Himalayan miracle food finds its way into NZ gardens

Goji  berry plants (lysium barbarum) are now available to New Zealand gardeners.

Glucina’s nursery at Matakana north of Auckland has released the new plants to garden centres throughout NZ this month.

Goji juice, dried berries and chocolate coated gojis have been the latest health trend around the world. Worldwide demand for the little red berries (aka – red diamonds) means they have been quite expensive to buy and growing your own has never come at a better time according to Kevin at Glucinas nursery.

“The cultivar we have been working on starts producing berries after it’s second year and is fully productive by year five -producing loads of the little red berries thoughout summer/autumn” he says.

Goji plants originate in the Himalayan triangle of Tibet , China and Mongolia- but nearly 100 percent of the world’s commercial production is in the fertile river deltas of China. The plant is said to tolerate a massive temperature range from minus 15C degrees right up to 40C degrees making it suitable for growing throughout NZ.

The plant is a deciduous long living perennial which develops a trunk not dissimilar to an old grape vine. It can grow to 3m tall with multiple fruit bearing branches.  but pruning to suit your site is ok for small gardens.  It does well in most well drained soil types but like most other plants needs protection from slugs snails and rabbits in its first year.

Goji berries have been used in China and Tibet for thousands of years as a longevity / medicinal food and over the past few years scientific analysis has uncovered some goji secrets.

The fresh goji berry has approximately 5 times more anti oxidants than any other food and as well as a full range of fatty acids vitamins and minerals the exciting scientific research is focused on several of gojis unique polysaccharides which are found in no other food. As well as hosting various anti – cancer compounds studies are being carried out on it’s muscle boosting/energy recovery properties and on a component called zeaxanthin which is believed to reduce macular degeneration of the eye.

Goji is reported to help with diabetes and heart disease and as recently as Nov 08 Dr Vivienne Reeve- a University of Sydney research scientist – announced to a Brisbane medical research conference that she had fed mice with either water or diluted goji juice and exposed them to UV radiation to give them sunburn. The goji berry drinking mice had significantly less inflammation of the skin and they didn’t get immune-suppression which is a risk factor for skin cancer development in chronically overexposed skin. It also appeared to suppress skin cancer growth she said – with another experiment showing skin cancer – induced mice had significantly slower growing tumors.

According to Kevin at Glucinas nursery the plant has commercial potential in New Zealand- as well as the berries being delicious fresh – goji leaves are also used as a nutritious vegetable, Goji extracts are being incorporated into cosmetics, tea, coffee, breakfast cereals, health supplements, sports drinks and alcoholic beverages. With China’s unfortunate position of increasingly polluted air, soil and ground water – the world is crying out for a safe supply of their favorite little berry and NZ may well be one of the best situated to supply it.

21 comments on “Himalayan miracle food finds its way into NZ gardens

  1. Kim Harvie on said:

    Can you tell me if there is a nursery in Gisborne stocking Goji palnts? thanks kim

  2. tina vao on said:

    Is there a specialist nursery in NZ where I can purchase the single petal gardenia scabrella?

  3. Please can you tell me where to buy goji berry plants in the lower part of the south island.
    Christchurch south if possible.

  4. Pip Deans on said:

    I would like to know where the Goji Plant or seeds can be purchased, I am in the Chch area. Thanks

  5. ANNETTE CLIMO on said:

    i want to buy some goji berry plants .if you have any for sale or know where I can get sme please leave a message on my email or phone me on037828221. THANK YOU VERY MUCH

  6. Hi Annette,

    Please try Glucina’s nursery at Matakana north of Auckland refered to at the beginning of this article.
    Type Glucina’s into the directory search area at the top of this screen.


  7. are goji berry plants frost tender

  8. Hi Rose,

    They are frost tender – I have found some cultural information about them on this website


    Tim D

  9. Dear Friends of Goji,

    About 10 years ago, Celebrex, an authritis pain medication, caused me to have a rather massive heart attack. My veins collapsed, and as a result, my heart was deeply scard. There is no question that this pharmaceutical drug, prescribed by my ‘doctors’, caused this damage, and stopped my heart.

    A wonderful, Emergency Room “Physician,” with the University of Arkansas Medical Center, saved my life. It took everything from “mouth to mouth” to “”defibrilation” to waking up with a “resuscitator” down my throat, with the good doctor yelling my name. Literally, screaming “WAKE UP MR. TOMPKINS!! I woke up. Nine days later (in intensive care ), with 3 “stints” and a “pacemaker-defibrilator” inplanted my chest, I was given a half dozen or so “pill prescriptions,” placed on perminate disability, and basically sent home to die. I almost did. One of the ‘pills’ I was given for my heart, called “Bacor,” has now done perminate damage to muscles in both of my legs.

    While I don’t recommend that anyone should stop taking their “‘prescribed medication,” without first speaking with their “doctor,” it was not until I stopped taking my “doctor’s prescriptions” that I began to get well.

    To make a long sad story, very short, and very sweet, I discovered TCM (Traditionl Chinese Medicine), about 5 years ago. While drowning myself in Ginseng, and Green Tea, I discovered the amazing Goji Berry Tree. A combination of the 3 have cured my heart, my soul, and my spirit. My life has never been better. is a reflection of my journey to discover the truth about “medicine.” Having found it, the desire of my heart is to share it with others. Be well.

    Warmest Regards,

    Rich Tompkins

  10. Janine on said:

    Any one know where I can buy goji berry plants or seeds in Nelson?????

  11. Dear Janine,, ships high-quality Goji Seed world wide.

    Warmest regards,


  12. Where can I buy goji berry plants in Christchurch ?

  13. Richard Watson on said:

    I have 40 ,one to three year old Goji bushes growing,but i noticed some of my strongest growing plants are sending up suckers well away from the main stem,is this normal??

  14. Does anyone know if these plants are safe to grow near Native Bush areas and Native birds.
    Will the birds eat the berries and disperse the seeds throughout the bush. As the plant grows into a vine, will the vines then become a problem in Native forests, as have Old Mans Beard and Chilean Flame Creeper. As Richard has noticed ,the plants are sending up suckers well away from the main stem.

  15. Mitre 10 have started to stock these little bushes for anyone looking for them

  16. helen devine on said:

    would like to buy some plants also do you have an address.

  17. Hi Helen, it does not look like Glucina’s nursery have a website – try this number (09) 4229038 – please let them know you found out about them through us.



  18. anneke on said:

    It is horrific, the cruel experiments that are performed on laboratory animals, just to prove the efficiency of a berry of which has already been proved through history. It saddens me to read articles with such tests commencing and it has become so common to read of such ‘miraculous’ discoveries using testing on animals. leave the animals alone, trust history and test on yourself. Please say no to lab testing and animal vivisection.

    love and light,

  19. COLIN on said:

    Where can I purchase GOGI Berry plants or seeds in the Christchurch area.
    I am convinced that I will not survive my Lymphoma Cancer and heart disease without them.

    Thanks heaps

  20. I am not sure where you can get them in Christchurch but you can order online from

    Good luck!

  21. Reginaldadams(Reg) on said:

    Hi Colin, You may find on the internet Dr.Johanna Budwig and her discoveries on fatty acids found in cold pressed linseed oil . Read for yourself . You have nothing to lose plus no side effects.  Reg…

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