What a berry tree is that

Plant, cut and dry goji berries correctly

The goji berry has caused a sensation as a superfood in recent years. The red fruit is said to have real miraculous powers. Goji berry is the name given to the fruits of the common wolfberry (Lycium barbarum) and the Chinese wolfberry (Lycium chinense). The deciduous deciduous shrub is also known as devil's twine, witch's twine or Chinese wolfberry. The genus of the wolfberry contains around 100 species of deciduous, evergreen, sometimes prickly and often climbing shrub species. They can be found in many regions of temperate and subtropical latitudes. They prefer to grow on dry soils, often near the coast.

In gardening, wolfberry is valued for its growth, flowers and decorative fruits. Frost-hardy species can serve well in borders, mixed hedges or embankments. The wolfberry is native to China. Due to its robustness and good frost resistance, the shrub has spread worldwide. In southern Europe, the shrub is growing so fast that it is displacing native plants and is called invasive.

The goji berry (Lycium barbarum) is the most widespread species in this country. The often prickly and deciduous shrub is varied in its growth. Mostly upright, broad to arching overhanging, rarely climbing and growing up to about 3.5 meters high. The narrow, oblong-lanceolate leaves are medium green in color. During the flowering period from late spring to summer, many clusters of 1 to 4 funnel-shaped flowers appear. They have a lilac to purple, sometimes pink color. This is followed by coral-red teardrop-shaped berries from summer, which are highly valued as a healthy fruit both in the kitchen and in natural medicine.

The red goji berries are rich in ingredients, for example vitamins (C, B1, B2, B3), minerals and trace elements (calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, copper and zinc). Their taste is fruity, sweet and reminiscent of a mixture of cherries and cranberries. They can be enjoyed fresh or dried like raisins.

Table of Contents

How are goji berries planted correctly?

The goji bushes are usually offered as a plant in a pot. Planting can be done in the frost-free period from early spring to late autumn. Planting during hot summer periods should be avoided.

Any full sun can be used as a location. Loose, light sandy soils are ideal for the Goji culture. On the other hand, heavy, cold, wet clay soils can make growing the wolfberry more difficult. Mixing in gravel and sand is recommended to improve the air flow in the soil. A similar effect can be achieved if the planting space is increased by a kind of mini raised bed. A height of 20 to 30 cm is enough to heat the floor more quickly and to drain off excess moisture.

How are goji berries properly cared for?

On light soils, care should be taken to ensure an adequate water supply in summer. Although goji can handle drought well, they are not allowed to dry off. Uniform soil moisture ensures good yields. On barren soils, rotted garden compost can be raked into the tree disc in spring or applied as mulch. On the one hand, the humus increases the water storage capacity and ensures the supply of nutrients for healthy plant growth. In rainy summers, a white coating appears on the leaves, which can be identified as powdery mildew. As a preventive measure, goji berries can be treated regularly with plant strengtheners containing silicon, such as horsetail broth, from spring onwards.

The goji berry can be propagated both by sowing the seeds in autumn and by cuttings in late spring or cuttings in winter.

How do you cut goji berries correctly?

For a permanently healthy crown, dead, crooked or crisscrossing branches are cut out in late winter or early spring. Long shoots are trimmed in spring to limit growth. As a useful plant, it is recommended to cut 2 to 3 times a year for early fruit set and better yields.

What are the effects of goji berries?

In Chinese medicine, both the fruit and the root bark are of great importance. Medicinal properties of the fruits were documented for the first time as early as 200 years before Christ. A decoction made from the red fruits is said to have a positive effect on the liver and kidneys, as well as lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Internally, the goji berry is used in natural medicine as a remedy for high blood pressure, diabetes, dizziness and menopausal symptoms. The fruits are said to have a supporting effect in losing weight. The processed root bark of the goji berry is said to have an antibacterial, cough-relieving, fever and blood pressure lowering effect.

How are goji berries dried?

Drying is a good way to preserve goji berries for a longer period of time. The ripe goji fruits are harvested from the bush in autumn. They are washed and dried before drying. Then spread the harvested goji berries in a single layer in boxes with newspaper or paper towels wide and loosely. The boxes are placed in a well-ventilated, shaded place to dry. The goji harvest is turned regularly so that the fruits optimally lose their moisture. Gradually the red fruits take on the shape of raisins over a period of weeks.

If the natural drying takes too long, you can fall back on the energy-intensive drying with the oven. 3 to 5 hours in the oven, preheated to about 50 ° C and slightly opened, is sufficient to dry the goji berries. A food dehydrator is more energy-efficient and can dry in 5 to 10 hours, depending on the temperature and device.

How do you process goji berries?

The bright red goji berries can be eaten fresh, cooked or dried. A handful of fruit is recommended as a daily ration. They are a healthy and vitamin-rich addition to jams, muesli, soups, desserts or baked goods. The leaves and berries can also be scalded for a harmonizing tea.

The fresh berries can be frozen like other berry fruits. After washing and draining, the goji fruits are poured into freezer containers and placed in the freezer.

Goji Berries FAQ

Why don't goji berries bloom?

Goji berries thrive in sunny locations on light sandy soils without any problems and bloom willingly. If their flowers fail, the location may be too dark, the soil too wet and cold. Late frosts can damage flower buds so that blossoms and fruit formation are no longer possible.

Are goji berries poisonous?

In principle, the consumption of goji berries is harmless, although there are always opposing opinions. As a nightshade plant, some wolfberry species contain alkaloids, which can cause side effects if overdosed.

How do you protect goji berries from disease?

Goji bushes are very robust and hardly susceptible to disease. If the location suits them, they will develop a good immune system. Only in summer can powdery mildew form after the change from dry to rainy phase. The administration of plant strengtheners in spring helps to revitalize the body.