Thursday, May 21, 2015

Goji Berries, Another Stark Bro's Review

A few weeks back I received in the mail a package from Stark Bro's.  This is becoming a regular thing around the homestead, yet is always very exciting!  There were some Almond (here and here) and Fig tree's (here), which I'm quite excited about, a replacement pack of raspberries (I waited too long to plant them, grr!), and a replacement Reliance grape vine (here), which is doing quite well btw.  While those were all neat and nice, the plant I'm super stoked about is my Sweet Lifeberry Goji bush.

I'm hoping this is what my future will look like!

One thing I didn't read (I usually do read the directions, honestly!) this time was that potted plants are supposed to be hardened off.  This means setting them out in the sun for short periods of time, each day a little longer than the day before... yea, I didn't do that... and shortly after planting it, all the leaves fell off. Three weeks later, this little fighter is up and running!


While that's exciting for me, the most exciting part about this whole endeavor is that I'm propagating it, successfully!  When I pulled the plant out of the pot it was growing in, there was a huge tangle of roots that had hit the pot and started to grow in circles around the plant.

Here's what it looks like when they get bigger!
Eventually what will happen is as the roots get bigger they strangle the tree/bush.  Obviously this is not desirable... but it is something you absolutely must watch out for whenever you buy a potted plant!  I've had this on some fruit trees (I got for free), blueberries as well as this Goji berry.  Most of the time the best way to handle it is to take a knife and cut the roots by running the blade up and down the root bundle at a depth of about an inch, cutting off all the circling roots.  In this case, however, I simply ripped off a bunch of roots, set them aside, and stuck the plant in the ground.  This is where it get's exciting for me!

When I ripped the roots off the bottom of the root ball, there was at least one stem that had grown up and out of the pot and had leaves on it.  This one went straight into a pot with potting soil in it... and is currently taking off like a rocket!  (I gave it a good bit of babying to be honest)

Rocket is a relative term, but it's amazing to see the growth compared to when I first put this in the pot!

A few other roots looked promising as well... and a few were just a gamble with nothing to loose.  There was one big root without any hint of anything that looked like it wanted to grow upwards... it got shoved into a pot and is just now peeking up out of the ground... er, it used to be.

A few inches tall, but growing none the less!

More than one of the plants I've started came out of the pot looking like nothing more than a bundle of roots...

Nodes of growth

In the picture above you can see a root that I pulled off the bottom of the original pot.  At first glance it's just a root and I normally wouldn't think anything of it.  HOWEVER, I had a similar root I just stuck in some dirt just to see what would happen, and it grew!  Look again closely where the red arrows are pointing towards and you can see how there is just a tiny little nub of growth on the root.  If that is close enough to the surface and kept moist enough, that should turn into another plant for me... score another for Team Clinton!

Just poking out of the ground...

The picture above is what those little growth nubs should look like any day now.  This is the other root I tossed into the dirt and now I have, possibly, two new plants growing...  this is kinda fun!

In conclusion, it looks like my single plant from Start Bro's has turned into 5, 6, maybe 7 plants and counting.  The moral of the story is a little cliche, but that doesn't change the truth now does it?

Just give it a shot... you might fail, but you might not!  The only way you'll succeed is to try and you'll only fail if you never try.

Hopefully next time I can show you how I was able to get my Bush Cherries to root out... and let me know if you've ever tried something like this! 


I now have about ten plants from the one I purchased.  When I planted them, they were all doing awesome with lush green leaves... that is slowly changing to a yellow leafless plant and I suspect it is due to the acidic soil that is in my yard.  You may want to make sure your soil is a little more on the alkaline side when you plant your plants, or add crushed oyster shells to the mix.

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