Goji/Wolfberries- need info

idogcow(z8)March 14, 2006

I'm very interested in growing these berries, but I haven't found much cultivation info. What type of soil they prefer, ph requirements, bloom time, climate, hardiness, and so on. Anyone growing these want to fill me in a little?

Any info on this fruit would be much appreciated.

Thanks,

James

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chills71(Zone 6b Mi)

I've heard that they are hardy to zone 5. I can tell you that the cuttings I rooted last year and planted out (with my fingers crossed) are still alive (I scratched a stem a couple weeks ago).

My assumption would be that they like a pH on the slightly acidic side (most berries do) and mine are in full sun and don't seem to have any problems with it.

Mine haven't bloomed (they started out about 3 inches tall and ended up the summer at over a foot) but I'm hoping they will within a year or two.

Wish I could tell you more.

~Chills

    Bookmark   March 14, 2006 at 10:36PM
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murkwell

If you do a google search for live plants most of the links will directly or indirectly get you to timpanogos nursery. They have some information about growing goji. The impression that they give is that goji are very easy to grow.

BTW, if you are interested in growing them from seed, I wouldn't waste your money on buying seed. Instead I would find some dried berries that you like the taste of and use the seeds from those.

I've tried berries from 2 different sources and in both cases seeds from the dried berries germinated at a very high rate (greater than 70%), and I've never germinated anything before this winter. One set of berries seemed to be at least a year old, they were almost crispy.

I have 5 or 6 relatively seedlings that I germinated just to see if they would. I think they took a week or 2.

Here is a link that might be useful: place that sells live plants

    Bookmark   March 15, 2006 at 3:32AM
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idogcow(z8)

Thanks guys.

The timpanogos site helped a lot. One of my main concerns was that they may not like southern summers, considering they're natural habitat is mountainous, but the site said they can take heat pretty good.

Murky,
Any idea where I can buy dried berries? I don't guess they sell them at Wal-Mart or places like that.

James

    Bookmark   March 15, 2006 at 2:21PM
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murkwell

Do a google search. There are lots of places. Of course you will have to wade through the BS (unless you are buying the BS).

There is a link on Timpanogos to a place that sells the dried berries. Their smallest bag is $25 for 18 oz.

I hesitate to direct you to one source I have in mind because I'd hate to be bidding against you ;)

I've bought dried berries from 2 sources. I like them OK, but too high a percentage of are not entirely perfect. I an be pretty picky with fruit. maybe 15% are a little brownish, or shriveled or something. I've also noticed that they taste a little bit salty. I find that very strange. Supposedly there is nothing added to the sun-dried berries. In fact, I think that the fresh berries may not be touched by hand to avoid bruising them and causing them to oxidize.

The ones I've tried have also had a little bit of a bitter taste. Timpanogos and their associated link for dried berries claim that "real" goji have no bitterness at all. I'm not sure if my taste buds are sensitive, or if theirs are really supposed to be different from the ones I've tried.

I'd love to pay $5 for a couple of ounces to sample, but I'm not dropping $30 including shipping, only to get my third strike. If you get some and you love them, maybe you could send me an ounce ;)

    Bookmark   March 15, 2006 at 5:32PM
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idogcow(z8)

Murky,

Well, I was looking around online, and it seems to me I can get seeds much cheaper than buying the dried fruit- http://www.sandmountainherbs.com/wolfberry_chinese.html

And that's Lycium barbarum, which everyone seems to claim as the 'real' goji.

I'd like the assurance that it would taste good, but at 3 bucks compared to 25, I'll probably just go with the seeds.

James

    Bookmark   March 15, 2006 at 7:49PM
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murkwell

If you just want some seeds I would be happy to put a few dried berries in an envelope and mail them to you. Each berry has a lot of seeds, maybe a dozen or so.

My girlfriend's mom loves these dried berries, but she is also VERY suggestible and she knows they are really good for her.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2006 at 1:06AM
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idogcow(z8)

If it's not too much of a trouble for you, that would be great.

I just sent you an email with my address.

Thanks,
James

    Bookmark   March 16, 2006 at 2:00PM
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thisbud4u(San Diego)

I've been eating sun-dried goji berries from a company called "Nature's First Law" and I am definitely NOT a suggestible type person (more of your curmdgeonly sceptic, as a rule). Anyway, I defintely feel a boost in energy when I eat a handful of these things. They taste pretty darn good too, at least to my palate. I haven't tried to rip apart the berries, extract the seeds and germinate them yet, but I plan to do so when the weather warms up a bit. Since they're "sun dried" they should still be viable, I'm hoping. This brand is available at lots of health food stores, in case anyone wants to check them out.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2006 at 12:03PM
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murkwell

The ones I thought were decent were from "Shigatse Valley Organics", the bag looks nearly identical as do the berries.

They aren't bad, just a little strange with the slightly bitter aftertaste and the saltiness.

I'm not too keen on the texture of the dried ones and they are rather seedy. I'm looking forward to trying some fresh ones.

Anyway, I really want to love them. They seem very cool in a number of ways.

thisbud, I'm assuming that burst of energy your refer to is something that you wouldn't get from eating a handful of raisins, dried blueberries or dried cherries, yeah? I definitely prefer the taste of dried organic Royal Anne cherries which run $12 a pound at the farmers market and have a luscious seed-free texture.

Goji are usually $15 a lb and up and up and up. I'll have to keep my eyes open if I hit a health food store though, it would be nice to avoid shipping charges for once.

There is no denying that antioxidants are good for you. I have read (not verified) that there may be a limit to how much antioxidants one's body can take advantage of at one time. I get the impression that its more important to always have some in your system than it is to have a lot.

The other thing of note is that the ORAC scale measures a total amount of several kinds. It doesn't measure all and it doesn't break it out by specifics. Different antioxidants have different benefits.

Similar to cholesterol readings where the "total" cholesterol number doesn't tell the whole story.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2006 at 4:41PM
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judah

i too, am looking for a good strain of gogi seed. i'm hopeing it's not too late in the season to do starts. anyone know? my permaculture buddy hooked me up with a pile of wolfberry seed, but after reading up, it seems the tibetan/mongolian 'real' gogi are prefferable.

anyway, i'm wanting to plant a lot of them, so haveing the right strain is important. i live on an island in coastal b.c.

any helpful info is much appreciated.

thanx!

    Bookmark   June 1, 2006 at 2:35AM
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murkwell

judah,

If you're planning to plant "a lot of them" it may be worth the investment to order dried berries from a couple/few different sources and taste them. You can then plant the seeds from the ones you like the best.

I found it very confusing trying to determine which berries came from where. Many of the "brands" you will find on ebay or google are repackaged from the same wholesaler. Also many of the packages look VERY similar but the name or graphic may be very slightly different.

There is so much hype surrounding these things that its difficult to separate the BS from the genuine information.

All goji/wolfberries are extremely nutritious. If you find one that you like the taste of, in my mind, that is the most important thing.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2006 at 4:56AM
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tkoppe(z5 PA)

Would these also be called Autumn Olives or Autumn Berries? If so, the PA game commission planted some nearby my house 5 years ago for game feed. They are now 6-7 feet high, very invasive, and get loaded with fruit around Halloween. Berries have more lycopine than tomatoes. Made a fruit spread them last fall, very good.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2006 at 10:01AM
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john13(Oregon z8)

No they are different plants. How long does it take them to fruit from seed?

John

Here is a link that might be useful: One Green World

    Bookmark   June 1, 2006 at 11:43AM
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humpbacks1962(Connecticut, 6)

From Goji's & More, Inc. 3 seed pods (60-100 seeds) for $9.95 + ship

    Bookmark   July 18, 2006 at 8:55PM
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humpbacks1962(Connecticut, 6)

forgot the link: http://www.gojiberries.us

    Bookmark   July 18, 2006 at 9:00PM
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murkwell

By "seed pod" they mean dried berries. $10 for 3 berries is nuts. You can buy a whole bag of sun-dried goji berries for that price, or slightly more. The germination rate is at least 50% and with a bag of them you will have thousands of seeds.

You can buy 30 goji berry seeds on Ebay for $2 shipped.

Here is a link that might be useful: buy 30 seeds (probably 1 or 2 berries) for $2

    Bookmark   July 19, 2006 at 3:05AM
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altadenamara

My goji berries came in an affordable 4 oz. sample size, and 4 berries produced enough seeds for around 20 plants. This vendor was approved by The Tibetan Goji Berry Company, which claims to be a farmers co-op created to support local farmers and protect ancient wild growing areas, the only official agency in Tibet authorized to distribute these agricultural products.
I canÂt comment on their claims, but the berries were sweet and good. All red, no brown. There is an after taste that lingers briefly on the tongue, but itÂs not bitter or unpleasant. There were so many little plants; I just put them in clumps in three pots with potting soil. They were four inches tall when something came and ate all of them to the ground. Some small growth is coming back from the roots, so they might not be done for yet. If I see a bird jumping around with a lot of energy, guess IÂll know who the guilty one was. ;-)

Here is a link that might be useful: The Tibetan Goji Berry Co.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2006 at 12:03AM
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murkwell

Aphids seem to really like my seedlings, they are pretty resilient though.

I bought some berries approved by the Tibetan Goji Berry Company and some that weren't. I couldn't tell much difference in the flavor.

They both are slightly salty to my taste and have a bit of aftertaste. The texture of the "official" ones was worse. They were drier and harder, I suspect I may have gotten a year old batch in spite of specifically requesting that they only send them if they were from the recent season.

Both germinate very easily and I haven't kept track of which plants are which.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2006 at 3:32PM
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chaman(z7MD)

I had bought Wolfberry plants from a mail order nursery.Plants start flowering from July on and ripe berries get ready by late August.

Picture of ripe berries to share with you.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2006 at 10:51AM
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murkwell

Do you have any pictures from further back for perspective? How many years was it from planting to berries?

What do you do to take care of them?

    Bookmark   September 17, 2006 at 12:11PM
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chaman(z7MD)

I do not have pictures of earlier growth of the plant.I am posting the pic. of the plant from which the ripe berrie's pic. is posted above. By now all the ripe berries are harvested.They were planted using potting soil.
Plants are mulched with finely shreded mulch and the grass clippings from the back yard.10-10-10 fertilizer is applied for three times during the season.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2006 at 9:51AM
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chaman(z7MD)

You can buy plants from on line nurseries.Google will help you to find one.
Plants start bearing fruits from third year of planting.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2006 at 9:59AM
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murkwell

Thanks Chaman, the picure is invaluable. Do you do any pruning? I see you've constructed some support there.

I've seen the plants described as both "vine" and bush". That looks more like vine to me. I may have to reevaluate how I want to place mine.

I wonder if it were pruned differently if it could be both self-supporting and bear a reasonable yield of fruit.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2006 at 2:46PM
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chaman(z7MD)

It has not been prunned after planting.I will prun it this year for first time.
I have read that it can be grown as a bush as well as vine.
Some plants have both viney and bush type habits.Jasmine is another good example.
Prunning all branches to a height of about 1 foot above ground level plant will grow as a bush. Do not remove the shoots as they appear if you want to grow it as a bush.By saving one or two longest and prunning rest of the branches at the ground level plant will grow as a vine.Remove the new shoots as soon as they appear if you want to grow it as a vine. I have experimented this with Jasmines.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2006 at 5:30PM
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alfred

Chaman,
Did you like the berries? Were they flavorful, sweet, or weird?

    Bookmark   September 20, 2006 at 12:44PM
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murkwell

Or bland, slightly sweet, and slightly bitter with lots of small hard seeds?

    Bookmark   September 20, 2006 at 2:11PM
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chaman(z7MD)

To me it tastes like little bit tangy,sweet,tart and sour
put together.Or like tastes of ripe tomato,raisin, cranberry and cherry mixed together.
I love to eat them.
More than less it depends upon individual's taste buds also.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2006 at 3:21PM
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chaman(z7MD)

BW I pick up ripe berries from the plant(like red ones in pic. above) for eating.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2006 at 9:53PM
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rain1950(W. WA z8)

Another factor here is that the young shoots and leaves are edible. in commercial production they are trained as a small tree about 7 feet tall. These berries have 500X Vit. C than oranges, more betacarrotine than carrots, amino acids and antioxidants. Likely the second most healthy thing you can eat. The list of nutrients and micro-nutrients is very impressive.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2006 at 10:18AM
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murkwell

rain, do you mean "500%"? The 500X claim is simply not credible.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2006 at 11:54PM
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chaman(z7MD)

murky,I am posting pic. of second plant I have which was planted and re-planed and finally it was brought near the first plant.If this helps perspectively.
This plant is to the left side of the window.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2006 at 4:24PM
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murkwell

Thanks chaman. Is it leaning against the brick wall, and did it bear fruit at that size?

    Bookmark   September 25, 2006 at 6:58PM
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chaman(z7MD)

murky,
Plant is not leaning against the wall.Stem is two and half feet away from the wall.
It did bear the fruit.I am posting the pic. of the fruit from this plant.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2006 at 8:24PM
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hemnancy(z8 PNW)

Is Goji the same thing as the Wolfberries sold in Chinese grocery stores as Lycium? If so, dried berries are quite cheap and easy to find at most Chinese groceries I have been in. I looked at the Plants for a Future site for the 3 Lyciums listed and 2 are native to the US, but not rated as high for fruit value as L. barbarum.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2006 at 4:16PM
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chaman(z7MD)

hemnancy, could you please post the pic. of the berries that you purchase from Chinese grocery store?

    Bookmark   September 29, 2006 at 10:14AM
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hemnancy(z8 PNW)

chaman- here is a photo. It came out kind of dark, they are more a tomato red. I didn't have the label with them, but they are usually sold as Lycium, I don't remember anything more.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2006 at 7:01PM
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hemnancy(z8 PNW)

I googled Gogi and it seems to be the fruit I buy in the Chinese groceries. Some health food people finally got interested in it and jacked the price way up. I tried to grow plants once but it was a weedy area and I probably didn't keep it watered and weeded enough and lost them. I may try growing them again. The Chinese grocery is full of weird fruits dried or fresh that probably also have good health benefits, as fruits and vegetables all have their unique effects to restore, replenish, cleanse, and nourish our systems, put there by the Designer of the Universe, fruit like Lychees, Longan, Durian, etc.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2006 at 3:25PM
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mud_woman(5)

Autumn Olive is related to gomi or goumi which is less invasive, from what I've read. And yes, it's different from goji.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2006 at 4:05PM
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hemnancy(z8 PNW)

I found my other package of Wolfberries from the Chinese grocery and it is labeled Medlar. I googled Medlar images and there is one photo that looks like Wolfberries, but it is obviously labeled wrong as Medlar is a totally different plant family, and the berries are obviously in the nightshade family like tomatoes. I also soaked some berries and fermented the seeds like collecting tomato seeds, and will try planting some.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 6:48PM
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popi_gw

Hi there

I am interested in the goji berries, does anyone know what they call the leaves and shoots which are apprently in the Asian vege section in the fruit shop ?

I have read they root easily from cuttings and I want to give it a go.

Thanks.

Popi

    Bookmark   October 4, 2006 at 4:06AM
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murkwell

They germinated and grew very easily from seeds I removed from dried berries. I got on the order of 50% germination or better simply cutting the dried berries open and pulling the seeds out with tweezers.

I put them in potting soil onder flourescent light and tried to keep the soil from drying completely too often. That's it!

The only way I could see paying money for plants is if I wanted to buy a large one in a large pot in order to get berries sooner. Otherwise they seem very easy to propagate.

I've done it with two different sources of the dried berries that are sold for eating.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2006 at 1:53PM
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chaman(z7MD)

hemnancy,

I got a chance to look at the pics. of dried Wolfberry/Goji berries pics. in few on line catalogs and all look like the pic. you have posted.However,since they are cultivated over a large area between Himalaya,Tibet and into China is it possible that there may be different local names in the different places of the area?

    Bookmark   October 5, 2006 at 9:26PM
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larry_gene

Goji is going mainstream; Trader Joe's now includes the berries in a trail mix.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2006 at 12:19AM
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hemnancy(z8 PNW)

I saw Lycium barbarum plants in the 2006 Raintree catalog.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2006 at 5:12PM
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chills71(Zone 6b Mi)

I recieved cuttings and planted rooted plants last summer. This summer the plants grew well, but they didn't flower....That is until about 2 weeks ago.

I'm hoping next year to sample some fresh berries from the plant (that is if my oldest son doesn't get them first....They're his favorites)

~Chills

    Bookmark   October 26, 2006 at 11:07PM
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murkwell

chills, from where did you get cuttings?

    Bookmark   October 27, 2006 at 12:57AM
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chills71(Zone 6b Mi)

from the exchanges page. I traded for them. (sadly I cannot tell you with whom, though as I lost all those lists from a computer problem earlier this year)

~Chills

    Bookmark   October 27, 2006 at 6:51AM
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potawie

I bought seeds and small plants from Richters.com
By the time the plants were shipped, my seeds were about five times their size.

Here's some intersting info on wolfberry marketing

Here is a link that might be useful: Goji info

    Bookmark   March 6, 2007 at 2:22PM
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butterflylion(7bGA)

When I click on the e-mail link at The Tibetan Goji Berry Company's website I get an error message. Would someone please post the e-mail address? I'm interested in some organic berries for eating now and also want to grow my own. Thanks for any info. (I live in metro Atlanta.)

    Bookmark   March 7, 2007 at 1:07PM
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kiwinut

info@gojiberry.com

    Bookmark   March 8, 2007 at 12:19PM
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raddog(5)

I planted a wolfberry last summer in what is basically a giant "pot" I created with extra-large retaining stone. I'd snap a picture, but right now everything's dormant and unimpressive. Maybe in a month...

...anyways...

This little guy grew like wildfire! Mine is very spreading, with "tentacle"-like growth that has weaved out to about a 30-foot wingspan. This and two boysenberry "twigs" just EXPLODED last summer.

I filled my retaining area with the best topsoil I could find, mixed in sand and vermiculite and fish meal. It drains exceptionally well and is out in the open where it's pounded by fullsun (and Kansas sun is VERY blazing in July/August) until about 7pm during the longest days.

I have wolfberry, boysenberry, blueberry, grape, 3 jujubees, 2 Jap persimmons, 1 cultivar goumi, 1 cultivar magolia vine, a smathering of strawberries, 3 different cultivar gooseberries, and 1 passion flower vine (maypop) growing in my "pot". All the vines did extremely well, the magnolia lagging behind the others. Blueberries struggled. I await the rise or fall of the Jap persimmons -- we dipped into sub zero temps this winter, so it will be interesting to see what kind of staying power they have. Same with the juju's, although Roger told me he thought they'd be fine (he has relatives in Topeka who've grown them for years).

I got no berries on the wolfberries last year, but hopefully this year.

One thing I did notice is everywhere the tentacles went if they touched ground they rooted. I think I can generate another 20 plants this spring by simply severing the branches from the main stem and then digging them and moving them.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2007 at 11:58AM
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chills71(Zone 6b Mi)

raddog...I'm glad to see you've had luck. My wolfberries opened a few blooms last October. I picked them off rather than let them try to produce that late.

My magnolia vine lagged too. I just chalked it up to it being in shade, which it is supposed to tolerate.

Which persimmons did you get? Did someone recommend the varieties to you? I got Ichi Ki Kei Jiro and it looks fine (though it is in tubex and it hasn't even grown out of the tube yet, so it was somewhat protected).

~Chills

    Bookmark   March 11, 2007 at 6:58PM
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razek

You can get info on Goji berry seedlings and plants at wheelersgreenhouseandnursery.com

    Bookmark   March 19, 2007 at 1:15AM
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Violet_Z6(6a)

You can also get them from me.

:)

    Bookmark   March 21, 2007 at 2:06PM
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yong

Our family have been growing gogi for over 20 years.

There are 2 different varieties of Lycium barbarum, and they have rather different growth pattern.

The large leave variety is grown primarily for its delicious leaves which is usually used as a soup vegetable. In my garden, zone 15, it has providing us with enough large leaves almost all year around. The branches is almost cut down to the ground during harvesting to stimulate new growth and prevent mildewing. However in mother's house in the hot central valley,zone 14, once the weather really warms up, the leave become rather small. It will produce the berries if you do not cut down the vines. However it does produce too many berries.

The second variety is literally named the small leaf gogi will produces rather small and narrow leaves most of the year, and the leaf is too small for practical cooking purpose, But it produces immense amount of berries, and here again its growth pattern is different in the Stockton area. The berries is much more plentiful and much larger in my mother's garden inspite of fact that both plants came originally from the same plant over 10 years ago.

My suggestion is to grow and use both varieties. For around a dollar in an Asian market you can buy a bunch, strip away the leaves, and make enough cutting for 100 plants or you can get a bunch from a Chinese friends since it is the most common and easiest plant to grow. I have seen it grown in sandy soil in San Francisco. I grow it in a rather heavy clay soil.

The berry variety is a little different story. I have been sucessful in making many cuttings, but it is much slower than with the other variety. The fresh seeds are rather easier to start, but you will have a long wait before you can harvest enough berries to consume. If you can afford it I would suggest buying it rooted from a nursery. A pound of dried seeds can be purchased in most Asian market for a few dollars.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2007 at 2:49AM
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yong

Sorry, I have a correction! The sentences should have been written "It(the large leaf variety) does not produces too many berries."

Yong

    Bookmark   April 30, 2007 at 3:05AM
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alpharetta(z7 GA)

I am living in Atlanta GA zone 7. Could somebody in Atlanta confirms the success of growing Goji? Where you bought the seed/plant? What is the special care for Goji in Alanta area?

Reading the previous posts, I understand that we could just go to Chiness stores to buy the dried berry fruit, or envent buy the part of the plant in the asian grossery store. What exactly the name I should say to Chiness/Asian grossery store so they understand that I want Goji??? Some people name it Gogi?

    Bookmark   November 16, 2007 at 2:42PM
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yong

Most Chinese grocers are ethnic Cantonese. They call the vegetable, gull gay, and the berries gull gay gee. I enjoy growing the berries, but I find it not cost effective if you live near a Chinese grocery or drug store since I have only one harvest a year. The leaves I harvest almost all year around. Unfortunately there is very little promotion about the large leafy variety, but the leaves are highly nutrious and delicious if properly cooked in a soup.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2007 at 12:24PM
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gojiltd

Get it here

www.GojiLtd.com

Here is a link that might be useful: Click here to get your Goji

    Bookmark   February 24, 2008 at 4:45PM
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