250 News - Your News, Your Views, Now

October 28, 2017 6:02 am

Go, Go Goji

Saturday, January 31, 2015 @ 3:45 AM

Goji berries also known as Wolf Berry (Lycium barbarum) are considered to be the ‘super fruit’ or ‘miracle berry’ as they are rich in antioxidants, carotenoids, lutein, iron, fibre, and boost the immune system. Members of the Boxthorn family, they originate from Asia. The Chinese have been using Goji for many years in their traditional medicine.

The Goji berry plant is hardy enough to be grown in Prince George as it is able to withstand temperatures of -40 Celsius.

It can take a little time to get established but once it is established it is easy to grow, as it is rarely bothered by disease or pests, including rabbits and deer.

The plant is tolerant of different soil types, but the soil must be well-drained as the plant does not like having its roots sitting in water. Although tolerant of different soil types it produces best when in a good quality, well drained soil. There is some drought tolerance once it has been established, but again does better when watered regularly. Plant it in full sun and for added fruit, plant it against a sunny wall.

Pruning is done in the spring, before it breaks into leaf. Pruning the bush will keep it shorter and thicker and increase flower and berry production.

We will be bringing in the ‘Firecracker’ Goji plant, variety known for its bright red-orange berries, that appear in late summer and continue until a frost.

The berries are sweet and juicy and can be eaten fresh, dried (like raisins), or frozen. The berries get sweeter the longer they are left on the bush and can be gently shaken off the bush. It is self pollinating, and it begins to flower in its second year and by the fourth or fifth year it reaches maximum fruit production. The white /purple flowers appear in early through to mid summer.

The bush itself has a mounding growth habit growing upright with arching, vine like branches and can grow 1.5-2 meters tall and wide. It is an attractive, deciduous, thornless shrub with gray/green foliage.

Look for the Goji berry plants this spring, in the nursery along with the other edible fruit berry plants such as Hascap, Blueberries, Saskatoons, Raspberries, Currants, Gooseberries, Strawberries, and Blackberries.


Jos Van Hage  owns and operates two Art Knapp Home and Garden Centres in Prince George:

  • Highway 16  west at Kimball Road
  • Highway 97 North at Northwood Pulpmill Road (closed for season)


Just gave me a great replacement for my old ornamental whatever it is.

Good on you Mr. Van Hage . I have often wondered why the North is so undiversified . Goji berry wine is really good and it would not take very long to grow enough for a vintner to use . This is the kind of thing that is needed . I have also wondered why there are so few harvesting birch surup like in Alaska . And why has no one had the far sightedness to plant sugar maples here in the north . The sugar bushes of quebec , New Brunswick and ontario contribute massively to their economies and employment . Where we are ,we have a heck of a time growing fruit but nut trees grow like gangbusters . We give them away by the wheelbarrow every fall . The wild life also takes it share . We always leave them some . Thanks again Mr. Van Hage you are part of the solution .

Comments for this article are closed.