The Phoenix Tears Goji Berry (Lycium barbarum) is native to parts of Asia. The deep orange-colored fruits are high in nutrients, with carotene levels higher than found in carrots. The jellybean-shaped fruits ripen over a long period in mid-summer, with up to four weeks of harvest. Ripened fruits of Phoenix Tears adhere to plant stems for long periods of time. Fruit has sweet flavor with slight acidity.
The multi-stemmed shrub grows to 5 to 6 feet tall and 5 feet wide. Train branches with a simple one-wire trellis to ease harvest and support the many pounds of ripened fruits produced. Small, light violet-colored flowers that produce fruit appear in late spring on plant stems that are at least two years old. The cold- and drought-tolerant plants can be grown successfully in Zones 3-8.
Latin Name: Lycium barbarum ‘Phoenix Tears’
Site and Soil: Goji likes full to half-day sun and well-drained soil.
Pollination Requirements: Goji is self-fertile.
Hardiness: Goji is hardy to minus 15° F. or below.
Bearing Age: 1-2 years after planting.
Size at Maturity: 5-6 ft. in height and 5 ft. wide
Bloom Time: Late spring
Ripening Time: Late Summer through Fall
Yield: Up to 1 quart
Pests & Diseases: Goji is not bothered by pests or diseases
USDA Zone: 3-8
Sunset Western Zone: 3, 9, 14, 18-20
Sunset Northeast Zone: Not listed