Goji berry is used to make a very popular juice, and it is thought to possess many super nutrients that offer a vast number of medical and health benefits. The numerous good sides of the goji berry are available to an average home gardener. What are these magic berries and can you grow them is the subject of this article. The USDA plant hardiness zones for it are from 5 to 9, as they provide the best climates for the super plant.
What are Goji Berries?
The goji berries belong to the nightshade family of plants, which also includes tomatoes and peppers. They grow on shrubs of some 3 to 5 feet in height and have long arching stems. The tasty berries will spring from bright purple flowers, shaped like a funnel. The color of the berries is orange, and they are globular. They form late in the season. The bush plant is native to the Asian continent, mostly found in the wild regions of Russia, China, Turkey and Japan. As mentioned, the berries have a characteristic brilliant orange-red color and oval shape. They are used dried in medicinal when they become a dark and shriveled fruit.
Goji Berry Info
Now for some important nutritional and medicinal information on these berries. The benefits are numerous, and the plant was one of the most important ones in the medical practices of ancient Eastern civilizations.
These berries help the immune system function properly, alleviate menopausal symptoms, increase the production of blood cells, and regulate blood pressure. Some people think that they also diminish lung, liver and kidney deficiencies and disease symptoms. The plant also has some anti-oxidant properties, anti-aging capability and can even cure a wide range of diseases on its own. Keep in mind that many of these claims have not yet been medically proven.
However, even if some of these properties are not true, the beautiful and cute plant still makes a great decoration for your garden and can provide you with an attractive hedge or a climbing plant. The branches are easy to train and climb to a trellis, and you can prune them to keep the rangy growth in order.
Growing the Goji Berry Plants
Growing the goji berry plants is very easy. These plants need a soil with good drainage, and with pH levels between 6.8 and 8.1. You should always check the drainage of the soil and add some sand or compost if needed, to improve the texture of the soil if it is not suitable.
The most common way to start growing the goji berries in your backyard is bare root plants. The best time to start is in early spring because this is when the shrub is dormant and when it better tolerates disturbance. The bare root shrubs have to go into the ground as soon as you purchase them. Soak your plant roots in water and plant them in a sunny spot of your garden. The roots should be spread out and the soil needs to be pushed in and around the roots. Keep it moist during the first few months after planting, until you see new sprouts growing. Feel free to spread some mulch to keep weeds away, and to preserve the moisture.
Plants can also be planted from the seed. Use only the fresh seeds that are clean and are free of fruit pulp. Start them indoors in a peat pot, and then plant them outdoors during Spring season, when they are around one year old. Expect the fruits about three years after you first saw the plant.
There you have it, everything important about the super goji berries. Will you give it a shot? We sure think you should, as they are very healthy, and they look beautiful in any arrangement!