Planting & Growing Ginseng
I think I have the perfect location for growing ginseng, what type of area/site is best for growing ginseng?
Ginseng occurs naturally throughout the eastern half of North America where the forest flora exist under hardwood timber. Such states are AL(northern), AR, MS, GA(northern), SC(western), NC(western), TN, MO, KY, WV, VA(western), MD, OH, IN, IL, IA, MN, WI, MI, NJ(northwestern), PA, NY, VT, CT, RI, NH, MA, ME and southern Ontario and Quebec in Canada. We have a number of customers who are successfully growing ginseng in northern CA, OR and WA. Ginseng grows best within wild ginseng's natural range where there is good soil, shade(70-80%), and drainage.
If I plant stratified ginseng seed this year, would they come up this year?
No. They will come up the following spring time. However, if you plant in late winter or early spring, they will come up that same spring.
Do you recommend fall planting or spring planting?
Fall planting is preferred. However, if the conditions are ideal, spring planting is also preferred by many in southern states. Spring planting is risky north of VA.
I am from Hawaii, can I grow ginseng in my state?
No, ginseng does not grow in tropical climates.
How much seed do I need to plant on an acre of wooded lot?
In general, you would need 20-22 lbs of ginseng seed, about 150,000 seeds.
Do you recommend growing indoor first and then transplant them out in the woods later or simply to just plant them straight in the woods?
No, plant the seed/rootlets straight in the woods and have them start adapting to the environment early.
I know there are different ways to plant ginseng seeds. Rake & Broadcasting and Hand Planting. Which method is the best for planting ginseng seed?
Hand planting is the best method and yields the best germination rate.
How deep should I plant the seed?
A quarter to half inch deep. Press firmly into the ground and put the dirt back on and then 1-2 inches of leaf litter as mulch on top.
How many seed do I plant per square foot and what is the minimum recommended spacing?
4 seeds per square foot and about 9 inches apart.
I planted seed too closely last year and now the seedlings are up too closely together. When is the best time to relocate them?
After the full 2nd year growth. For example, once the first year seedlings coming up in April, transplant them in August of the next year.
How long does it take before I can harvest?
7-10 years before they grow to marketable size. The longer it stays in the ground and grows, the more valuable the ginseng becomes.
If I plant every year do I harvest every year later on?
When can I harvest my own seeds and start to re-propagate?
Once the ginseng plant reaches 4-5 years in the woods, you can harvest your own seeds.
Do I use any fertilizer and pesticides during their growth?
No. This is wild simulated ginseng that you are trying to grow. Ginseng roots that grow close to "wild" conditions will be a lot more valuable than carrot-looking roots. Once you plant them, let nature take over.
Is your ginseng seed stratified?
Yes! We only sell stratified American ginseng seed grown and harvested in Wisconsin.
Are your 3 year old ginseng rootlets American ginseng grown in the US?
Yes, our ginseng rootlets are from a reliable and disease & pest free ginseng farm in Wisconsin.
What is your seed germination rate?
Over 95% if your site is suitable for growing ginseng. Less than 5 % if your site is not ideal for growing ginseng. Each of our seed is viable and has an excellent embryo inside. Where you plant these seeds will make a huge difference and will impact your success.
Handling Ginseng Seed & Ginseng Rootlets
Once I receive the seed and if I don't plant them right away, how do I store the seed?
Store them in a cool place such as the basement. Mix the seeds by shaking the bag every 2-3 days until planting time. A refrigerator would also work but in some instances, if you keep the ginseng seeds in the refrigerator for a long time, it may cause the seeds to go into an additional dormant year.
Once I receive the rootlets and if I don't plant them right away, how do I store the rootlets?
Keep them in the refrigerator with the bag slightly open to allow air flow.
What is the shelf life for stratified ginseng seed?
Whether they are in the ground or not, they will germinate in the spring. It is best for the seed to be planted and be in the ground before the winter comes.
Thank you for shipping out so quickly. I just receive my seeds today. Unfortunately they sat in my mail box for about 4 hours in the hot sun. Will they be OK?
Perfectly fine. Ginseng seeds need temperature fluctuations before they come up in the spring time.
Do you ship seed every business day?
Yes, starting September 1st. FYI, every year, we ship once a month in May, June, July, and every other Monday in August. Starting September we ship everyday until sold out.
Why do you not ship ginseng rootlets before late September or early October?
Every year, we wait to dig the rootlets until the ginseng plant goes completely dormant which is around late September or early October. Then we can start shipping the ginseng rootlets to our customers.
What carrier do you use for your shipping?
We use USPS First Class Mail or Priority Mail with a tracking number.
I have a P.O. Box. Do you deliver to a P.O. Box?
Do you ship ginseng seed/rootlets outside of the US?
No, we only ship to US. (click here for the reason)
I will not plant the ginseng seed right away but I would like to order and reserve it today. Is there any way you can delay my seed shipment?
Absolutely! At the ordering page, you can select your shipment date. You may pick any Monday up until the last week of October.
How long would it take to deliver my order once I place an order?
We ship within 24 hours during weekdays after receiving the order. It normally takes 2-5 business days depending on where you are located. If you order less than a pound, we use USPS First Class Mail. A pound or more of ginseng seed orders and all rootlets orders are shipped via USPS Priority Mail.
I am worried that my seed/rootlets dried during delivery. How are they shipped?
You do not have to worry. The seed is already moist enough and shipped in a zip-lock bag with air holes. The rootlets are shipped with moist peat moss in a zip-lock bag so they stay moist during transportation.
If I pre-order the seed/rootlets combo, do I receive the seed first or are they shipped together when the rootlets are available?
They will be shipped together once the rootlets are available for shipment.
What does stratified ginseng seed mean?
After the fresh ginseng seeds are picked, the seeds are then stored in the ground mixed with sand over one winter and spring.
I have a friend who does not have internet access but is very interested in growing ginseng. Do you send out brochure?