closeup of goji berries

How to prune a goji berry shrub

The goji berry shrub (Lycium barbarum) is a hardy, deciduous plant tolerant of harsh conditions. Hailed as a ‘superfood’, the nutritious berries can be eaten fresh, dried, or cooked in preserves. Like honeyberries, gojis fruit on old wood. Here’s how to prune your goji berry shrub for maximum harvests.

When to prune your goji berries

Goji Berry 'Sweet Lifeberry' from Thompson & Morgan
Young plants require little pruning
Image: Thompson & Morgan

The best time to prune your goji is spring. Wait until the buds begin to break, as it will be easier to see where any stems have died back over winter. 

As your plant grows, you’ll get the best results by training it against a wall, fence, trellis or obelisk. Simply tie in the loose stems to secure. 

How to prune your goji berries

Goji Berry ‘Sweet Lifeberry’ from T&M from T&M
These low-maintenance shrubs are ideal for coastal areas
Image: Goji Berry 'Sweet Lifeberry' from Thompson & Morgan
  • • Young goji berry shrubs need only light pruning each spring to remove any dead and damaged wood and reduce the stems to the space available.

  • • Gojis fruit on last year’s wood, but removing a few of the oldest stems each year will help to keep the plant rejuvenated.

  • • Well-established gojis, and those that have outgrown their space, will tolerate harder pruning. If you reduce the plant to a low framework in early spring it should grow back vigorously, although that year’s crop will be reduced or perhaps even sacrificed entirely. 

Banner image: Jiang Zhongyan/ Shutterstock

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