Lawn and Garden Shop
Soil Improvement Information Series

Growing Ginseng For Profit

Welcome to our Lawn and Garden Shop bookstore.
This bookstore catalogue page has a selection of books for growing and harvesting Ginseng.
The following list includes helpful instruction books and reference manuals for planting and growing Ginseng (Panax Quinquefolius). Ginseng, known as 'sang' in the Southern Appalachian Mountains, is a native plant from Maine to Georgia and from the East Coast to the Pacific Northwest. Ginseng grows wild in several other parts of the world as well and has been used as a medicinal plant in the Orient for ages. It remains a valued cash crop around the globe.
Both beginning Ginseng growers and professional commercial growers will find some of these books essentical and useful. These books cover the planting, cultivation of Ginseng and the harvest of Ginseng plant roots and seeds. We also list sourses for ginseng seeds and roots.

The books and Ginseng seeds on this page are offered for sale in association with
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Growing Ginseng For Profit

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Growing Ginseng and Ginseng Markets Books

Growing Ginseng For Profit

The following presents some Ginseng information, tips, and basic growing information that may be of help in your first growing of this fantastic plant.

What is Ginseng?
Ginseng (Panax Quinquefolius) is a plant prized for its root and is collected in the hardwood forests of North America or grown on farms. Ginseng is used as a medical herb and has been used to help heal many ailiments for hundreds of years.

Why grow Ginseng?
Growing and selling top grade Ginseng can be quite profitable.
Each year the market grows in size for the top grade roots and seed.
However it takes five to seven years, or more, to grow top grade Ginseng roots from seed. Selling quality young roots and stratified seeds to Ginseng growers can provide some income also.

Growing Ginseng
Ginseng can be grown in the northern hardwood forests or on farms that simulate the proper growing conditions. The soil that Ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) is grown in must be fairly well drained and fertile, with a pH of 5-7. A well drained sandy loam forest soil well fertilized with rotted leaves or other mulching material is excellent. Ginseng needs plenty of Phosphate for proper plant metabolic processes, seed production, and full root developement. A good source of this nutrient is bone meal (1-11-0). Finely ground bone meal may be applied at a rate of one pound per square yard of coverage.
If drainage is a problem, plant your Ginseng in a raised bed. Seed is planted in the spring as early as possible. The seeds are placed about 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep and 6 inches apart each way in permanent beds or two by six inches in raised seed beds.
The seedlings are then transplanted when two years old. Then plant them six to eight inches apart each way. A top dressing of one to two inches of rotted or composted hardwood tree leaves should be applied for moisture control and some fertilizer.
Ginseng must be shaded from direct sunlight. Filtered sun is best, shade of 70 to 80 % must be provided. Exposing Ginseng to prolonged direct sunlight may kill the plants. However, sometimes they only die back, go dormant, and return the following spring.
The dormate period during the winter must be a least 90 days in length. During this season extended periods of below freezing tempertures is necessary for Ginseng to grow properly.
The leaves, stems, flowers and seeds of the Ginseng plant are the favorite targets of slugs. Here in the Pacific Northwest, slugs are a real problem. One slug can severly damage several plants in one evening. So protect your plants from slugs. The top part of the plant roots are sometimes damaged by burrowing mice. So some protection must be provided to prevent these problems.
Keep the Ginseng beds free from weeds. Keep the surface of the soil loose so that the roots can breath. A inch or two of mulch made from leaf mold is suggested to help maintain moisture, help to prevent soil compacting from the falling rain and to add some nutrients.
The addition of earthworms or wrigglers into the Ginseng beds helps to keep the soil loose and the worms bring up additional nutrient to the surface. And their activity aids in soil drainage.

Fall and Winter Care
In late summer or early fall the Ginseng red berries containing the seeds are gathered. Gather them when they are bright red and the husks separates easily from the cream colored seeds. Usually one to three flat cream colored seeds are in each red berry. Later, with time, the color of the seeds becomes light tan. In the fall when the Ginseng plant leaves have turned yellow, then brown and the stems have died back, cover the plants with a layer of freshly collected fallen leaves from hardwood trees. This will help to protect them from our occasional cold periods. We use a combination of Big Leaf Maple, Red Alder, and Beech leaves. Conifer leaves or needles are to avoided.

In the Spring
Be sure to remove this leaf cover early in the spring as soon as the weather warms up. And at this time be watchful of those pesty slugs. Especially the tiny ones and any collections of pearly white small round eggs in clusters. These are almost always slug and snail eggs. Remove them completely. Then shred and replace the shredded leaves loosely over the Ginseng planted areas. Apply enough shredded leaves to make about one inch of settled leaves.

Saving the seeds
When the bright red berries containing the seeds are collected in the fall, the seed must be separated from the husks part of the berry. The easist way that we have found is to soak the flat creamy colored seeds with the berry husks in clean cool water until the husks get mushy. Then the seeds and their husks are easily separated. The seeds are then washed and stored in moist clean sand until the fall or spring plantimg. But, take care, the seeds can not be allowed to completely dry out. The seeds will darken to a medium dark tan with time.
Some of the seeds will grow the first year when planted, however most will wait until the second spring to sprout and grow. Although we have planted the seeds in beds or in small individual containers in the fall, most are planted in the early spring in shaded beds. (Which is early to mid March for our area.) These containers which are called tree bands are 4" x 4" x 10" deep. The sprouting seeds begin to raise the young stems above ground usually between April and early May. During the spring and the growing season those containers with sprouted gingeng seeds are cared the same as other ginseng plants. While the containers with unsprouted seeds are watered, cared for, and left alone in a shaded area. The next spring these seeds usually sprout and the ginseng plants grow fine. However, some seeds don't sprout until the third spring.

Other tips
When roots or seeds are purchased for planting, the roots and seeds must always be kept cool and moist. Do not let them dry out. And do not exposed them to direct sunlight, but keep them cool and shaded.
The roots must be replanted as soon as possible to help prevent spoilage from fungus and so that they stay moist. If you can not plant them as soon as receiving them, place the moist roots and seeds in the refrigerator.

Sources For Ginseng Seeds

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Sources For Ginseng Roots

Harding's Wild Mountain Herbs
P. O. Box 53
Friendsville, MD, 21531
Phone: 301-746-5380

This source for live ginseng roots is recommended. We order ginseng roots from Harding's farm.

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This page was last updated April 13, 2023.