Goji Berry plants have not grown in 2 years
My Goji Berry plants have not grown since the first couple months two years ago. I added a few last year, and those did not grow - at all! Note - they are not in danger of dying, just not thriving. I've discussed it in detail with the nursery and i had already done everything they could think of correctly. The selling nursery does not concern over PH... They say not to water much (it damages them) and treat like cactus, and only fertilize maybe 1-2x a year. The ONLY possibilities I can personally think of from all my internet research are that it may be (1) too hot, or (2) too acidic soil. Or maybe (3) poor soil in far back of yard in this area. So: (1). They are planted in full sun all day every day. I live in NC, so afternoon sun is definitely hot. However, I have tons of plants, and everything has thrived except for the Goji Berries and I had some blueberry plants that never grew either (I took those out last fall). The blueberries were also in the far back of my yard - same soil, full sun, and heat. (2). Internet says they need alkaline soil. Nursery did not think this was an issue. These Gobi Berry plants are from mountaintops in China. My soil is clay (I amended it prior to planting), and slightly acidic. (3). Poor soil. I did add compost and mix in garden soil. The many plants elsewhere in my yard grow very very well. I would only say poor soil because this small sloped area in relatively new development also failed to grow blueberry plants (they lived but did not grow bigger). Otherwise, orange clay is quite nutritious. Deep down - belowbelow 12-18", the soil is hard as a rock - and may be some type of rock, although those dark pieces shatter from digging or become softer and able to dig and remove if sit water in the hole overnight. I did dig deep and replace to 18" and quite wide diameter when olanting, so I do NOT believe this is an issue. Also, my neighbor on other side of fence (fence 2 feet from Gobi Berry plants) has his entire slope completely covered in thriving landscape plants (including large trees and bushes) - a beautiful oasis! So, the soil works for his variety of plants - which are common in this area and do like the native slightly acidic soil. In sum, do you think any of these are the issue?? Something else? Note: County Extension says my soil is very nutritious. MY LIMITED REMEDY IDEAS: #1 - If any of the above, I could TRY to feed the plants more often?? I was told to be careful with fertilizer and water use. But, if they need nutrients, plain plant food is only remedy now that they are established, and living (but not growing). ISSUE - the plant food must be mixed into water. The leaves turn yellow and fall off if over watered (ie, I at least can not do this during spring rains). Since "fertilizer" is NOT recommended, COULD I DAMAGE THEM? OR are growth problems likely nutrient issues? #2 - Re acidity of soil, I could add lime, but doesnt that have to be done in fall? Could I put it in NEAR the plants, and take to 2" deep? How far away does it need to be? (Or could I use a hand spreader - which spreads it over wide area equally?) #3 - I guess I have one possible place I could move them to IF HEAR MAY BE THE ISSUE because they would get shade from 330pm onwards. I don't know if this would help? Location is not far from where they are now, and current location on slight slope allows better drainage than if I did move them. Any suggestions greatly appreciated!!! Thank you!
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
I would say the biggest issue you have is the clay soil. Well drained soil is a must for Goji Berry plants.
This may be a case where growing in containers is the best solution for you.
Here are some links with more information.