Gogi Berry Companion Plants

One of the rising stars in health foods is Goji berry. Sometimes called wolfberries, this shrub is part of the nightshade family of plants that includes eggplants, tomatoes, and peppers. Goji berry grows as a sprawling shrub that can be easily trained on a trellis or pruned to be free-standing. Mixed shrub borders in a naturalized part of the landscape are a great place to add Goji berries, as these shrubs do not require much seasonal care to produce heavy crops of tart, fire-orange fruits.   

Goji berry is adaptable and will happily grow in poor, sandy soil. Despite its preference for alkaline soil, this shrub will happily grow alongside other ornamental shrubs in neutral to slightly acidic soil. It needs little fertilizing to encourage high berry production. As a versatile plant, Goji berry can be grown in full sun to partial shade, unlike many other edible crops. 

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Photo by F. D. Richards, unmodified, Flickr, copyright CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED

Shrubs To Plant With Goji Berry

The best companions for Goji berries are other shrubs, either edible or ornamental. Pair it with viburnum, forsythia, cotoneaster, or euonymus in a mixed hedge to define a property border or to disguise a fence line. Goji berries also work well in dedicated herb gardens with woody herbs like lavender, thyme, and rosemary. Like Goji berries, these plants appreciate soil on the dry, alkaline side.  

Perennials To Plant With Goji Berry

Pairing Goji berries with perennials is a great way to attract beneficial pollinators and add color. Shallow-rooted plants like ajuga, creeping jenny, and sweet woodruff will happily grow at the base of pruned or trained bushes. More ornamental vines like clematis or honeysuckle can be trained to grow through shrub forms of Goji berry, which can be particularly useful in a small garden. Trellis-trained Goji berries may need a facing plant to disguise any bare stems at the bottom. Try peonies, hostas, or ferns in this role.

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Photo by F. D. Richards, unmodified, Flickr, copyright CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED

Annuals To Plant With Goji Berry

Annuals are often used as a temporary ground cover for established shrubs. Goji berry grows well with nasturtiums, calendula, sweet alyssum, and seed-sown Phacelia at the base to help suppress weeds during the growing season. These annuals also attract beneficial pollinators, which increases fruit yields. 

Meadow wildflower mixes are also a great way to provide ground cover for Goji berries. Select wildflowers specific to your region, which typically require little fertilization and thrive on neglect, just like Goji berries. 

Best Companion Plants For Goji Berry in Containers

Because of their sprawling growth habit, Goji berries are rarely grown in a container for more than a few years. Gardeners may be successful with potted Goji berry if they keep up with regular hard pruning and train the shrub to a trellis or fence. Because of its extensive root system, this shrub grows best alone, without competition from another plant in the same pot. 

To add color to a Goji berry container, you can plant shallow-rooted annuals, like sweet alyssum and nasturtiums. Both work as a filler and a spiller and can be removed at the end of the growing season. They also attract beneficial pollinators, which aids Goji berry fruit development. 

Plants Not To Grow With Goji Berry

Goji berries do not pair well with nightshades and brassicas plant families. Although the Goji berry is in the nightshade family, it should not be grown with tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, and eggplant to reduce the spread of common pests and diseases like bacterial and fungal blight or cutworms. Brassicas share some of the same diseases as nightshades and can release chemicals that can stunt the growth of Goji berry. Similarly, other common kitchen garden plants like fennel and corn can decrease the growth rate of Goji berry, resulting in lower flowering and fruiting. 

Plants that need boggy soil, such as cattails, waterlilies, and rush grasses, will not grow well with Goji berry. These waterside plants will languish in dry soil next to Goji berry. 

Best Plants To Grow With Goji Berry

Goji berries thrive in dry, poor soil conditions once they are fully established in a garden bed. Plant them with other sprawling shrubs and shallow-rooted perennials for color and contrast. Include an effective ground cover like ajuga, creeping Jenny, nasturtium, calendula, or sweet alyssum, which can help to suppress weeds while attracting beneficial pollinators to Goji berry blooms.