Goumi Plants: A Guide To Growing And Caring For These Hardy Fruits

Posted on
Goumi Berry / Elaeagnus multiflora Ornamental plants, Autumn olive
Goumi Berry / Elaeagnus multiflora Ornamental plants, Autumn olive from www.pinterest.com

Goumi plants, also known as cherry silverberry or Russian olive, are small fruit-bearing shrubs that are native to China, Japan, and Russia. These hardy plants are gaining popularity among gardeners and homesteaders for their attractive foliage, delicate flowers, and delicious berries. In this article, we will explore the various aspects of growing and caring for goumi plants, including planting, pruning, and harvesting. Whether you are a seasoned gardener or a beginner, this guide will provide you with all the information you need to successfully cultivate goumi plants in your own backyard.

1. Planting Goumi Plants

Goumi plants are relatively easy to grow and can adapt to a wide range of soil and climatic conditions. However, they thrive in well-drained, slightly acidic soil with a pH level between 6.0 and 6.5. Before planting, it is recommended to prepare the soil by removing any weeds or grass and incorporating organic matter, such as compost or well-rotted manure, to improve fertility and drainage.

When choosing a location for your goumi plants, make sure it receives full sun to partial shade. These plants can tolerate some shade, but they will produce more berries with increased exposure to sunlight. Dig a hole that is twice as wide and deep as the root ball of the plant. Gently loosen the roots before placing the plant in the hole and backfill with soil, firming it gently around the base.

Water the newly planted goumi plant thoroughly to settle the soil and ensure good root-to-soil contact. Apply a layer of mulch around the base of the plant to conserve moisture and suppress weed growth. Water regularly, especially during dry spells, and avoid overwatering, as goumi plants are susceptible to root rot.

2. Pruning Goumi Plants

Pruning is an essential part of caring for goumi plants and helps maintain their shape, promote airflow, and encourage fruiting. The best time to prune goumi plants is in late winter or early spring, before new growth begins. Start by removing any dead, diseased, or damaged branches. Then, selectively thin out the plant to improve light penetration and airflow.

When pruning goumi plants, aim to remove about one-third of the old wood to stimulate new growth and increase berry production. Cut back any long or leggy branches to encourage bushier growth. It is also beneficial to remove any suckers that emerge from the base of the plant, as they can divert energy away from fruit production.

Regular pruning will help keep goumi plants compact and manageable. However, be careful not to prune too heavily, as this can reduce the fruiting potential for the following season. Always use clean and sharp pruning tools to avoid the spread of diseases.

3. Harvesting Goumi Berries

Goumi berries are small, round fruits that resemble cherries and have a tart, tangy flavor. They are typically ready for harvest in late spring or early summer, depending on the variety and growing conditions. The berries turn from green to bright red when fully ripe and are easily detachable from the branches.

To harvest goumi berries, gently hold the fruit between your thumb and forefinger and twist it off the stem. Alternatively, you can use a pair of pruning shears to cut the clusters of berries from the plant. It is important to harvest the berries when they are fully ripe, as unripe goumi berries can be astringent and unpleasant to taste.

Goumi berries can be enjoyed fresh off the plant or used in a variety of culinary creations. They can be eaten raw, added to salads, or used as a topping for desserts. These versatile berries can also be made into jams, jellies, and sauces, or dried for later use. The high vitamin C content of goumi berries makes them a nutritious addition to any diet.

4. Common Pests and Diseases

While goumi plants are generally resistant to pests and diseases, they can still be susceptible to certain issues. Aphids, scale insects, and spider mites are some of the common pests that can infest goumi plants. Regularly inspect the foliage for any signs of infestation, such as distorted leaves or sticky residue, and take appropriate measures to control the pests.

Fungal diseases, such as powdery mildew and leaf spot, can also affect goumi plants, especially in humid conditions. To prevent these diseases, ensure proper air circulation by spacing the plants adequately and avoiding overhead watering. If necessary, apply fungicides according to the manufacturer’s instructions to control the spread of fungal infections.

5. Benefits of Growing Goumi Plants

Goumi plants offer a multitude of benefits for both gardeners and the environment. Here are some of the reasons why you should consider growing goumi plants:

5.1. Edible Berries

The main attraction of goumi plants is undoubtedly their delicious berries. Packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, goumi berries are a healthy snack that can be enjoyed straight from the plant or incorporated into various culinary delights.

5.2. Nitrogen Fixation

Goumi plants are nitrogen-fixing shrubs, which means they have the ability to convert atmospheric nitrogen into a form that can be utilized by plants. This natural process helps enrich the soil with nitrogen, improving its fertility and reducing the need for synthetic fertilizers.

5.3. Wildlife Habitat

The flowers of goumi plants attract a wide range of pollinators, including bees and butterflies, which play a crucial role in plant reproduction. The berries, on the other hand, provide a valuable food source for birds and small mammals, contributing to the biodiversity of your garden.

5.4. Ornamental Value

In addition to their edible fruits, goumi plants also offer aesthetic appeal with their attractive foliage and delicate flowers. The leaves are silvery-green on top and grayish-white underneath, creating a striking contrast. The small, fragrant flowers bloom in clusters and add beauty to the landscape.


Goumi plants are a wonderful addition to any garden or homestead, offering not only delicious berries but also a range of other benefits. From their adaptability to different growing conditions to their nitrogen-fixing abilities, goumi plants are a sustainable and eco-friendly choice for any gardener. By following the planting, pruning, and harvesting tips outlined in this guide, you can enjoy the beauty and bounty of goumi plants for years to come.


Here is a summary of the key points discussed in this article:

  • Goumi plants are small fruit-bearing shrubs native to China, Japan, and Russia.
  • Plant goumi plants in well-drained, slightly acidic soil that receives full sun to partial shade.
  • Prune goumi plants in late winter or early spring to maintain shape and promote fruiting.
  • Harvest goumi berries when they are fully ripe and enjoy them fresh or use them in various culinary creations.
  • Common pests and diseases that can affect goumi plants include aphids, scale insects, spider mites, powdery mildew, and leaf spot.
  • Goumi plants offer edible berries, nitrogen fixation, wildlife habitat, and ornamental value.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *