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.
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.