Ginseng, American (Panax quinquefolius) seeds [INTL NO]

$20.10

Note:  Ginseng seed is currently shipping.  This is STRATIFIED SEED that has been buried for a year, has now been dug up and needs to be replanted to the woodlands or shade garden on receipt.  A good year on ginseng seed, this will sell out, do not hesitate!  Richo

Family: Ginseng (Araliaceae)

Hardy to Zones 4 to 8

Herbaceous perennial forest dweller native to Eastern North America.  Traditional usage (TWM, Native American): stomach upset, lack of energy.  A classic adaptogen.  Cultivation:  The best advice is simple advice.  Find a shady area on your land (forest or shade garden) where there is good drainage, scrape the leaf mulch away, plant the seeds singly 6 inches apart and 1 inch deep, and cover back up with leaf mulch.  This should be done with this STRATIFIED SEED that we offer, from August through December.  The seed we offer has been stratified for an entire year.  You plant this seed in the fall and it will come up in the spring, pretty much without fail.  We highly recommend this seed and encourage you to purchase it in good time and plant as soon as possible after receipt.  More questions?  E-mail us or read the “ginseng” chapter in our book “growing at-risk.”

Open Pollinated 10 g packet of seeds (Fresh, undried, stratified seed delivered moist.  Sow immediately upon receipt.)

There are about 120 seeds in a 10 g packet.

100g contains appx. 1200 seeds.

Note:  Ginseng seed not available internationally, due to CITES regulations.

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  1. Question

    Mary Baskar

    How do you grow your ginseng? Thank you.

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      we grow our ginseng in a wooded setting.

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    • David Abbot (verified owner)

      My ginseng did well in the shade of a maple tree in my backyard, in Everett, WA, which is on Puget Sound. For soil I used regular garden soil, with some half-composted maple leaves from my maple tree. My yard has been fertilizer-free, insecticide-free, and herbicide-free for 30 years. I added enough sharp sand so the soil drains well enough so it doesn’t get soggy and swampy, but the half-rotted maple leaves help the soil to hold enough moisture to keep the ginseng roots moist. When the soil gets dry, I water it, which is every day when it’s over 80˚F and sunny. The maple tree gives the ginseng some shade but not enough, so I bought cedar lath sections from a hardware store, and added about 50% more lath pieces to the sections so each ginseng plant only gets direct sun about 20% of the time. I tilted the planting bed so that when it rains heavily, a lot of the water just runs off the top of the soil rather than soaking in and swamping the ginseng roots. When I water the ginseng I do not use tap water, I use filtered water so the plants aren’t exposed to the chlorine and fluoride in the city water. Out of about 120 seeds, I got 68 sprouts, and we have eaten all but ten of the biggest ones, which we’re saving so they’ll make seeds. I figure the biggest plants are the ones most suited to our particular micro-climate, so their seeds will be best for our garden. I think this year a higher percentage will sprout, because I’m getting a better feeling for what the plant likes and doesn’t like. One thing I know it didn’t like this last summer, was the neighbor’s blindingly bright LED back yard light on a high pole, which lights up everyone’s back yard on the entire block, because when I put a shade up so the ginseng gets darkness at night, the ginseng started doing better. This year I’ll block that light from my new, larger ginseng bed starting in February. That’s my experience. You can also talk with your local county extension office and Master Gardener’s office. I don’t take advice from Internet forums because there’s so many unsubstantiated myths, legends, rumors, and so on. I only take advice from successful ginseng gardeners, and from people who have agriculture or related degrees. Some of them are quite generous with accurate advice, while others are very busy and don’t have the time, or want to be paid very high fees to answer questions. I’ve grown ginseng for a few years, so I am not an expert, but if you contact me I will answer if I know the answers. [email protected]

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    • David Abbot (verified owner)

      Oh, and one of the best reasons for not using any type of chemicals on your ginseng is that you can eat the leaves, which taste every bit as delicious as the roots, and I eat the stems, too. My information says the reason no big ginseng farmers sell ginseng leaves along with the roots, is that they plant the ginseng so close together that it can’t get the air flow it needs and so there are fungi problems that can only be solved by using toxic chemical fungicides as often as every week. So the leaves aren’t safe to eat. And I don’t think the roots are that good either, on commercially-grown ginseng, to be honest- just my opinion. A big naturopathic university’s herbal dispensary says that the ginseng they sell is organic, but unlike Richo, they refuse to put anything in writing, and someone I know and trust who works there says their ginseng isn’t organic. At 71 years of age, I really benefit from using ginseng every day or so, but I need to trust that it’s organic.

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hi David, You’re making a good point about spacing of Ginseng. Organic ginseng growers space their plants widely enough apart so that the leaves never touch the leaves of another plant, and this limits fungal issues. Like you said, good air flow is critical. I think the use of straw instead of forest duff is another reason for alternaria issues that lead to antifungal applications. To recap: wide spacing and forest-derived mulch can result in healthy, organic ginseng.
      Richo

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  2. Question

    Monica Petersen

    Would it be acceptable to order now (April) for planting on the Northeast Coast?

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hi Monica, We don’t enable sales on ginseng seed until September. Hit waitlist and we’ll e-mail you. There will be enough for everybody. Richo

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    • Angela Christensen

      What is the harvest time comparison on planting seeds vs. roots?

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hi Angela, Both seeds and roots are planted in the fall. Depending on how old the root is, you can subtract that age from 5, which is the normal year for harvest of a mature plant. richo

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    • Matthew Thomas

      Hi I ordered the 10g pack around 6/22/21, and have not heard anything regarding their shipment. Just curious if this is due to the September sales enabling mentioned above. Thanks!

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hi Matthew, Sales were enabled in June and delivery begins starting August 23rd, 2021. We are timing delivery to the best time to plant the primed seed. I am glad you’re on it, plant it when it arrives! Richo

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    • J. Pierce (verified owner)

      Hi Richo, I just noticed that you say to space six inches on this page but the packet said to plant two inches apart and then thin to six inches apart?

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Spacing really does depend on the context–where you’re planting, and what the survival rate of seedlings is apt to be. I personally plant them at 2 inches apart and thin to 6 inches apart, minimum. r

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  3. Question

    Connie Evans

    Will American ginseng be available this year, 2021?

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      yes, we always have the seeds available in season, starting in September. r

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    • Cheryl Carufel

      Do you have the plants?

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      hi cheryl, no, we don’t do ginseng plants because ginseng does best when direct-seeded to habitat. r

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    • David Abbot

      The day I got the seeds you sent me last fall, I planted them in planters in the shade of a maple tree in my back yard here in Everett, Washington. For soil I mixed half-rotted maple leaves with regular garden soil (not compost type soil, because ginseng doesn’t like compost). A few months ago they sprung up. I have about 45 ginseng plants, right now (June 8, 2021) they vary between about 1.5 inches tall, and 4 inches tall. I put the big planter on 36 inch long legs, so the crawling insects can’t get them as easily. I have already eaten a few of the ginseng sprouts (I read that in Korea many people eat ginseng sprouts), and the taste is amazing, a much more complex, delightful flavor profile than any ginseng I have eaten in the last forty years. Which makes sense when you consider that almost all of the ginseng available for sale has been sprayed with so much chemical fungicide and other chemicals that it’s not safe to eat the leaves! Because your seeds and my growing method are both organic, I eat the leaves, stems, and roots. The leaves taste even better than the roots, in my opinion- a much stronger taste. I’m 70 years old and my wife is 76, and we both need more energy, which ginseng delivers. I’ll be ordering more seeds this fall, because I’m turning my entire garden over to ginseng plants. I can get reasonably good quality organic vegetables at my local co-op, but even poor quality ginseng is very expensive to buy, so this makes good financial sense.

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  4. Judith

    Ginseng and goldenseal growing in Michigan!

    Judith (verified owner)

    Hi Richo!
    The ginseng and goldenseal seeds I purchased from you last fall just started popping up Memorial Day weekend. They look good. Very excited! Plan to purchase more seeds from you this fall.

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    • Diane Mark

      Hi I live in zone 9 in Phoenix AZ is there any chance these could thrive out here?

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hi Diane, No, ginseng doesn’t grow well in phoenix, it needs a place with deciduous tree cover, deep forest litter and deep snow in winter. richo

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  5. Question

    Derek

    Is it possible to grow ginseng in a pot, provided it is well mulched and properly shaded? The landlord at my new place said I could put plants in pots outside near my ground level window, and there’s a shady tree there that seems like it would be perfect ginseng cover. I just can’t break ground to put anything in the soil since it’s a rented place.

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      hi Derek, Yes, you can do this, it works, I’ve done it. Scroll down and look at the other comments, I made a longer reply to the same question not too long ago. Cheers. Richo

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    • YAN WANG

      Hi, I live in south bay california, is it ok to plant the american ginseng? I heard it usually grow in cold area and we have warm winter… Thanks!

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Right, probably not your best choice. Ashwagandha or Ashitaba would work better for you, even Aralia racemosa. r

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  6. Question

    Nicole Villarreal McCormick

    I am in the temperate Pacific Northwest, and surrounded by majority conifer trees. How do these seeds do with mild winters and without leafy mulch?

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hello Nicole, American Ginseng doesn’t do very well under conifers. In the PNW the best ecology for ginseng is the alder/maple woodland. The plants do need leafy mulch. Mild winters are OK. Please read the Ginseng chapter in my book “growing at-risk,” it will help you, I think.
      Richo

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    • Annie

      Could I plant this in a raised bed if I used leaf mulch to cover it? Would morning sun and afternoon shade be ideal for this herb? I moved into a new home and it is going to take me a while to cultivate my “forest garden” but I am so excited to start growing some of my own medicinal herbs! Any advice you have, would be so appreciated! I have waited my whole adult life to have such an opportunity! Thank you!

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    • One person found this helpful
      Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hi Annie, The raised bed technique (I’m assuming you mean 2 x 8s screwed together into a rectangular box, with hardware cloth on the bottom to exclude burrowers and filled with potting soil, sand and compost) is good for most plants including ginseng. Ginseng is going to want dappled sunlight only–no direct sunlight at all–and this is best supplied by lattice (that’s the old-time technique) or 40% shadecloth stretched some distance above the bed (allowing for human access, over head-height in other words). You can find exacting info on all this in my book “Growing At-Risk.” A decomposed hardwood sawdust on the surface is very good for ginseng and can lead to great success and less disease problems. As with anything horticultural, you provide the best environment you can, attuning to the requirements of the species, and then put the seeds in there, see what happens, and keep reaping the benefits whether that might be the desired production or a lesson in what not to do. Persistence pays off. Richo

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    • Ann Farnham

      Thank you Richo! I ordered you book last night! I am excited to get started. 🙂

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    • One person found this helpful
      Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hello Ann, Oh, good, thank you. Richo

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    • kent scheer

      Regarding planting in conifers…in Minnesota I’ve had great success planting ginseng in a red pine forest with high shade. Know that there can be a big risk from herbivores.
      Deer wiped my stand out.

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  7. Question

    Gwyn (verified owner)

    Thank you so much for these seeds! I planted them immediately (October) and it rained a lot that night- do I need to water them again? Thank you

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    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Hi Gwyn,
      No, they will now be settled in and won’t need watering again until after germination in the spring.
      r

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    • Cody Conner

      Hi Richo~ I live in B.C Canada of SaltSpring Island. I have bought seeds and a book from you previously. I love your seeds! My question is can you ship me American Ginseng seeds being I am in Canada? Thanks! ~ Cody.

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    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Hi Cody,
      American Ginseng is CITES regulated, you would have to give us a domestic USA address.
      Richo

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  8. Alaina Wilkins (KY)

    Planted with love!

    Alaina Wilkins (KY) (verified owner)

    I am grateful to be able to contribute to the conservation of this invaluable plant. I humbly appreciate the care involved with making this seed available.Thank you for all that you do!.

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    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      our pleasure!

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    • Gwyn (verified owner)

      Thank you so much for these seeds- there are so many in the packet! I planted them all under an old sugar maple tree. It is not exactly a prepared bed…I dug and loosened the soil a bit before planting…I hope the soil is deep enough.

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  9. Question

    Nancy

    I’m interested in your American Ginseng. I see you have seeds for sale but do you ever have roots?
    Thx

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    • One person found this helpful
      Diana

      Diana

      Hi Nancy,
      I don’t sell rootlets for planting because people normally have terrible luck with them–they tend to rot–I find that the best way to get ginseng going is to plant it from seed.
      Richo

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  10. One person found this helpful
    Ann

    Seed quality

    Ann (verified owner)

    I received beautiful looking, stratified seed this fall and planted them shortly after they arrived. I am very excited to report the seedlings have begun to emerge and I couldn’t be more thrilled -thank you for producing such high quality seed – that can be hard to find with certain species!

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  11. Question

    Benno Rothschild

    Hi there,

    I am very interested in growing ginseng. From what I read, it sounds like I could preorder this to ensure availability come September but I am not seeing this option. Have you stopped taking new orders already? ? thanks!

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    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Hi Benno. We open up purchasing on stratified ginseng seed with our fall catalogue in September. Delivery follows soon thereafter. richo

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  12. Question

    Laura

    Can you let me know when American Ginseng will be in stock again?

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    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Yes, American Ginseng seed will be in stock starting in September. Availability occurs at the same time as the planting cycle–one plants this stratified seed (it has been buried for a year) in the late summer to early winter for emergence in the spring. I have seen people purchase and plant ginseng at other times of the year and the results were zero.

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    • [email protected]

      Is it okay to buy now with snow on the ground. (December) Can I move them from a raised bed that is shelter to the woodland after one year?

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hello Anna,
      Better to buy in the late summer and plant right away. They do better that way. I think they need to stay in the nursery bed for 2 years before transplant. Transplant is best done in the autumn. Richo

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  13. Question

    Stacie

    Hi, how is this herb in comparison to Eleuthero/Siberian Ginseng or Red ginseng/Panax ginseng?

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    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Hi Stacie, In the USA Panax quinquefolium is the standard by which other “ginsengs” are judged. It is very well-studied and respected. Richo

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  14. Question

    Brenda Renc

    Can you let me know when you have ginseng seeds available

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    • One person found this helpful
      Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      These will be available starting September of 2018

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    • Fatima

      Hello and God bless you for all the hard MAGICAL work you are doing. Do we need to pay in advance to order Ginseng seeds or do you keep us posted ?

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    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      We’ll keep you posted, it makes little sense to sell or distribute ginseng seeds until they are ready starting in September and on until November or so. r

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    • Tatiana Gribanova

      Hello, do you know if deer or rabbits bother this plant? Thank you

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hello Tatiana, If deer and rabbits are starving, they will eat almost anything, but in a diverse garden, with many choices (like plantain, mallow, legumes, etc.), then ginseng is way down on the list of edibles for deer and rabbits. Richo

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    • Judith (verified owner)

      Hi Richo!
      I live in northern lower Michigan. I received my ginseng seeds last week and planted them promptly in my woodland garden. I was amazed to learn that ginseng is native to Michigan. Now I am back to purchase your book. I purchased some goldenseal roots too. Do you have any other recommendations for a woodland garden? Thank you so much for the ginseng seeds. I am very excited and very appreciative!

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hi Judith, When Ginseng germinates, it is as you say it–exciting. Any of the herbaceous perennial forest dwellers will work. Goldenseal pairs up nicely with black and blue cohosh, wild yam, ginseng and mayapple. “Growing At-Risk” really does give a great deal of info about these and other native medicinal forest dwellers. Richo

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    • John Jones

      Hi,
      Is the seed stock for this year fully depleted? As I live in the heart of the Appalachia Mountains and after reading your books I recently got, “Growing At-Risk Medicinal Herbs” in particular made me aware that the 5 acres of woodland I have is prime Ginseng real estate. Love the books, informative, personal,and heart warming thanks so much for the work you do.

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hi John, Thanks for reminding me. I updated the last 4 packets to the site tonight, so you can get some if you like. Please hurry. richo

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    • Judith (verified owner)

      My ginseng plants are popping and look perfectly beautiful! Thank you Richo. Hope to get more this fall.
      Very exciting!

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Good going, you followed the cycles! r

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    • Judith (verified owner)

      Hi Richo!
      I have a question for you. I gave some of my ginseng seeds to a friend. She lives in a wooded area – lots of Maple trees.
      She can’t exactly remember where she planted the seeds and was wondering if the plant pictured in the photo is ginseng.
      Thanks for you help.
      Judith

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hi Judith, I don’t see a phot except for my photos of the plant. The one thing about ginseng is its pretty easy to miss until it makes that head of red berries. Once that happens then you’ll know it. Richo

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