quite popular among gardeners:

  1. New Big. This Polish variety is unpretentious, winter-hardy and fast growing. The first berries appear on the bush in the year of planting. The rich orange fruits have a sweet and sour taste.
  2. Lhasa.

    This Chinese early variety is frost-resistant and yielding. The bush is about 300 cm tall and has a large number of thorns on the surface of the arc-shaped branches. The plant is already fruiting in the second year after planting in the open ground. The color of the self-pollinating flowers is purple. The bright orange berries have an oblong ovoid shape, they are 20 mm long and weigh from 2 to 3 grams.

    The taste of the flesh is sweet and sour with a subtle bitterness.

  3. Sugar Giant. Sprawling bush about 350 cm tall, it is frost-resistant and yielding. Its fiery orange fruits are about 25 mm long and have a very pleasant taste. This variety is also called Tibetan barberry.

  4. Sweet Amber. This Chinese variety was released in 2016 and is cold hardy but thermophilic. It became very popular among gardeners in a short time. Such a bush does not cling to supports, but it rests on them. The shrub is characterized by rapid growth, and its height can reach up to 250 cm.

    Its ripe fruits take on a transparent amber color.

  5. Superfruit. This dense bush is noted for its light-loving nature and is about 300 cm high. The berries are bright red. It bears fruit three years after planting in the open ground.

Performities of goji: Harms and Benefits

Goji: planting and care in the open field, useful properties

Beneficial properties of goji

The fruits of common dewberry contain substances such as zinc, phosphorus, copper, iron, calcium, selenium, germanium, Beta-carotene, vitamin C, amino acids, polysaccharides, antioxidants, flavonoids, steroid saponins, thiamine, riboflavin and other substances beneficial to the human body.

In non-traditional Chinese medicine, these berries have been used in the treatment of kidney, liver, reproductive system and eye diseases. The berries contribute to lowering blood sugar levels, getting rid of headaches and insomnia, eliminating the negative effects of menopause, strengthening the lungs, inhibiting candidiasis, preventing the development of diabetes, restoring hormonal balance and urinary function, improving hematopoietic and nervous system activity, inhibiting fatty liver, inhibiting pathogenic E. coli and other inflammatory processes in the body. Modern medical professionals in China have conducted experiments that have found that the fruit of this plant is an aphrodisiac.

Dieticians advise anyone who wants to lose excess weight without effort to eat these berries, as they help improve metabolism and blood circulation, and also help accelerate the breakdown of fat cells and reduce harmful cholesterol levels. The creams, lotions and other cosmetics containing goji berries have a rejuvenating effect. The most frequently used remedies are infusions of the leaves or berries of this plant.

The whole truth about goji berries / Usefulness and contraindications


There are people who are individually intolerant to goji berries. They should not be consumed by pregnant or nursing women or children under 3 years of age.

Healthy adults are advised to eat 25 fruits per day. If you have no contraindications to eating goji berries, you should still consult a specialist beforehand.


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