How to Grow Wolfberry Bushes

Wolfberry and goji berry are two common names for Lycium barbarum, a perennial species of fruit-bearing plant cultivated for its small, reddish-pink berries. Wolfberries are also cultivated as an ornamental plant, as the ripe berries and silvery foliage add visual interest to late-summer gardens when most other plants have finished blooming. Wolfberries are easy to grow in most gardens: They propagate reliably from seed and quickly experience significant growth with minimal care. However, they require well-draining soil with a moderate amount of organic matter to truly thrive.

Things You'll Need

  • 4-inch nursery pots
  • Loam
  • Wolfberry seeds
  • Cold frame
  • Compost
  • Cultivating fork


    • 1

      Fill a 4-inch nursery pot with sterile loam. Pour 1/3 cup of water into the pot so the loam is moistened to a depth of 2 inches.

    • 2

      Sow two wolfberry seeds in the pot. Cover the seeds with a 1/4-inch-deep layer of loam. Press the soil firm atop the seeds to squeeze out trapped air.

    • 3

      Place the pot in a cold frame or indoors in a bright, unheated room. Moisten the loam in the soil periodically so it stays slightly moist at a 2-inch depth at all times.

    • 4

      Watch for germination one week later. Remove the less vigorous of the two wolfberry seedlings once they reach 1 inch in height.

    • 5

      Keep the wolfberry plant in the cold frame or indoors until one week after the last frost in the spring. Transplant the wolfberry plant once soil temperature warms to 65 degrees Fahrenheit.

    • 6

      Prepare the soil in a sunny, well-draining bed. Work a 4-inch-thick layer of compost into the bed using a cultivating fork to increase the drainage and nutrient content of the soil.

    • 7

      Plant the wolfberry seedling so the base of the stem is even with the surrounding soil. Water the seedlings to a depth of 3 inches immediately after planting it.

    • 8

      Water the wolfberry plant to a depth of 3 inches once a week. Let the soil dry out slightly between waterings to keep it from becoming boggy.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wolfberries are hardy to USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 7.
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