Anyone grow ginseng?

Does anyone grow ginseng (Panax quinquefolius)?

I always thought it would be sort of neat to grow, not in any attempt to make big bucks off it as so many TV shows would have you believe can be done, just for fun. It’s native to my area according to maps I’ve seen but it’s increasingly rare due to development and harvesting. Some reading indicates a lot of native plants that do well in my yard are indicators for finding ginseng, so that’s promising that it would do well.

The lower part of my yard would be good for it, I imagine. It’s quite shady with several big trees. The problem is finding a place to buy seeds! Most places are perpetually sold out or seem a bit sketchy to me.

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I am trying to get started again Kelby



Those looked good. Do you sell them or for your own use.


I used to sell the seed, I never sold root or rootlets. now I wish I had a place to buy the seed, My source for the seed is gone now, back around 2000 I could buy seed for $20 lb now it’s always over $100 sometimes considerable more. I was into it mostly on a conservation effort and for about 3 years planted it on a woodland property but I choose bad years we had severe drought very little lived. I was not caring for it just direct seeding in the woods. I did put a small patch at my house I was able to establish. that is what is pictured there. I dug up carefully when I moved and tried to transplant. I should have sold those roots as very few survived. I get a few seed each year that I stratify and then plant the 2nd spring, but I need to find a new seed source.

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Very nice looking roots, Phil! Tough break on getting them to take…at least the bears leave them alone, I hope?

Johnny’s is not a bargain, but you order and pay for seeds in the spring, and they deliver stratified seed in the fall.

I started out setting out seed under trellised plants, like grape. Which does work. Broadcast seed works just as well. Year three or so you can start to collect seed from plants you have sown.

Its a ten (or more) year cycle between broadcast seed and harvest.

I wish buying golden seal seed wasn’t quite so tough.

Thanks for the lead, I’ll have to try to order in spring if I remember. Do you know roughly what they were asking and when to order?

There are people selling seeds on eBay, I’m always wary of buying plants/seeds/etc on eBay though.

Johnny’s is out of stock right now

The spring 2016 catalog will be out between Thanksgiving and Feburary. I don’t know what is too late to order from the spring catalog, But I’d get my order in before its time to plant a spring garden.

Your seeds will come stratified about Columbus day.

I have broadcasted them into shaded spaces shortly there after. They germinate the following spring.

Do not save, dry, or freeze, your seed. Put it out in nature where it belongs.

If you wait untill fall to order they will always be out of seed.

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Thanks, I’ll check periodically thru spring.

Ya-see you request the catalog. They send it to you. You put in an order…

I could do that too, haha. I figured I’d just check the website periodically. Any catalogs I get become kid’s toys.

Anyone else growing Ginseng? How are your projects going?


A couple of years ago I planted 900 seeds. Prices were a bit better then from the look of things… I broadcast planted a smaller number a few years prior, and not a lot germinated. This time I raked leaves back, in rows, and had a much better take rate. Last year there were some hundreds living, mostly all 3-leaves though. Am hoping many of them will have 5 leaves this year, not sure how long until any become “2 prongs” or more.

These are semi close to my house in an area less accessible by outsiders without being seen. We’re surrounded by mature forest with one area being probably about as good of Ginseng growing conditions as you’re likely to find. And there were multiple large/mature plants natively there, until someone came through and dug just about all of them. Mid-day, while I was at work, and my wife was out in the yard much of the day working in flowers. I’m sure they could see her, but stayed quiet and dug plants within ~100’ of the house. Grrrr…


Something like that almost makes you want to booby trap your 'seng patch to keep people out of it. When I finally run out of trees to dig holes for, trees to graft, and expanding the garden I want to get around to trying to grow a ginseng patch in the woods near the house. Dad still has a small one that my grandpa started 30-40 years ago. Grandpa told him that if he ever needed money bad he would dig the bigger plants to sell. He died without ever digging any of them.


I planted a couple pounds of seeds in the woods last fall. I spread them out in different little plots. I’m anxious to see how it does this spring.


Yeah, tell me about it… I went walking through the woods after getting home from work that day and found the tops beside fresh holes. Not wilted all that much, dug not many hours prior.

I probably first went “Sang” hunting with my grandfather in the mid 1970’s. He too had a sizable patch close to his home that he’d added to for many years.


Years ago a neighbor moved here from the "city "one day he met a man walking in the woods near his house he asked the man what he was doing ,the guy said he was "sang-in "and ask if it was OK if he went sang-in ,in the woods ,my neighbor said yeah it’s OK , he went back in the house and told his wife he met a man in the woods that that asked if it was OK if he went singing in the woods , he told her he did not hear him singing. he didn’t know what to make of the guy singing in the woods ??
it was many years before he knew what "sang-in "was. :laughing:
( that would be hunting ginseng ,If you too are from the city)


I found this research paper that says ginseng does well in wood chips.

I ordered about 200 seeds on ebay and I will plant some in the chip mulch under my trees and in the woods behind my house.


Hi, lordkiwi,
Are your seeds stratified already? Have you planted them?
I bought a packet of 35 seeds from They are stratified. But after reading the sowing instructions, it seems they will germinate next year even if I plant them in ground today. I am thinking to put them in a frig with the growing media and see if they will germinate there. See the video here:
I am hoping it will work.