Ginseng favors well-drained, humus-rich soil on north and east-facing slopes. Grow in 70%+ shade. Harvest roots in fall of 5th or 6th year. Stratified seeds are shipped in September for fall planting. NOTE: Because this item is considered an endangered species, it cannot be shipped outside the US. Avg. 500 seeds/oz. Packet: 50 seeds.
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Latin Name: Panax quinquefolius
Days to Maturity or Bloom:
5-6 years to root harvest
Shipping Information & Notes
This product cannot be shipped to Canada
This product cannot be shipped outside the United States or Canada
SHIPPING NOTE: Stratified seeds are shipped in September for fall planting. NOTE: Because this item is considered an endangered species, it cannot be shipped outside the US.
SOWING: Direct seed: Sow seeds ½-¾" deep (never more than 1" deep) and about 3" apart (15-20 seeds per square foot). Mulch with 3-4" of leaves or straw, and moisten the mulch to ensure that it remains in place. Stratified seeds planted in the fall will germinate the next spring, usually in late May. If your seedlings are slow to emerge in the spring, you may need to gently remove some of the mulch. Replace the mulch after the plants emerge. New shoots will be small when they first appear, and will look like bean sprouts with three small leaves. Keep well-weeded, but take care in weeding around young plants to avoid disturbing the roots. Once ginseng is well established, mulch will help to prevent weed growth.
LIGHT PREFERENCE: Shade. American ginseng grows best in its natural habitat under a hardwood canopy with at least 70% shade, comprised preferably of oak, maple, sycamore, or basswood trees. Avoid pine, spruce, hemlock, red cedar, and other conifers due to their shallow root systems (which compete with ginseng for nutrients). You can also use artificial shade if you prefer to grow the plant as a row crop. A system that works well is wood lath or slat shade frames erected over the beds and supported by a framework of strong poles tall enough to walk under. The laths or slats are nailed so that about ?-¾ of the direct sunlight is prevented from reaching the plants. In certain home garden situations, you can also plant ginseng close to the shady north side of the house. SOIL REQUIREMENTS: American ginseng prefers a light loam soil that has high humus content and a pH of 5.0-6.0. Work the beds 6" deep, raising the center of the beds to prevent water from collecting around the plants. Amend heavy or clay soils with leaf mold (rotting hardwood tree leaves) or well-decomposed compost to lighten the soil and improve the drainage. Good drainage is critical to ensure healthy ginseng plants. PLANT HEIGHT: 8-16".
PLANT SPACING: 3-6".
HARDINESS ZONES: Zones 4-8.
HARVEST: Harvest may begin atthe end of the third growing season but the ginsenoside content increases dramatically between the fourth and fifth years — many growers wait until then to harvest. Roots should be dug in early fall (late August or early September) as the ginsenoside content is highest right after the tops have died down and the roots have entered dormancy. Clean thoroughly by washing, being careful not to remove any rootlets. Place roots in a single layer and dry on screens in a warm, but not hot (maximum of 100°F/38°C), ventilated place that is out of direct sunlight. Expect a drying time of about 15 to 30 days.