Ginseng 2012

by Daisy


In March of last year, I wrote a post about the first growth of ginseng from that winter’s planting of ginseng rootlets and seeds.  It was my first attempt to grow ginseng, and I was thrilled that the rootlets had come to life.

It was a hot, dry summer, and the rootlets made a good effort, but eventually withered in the drought.  I watered them a few times, but apparently it wasn’t enough.

Thankfully, though, the seeds I planted, almost as an afterthought, in another part of the woods, germinated.  While they didn’t make great strides, they survived the heat and lack of water.  I was surprised and pleased the seeds did so well.  My greatest hope had been in the rootlets.

This year, the patch grown from seed is thriving.  The biggest plants are getting nice and tall.

There are tiny new sprouts that look like first year babies.  Sometimes even with stratified seed, it takes another year before they are ready to go.

Even the area where I planted the rootlets is showing signs of re-growth.

Based on my experience, if you’re thinking about growing your own ginseng and debating whether or not to pay extra for rootlets or stick with seeds, I’d recommend the seeds. They’re cheaper and seem to be more drought tolerant than rootlets.  Plus, after two years, I’m happy with the size of my plants.


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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Brad April 27, 2012 at 6:04 am

That’s fantastic! I remember my Father trying to grow ginseng in Alabama when I was a child. It didn’t last very long.. because the squirrels found it! They would dig up the roots of the plant and destroy it! So, keep an eye out for those pesky critters! I’m not sure what you could do to keep it covered or protected if they do find it. Good luck!

Fiona April 27, 2012 at 1:35 pm

Fascinating. I know that ginseng is a popular grower here in Kentucky, but until I saw your pics I had no idea what it looked like. Now I recognize it as something I see frequently.

Margie Johnson April 28, 2012 at 6:24 am

What do you do with it??

Tomato Lady April 28, 2012 at 6:40 am

Margie–I have yet to use it personally, waiting for my own to mature (it will be years) but this article explains some of the typical uses:,%20AMERICAN.aspx?activeIngredientId=967&activeIngredientName=GINSENG,%20AMERICAN

Theresa Stevens April 29, 2012 at 12:51 pm

Blood Meal, (which can be bought in any store with a lawn and garden section) is a good way to keep other critters from your plants. Just sprinkle it around your plants every now and then.

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