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Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

goji berry

Other Common Names Include: Boxthorn Fruit, Goji, Matrimony Vine and Wolf Berry

Latin Name: Lycium barbarum

Plant Family: Solanaceae

Close Relatives: Chili Pepper, Deadly Nightshade, Eggplant, Potato, Tobacco and Tomato

Uses and Markets: Culinary (e.g. dried and fresh fruit, juice); natural health product industry (e.g. fruit and root bark used in traditional Chinese medicine as a treatment for blood disorders)

Gogi flowers (photo credit:  Foodpictures, berries on the vine (photo credit:  LianeM, gogi berries
Production Life Cycle in Ontario


Hardiness Zone


Special Notes


Propagation method

Most commonly by transplants from seeds.  Seeds.

Greenhouse Seeding/Propagation Dates

Late winter.

Field Seeding Date:

Late spring.

Field Transplanting Dates

Late spring.  Transplants need a minimum of two sets of leaves.

In-row spacing

1.0-1.5 m

Between row spacing

2.0 – 2.5 m

Optimal Soil temperature at planting



No current Ontario fertility recommendations exist. Research and recommendations from outside Ontario do not necessarily apply to Ontario growing conditions.  Gogi requires moderate fertilization (80-100 kg N/ha) applied over the course of the growing season.  1st application in the spring,  a 2nd 2 months later, and the 3rd 3½ months after planting. Click here for phosphorus and potassium application guidelines and for more information on specialty crop fertility.

Soil type

Well-drained soils of moderate quality. Sand, loam and clay soils.

Soil pH

Alkaline soils, pH 8.

Special requirements for growth habit


Optimal Temperature Range

Temperate climate.

Temperature sensitivity

Freeze tolerant.

Irrigation requirements

Irrigation beneficial under normal Ontario conditions.

Days to harvest

Will start fruiting in the second year; expect maximum yields by year 4 and 5.

Specialized equipment:


Harvest Scheduling

Single harvest when 80-90% of berries are ripe, 35-40 days after flowering.

Hand harvest or machine harvest

Hand harvest

Quality parameters/grades

No established grades. Quality is determined by the market.

Additional Harvest Notes

Do not harvest after a rainfall.  Handle berries carefully to avoid compression and bruising which turns the fruit black.

Post harvest
Special handling/curing

Berries can be air dried or mechanically dehydrated.

Storage Conditions

Relative humidity (RH): Low

Temperature: Cool

Air Exchange: N/A

Duration: 1 year (longer if refrigerated)

Specific pests observed on this crop in Ontario (observations based on limited experience with this crop)

Insects and Invertebrates: Spotted wing drosophila (Drosophila suzukii), potato leafhopper (Empoasca fabae), Japanese beetle (Popillia japonica), thrips (greenhouse and field), aphids (greenhouse transplants), spider mites (greenhouse transplants)

Diseases: Anthracnose (Colletotrichum spp.), early blight (Alternaria solani), powdery mildew

Other: Blossom end rot

Other Potential Pests: The following pests have not been observed on this crop in Ontario. However, they are either significant concerns for closely related plants in Ontario, or are reported on this crop in other production areas. This is not a comprehensive list of all potential pests. Not all of these pests will necessarily survive Ontario’s climate, but could potentially survive in a protected environment (e.g. greenhouse, storage facility).

Insects and Invertebrates: Aphids (field), caterpillars, goji gall mite (Aceria kuko)

Diseases: Damping off (Pythium, Rhizoctonia, etc.)

Other: Birds, deer, rabbits

*Indicates pests commonly mentioned as causing significant damage or economic loss to this crop in other regions.


To date the following pests have been the most significant in Ontario: anthracnose, blossom end rot.  Spotted wing drosophila has been detected in large numbers in Ontario goji orchards, however its impact on the berries is not yet known. Other pests of Solanaceous crops in Ontario, especially tomatoes, may also affect goji.   For more information on pests of tomatoes, refer to the Tomato module of Ontario CropIPM on the OMAFRA website . 

In the United Kingdom, goji gall mite was detected on imported goji and was found to be able to affect other Solanaceous crops.  Consult with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency for potential restrictions associated with importing goji from outside Canada.   Predation of the berries by birds and deer may also be an issue

This crop is in Crop Group 8-09: Fruiting Vegetables Group and subgroup 8-09A: Tomato Subgroup.  For more information on Crop Groups, refer to the Pest section.  Always refer to product labels, and follow all directions specified on the label, before applying any pest control product.  For more information, consult an OMAFRA specialist.  There are few to no pest control products registered on the more significant pests of goji in Ontario.


Potato leafhopper adultHopperburn on goji leavesJapanese Beetle Japanese Beetle damage on goji leavesEarly blight symptoms on goji leafBossom end rot of goji berryEarly symptoms of anthracnose on goji berriesSevere anthracnose on gojiSpotted Wing Drosophilla adultSpotted wing drosophila damage to goji
Additional Notes


Ontario Research Projects Used to Create This Profile
  1. OMAFRA Spotted Wing Drosophilla Team.  2012.  Ontario Spotted Wing Drosophila Monitoring Project.  Unpublished Data.
  1. Gross, P.M., X. Zhang and R. Zhang.2006.  Wolfberry. Nature’s Bounty of Nutrition and Health.
  4. J. Hu.  2009.  Wolfberry (Goji). 
  5. L.E. Craker and J. Giblette.  2002.  Chinese medicinal herbs: Opportunities for domestic production.  In: Trends in new crops and new uses.  J. Janick and A. Whipkey (eds). ASHS Press, Alexandria, VA.