I have a 4 foot tall Goji Berry plant that has been prolifically producing flowers all year long. None of the flowers ever become fruit. I've witnessed hummingbirds poke into each flower because they love purple flowers more than any other color. That means they should be pollinated, right? The dozen other fruit trees in my garden have no problem pollinating naturally - I have many wasps and bumble bees.

It might be diseased. Most of the time, it has what appears like talcum powder on its leaves. I sprayed it down with neem oil once and it went away, but came back within a week. Maybe the powderiness is natural to its leaves???

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  • Are you sure that is a goji berry? I have one in my backyard that fruits, and it doesn't look similar to your plant at all. They could be different varieties, of course, but I'm wondering if you might have something else? ETA: Nevermind - Looking online I see there is a wide range of varieties, some of which look like yours.
    – michelle
    Sep 4, 2014 at 18:17
  • I believe so. I bought it from a bustling nursery with intelligent staff. The sign in front even said that this is Goji and not Wolfberry, which resembles Goji but has inferior taste and nutrient levels.
    – JoJo
    Sep 4, 2014 at 23:19
  • This doesn't look like a berry producing variety.
    – Jika
    Mar 22, 2017 at 7:38
  • My going berry bushes are over 10 years old and have always had a vast quantity of flowers, but they have never set fruit. They are very healthy. I'm about ready to cut them all down and start over!
    – Cindynsg
    Aug 9, 2021 at 11:02

9 Answers 9


Goji berry vines are highly susceptible to Powdery Mildew.

In fact, I wouldn't recommend trying to grow them in the Pacific Northwest as it's too damp here. In 10 years of trying, they leaf out lushly, and about a month later start mildewing. Nothing you do will get rid of the mildew as it's a systemic problem with the plant.

I've only ever gotten about five rather bad tasting berries off of them. In the same growing area we could have harvested a couple gallons of Blueberries.

We finally just uprooted them all, sent the stumps to the dump and tossed the rest into the compost heap as a failed experiment.

  • 5
    Attack a systematic fungus with a systematic fungicide.
    – J. Musser
    Sep 1, 2014 at 22:40
  • 2
    The berries do taste somewhat like a squashy green bell pepper. I don't like them fresh. When I grew them, they did well, the worst thing was powdery mildew, which isn't too bad if you catch it early.
    – J. Musser
    Sep 1, 2014 at 22:50
  • 1
    @J.Musser - I'd rather not grow crops that require systemic fungicides just to survive. If the plant is inappropriate to the area, let it grow elsewhere where it thrives. Sep 2, 2014 at 1:46
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    The operative is "you live in the Bay Area". Despite the drouth, it's a Maritime climate. The moisture may not be in the ground, but it's in the air and will condense on things providing a moist environment that mold spores released from dry soils take advantage of. Sep 2, 2014 at 14:28
  • 1
    @JoJo Powdery mildew grows well in dry periods. Around here, it's most common in August, by far the driest month. But then, I do get up yo 65"/yr. of precipitation.
    – J. Musser
    Sep 2, 2014 at 15:09

I've never grown a Goji berry plant but have read a bit about them and recall a couple of things from the reading. First, I recall that some other folks mentioned that they could not get their Goji berry plants to fruit either. It was speculated that it might be a particular variety of the plant and that certain ones were more likely to fruit.

The second thing I recall is that at least two writers mentioned that it took a few years for their Goji berry plants to produce fruit although they flowered each year. The pictures I saw - again, going from memory here - were not unlike the one you posted.

It is possible that you've got some sort of disease but often when plants are diseased they don't flower all that well. I'm certainly no expert on this plant, though, so it is entirely speculation on my part.

Perhaps your plant just needs time - as did the ones I mentioned - to start producing fruit and it might not happen this year. The plant is self-pollinating (I looked that up, wasn't sure) so that's not the issue. I imagine there will be someone with more knowledge than I on this who can speak about it though.


There are several kind of goji berry. I'm sure your goji berry is Lycium barbarumL, which likes cool weather. In the California Bay Area, maybe you should plant Lycium chinense Mill. This kind of goji berry grows well in warm place.

FYI: Chinense is also called "false goji" or just "wolfberry". They are mostly grown for their roots not their berries.

  • Yeah, I was thinking the climate might have more to do with the lack of fruit than a disease. Aug 24, 2016 at 17:49

Dig around the root area, add the best soil you can get. At least 1 to 2 feet around the root area. Try not to disturb the roots themselves. You will yield fruit.


They will fruit around 2-5 yrs from seed if you are starting them from cuttings you more than likely will get fruit the first season as most horticulturists prune back/ top any branches that are over 3yrs old to promote fruiting and those are more than likely the cuttings you purchased.

  • I asked my original question in 2014. It is now 6 years later and they still do not fruit. I bought them as cuttings, not from seed.
    – JoJo
    May 31, 2020 at 6:04

I had a goji berry in the Los Angeles area which flowered the second year and had lots of fruit. Maybe it was the variety but I do not think it takes more than a couple of years for it to fruit.


I read recently that goji berries are like nut trees-----they do not fruit until about 7 (seven) years old. I watched an extensive programme from Canada recently.


Use Neem tree oil, what i use is organic made by Garden safe its an anti fungal ,mite / bug replant. I use to have issues with mildew and aphids but not since using it on a regular basis, I would cease use a week or two before harvest as it can affect the berries taste.


Oh and as a after thought these plants are not really self fertile, you may just need another plant otherwise you will be stuck with a few chance berries. To get a bigger yield, I would recommend planting them 3 to 5 feat apart and as far as genetic diversity 5 to 8 plants, they should flower 5 to 7 times a year up to the first frost.

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