What Conditions Does Ginseng Need To Grow? (Solved!)

Ginseng thrives in an environment that emulates its natural habitat. It requires at least 70% shade, a loamy, well drained soil and a warm environment. Though growing ginseng requires a little trial and error, it is an extremely hardy plant that can be grown almost anywhere.

Continue reading to understand how to grow ginseng and what conditions they require. Learn how to nurture ginseng seeds so you can best receive the benefits of this plant. 

What Type Of Climate Does Ginseng Grow In?

Ginseng thrives in situations that mimic its native environment. It requires shade of 70% to 90%, either natural or artificial. Ginseng grows best in a climate that receives 40 to 50 inches of yearly precipitation and averages 50 degrees Fahrenheit. 

How Do I Care For Ginseng in Cold Weather?

Ginseng plants demand little attention from growers in the winter, but moisture regulation is critical to monitor. Plants that live in overly damp soils are more susceptible to root rot and other fungal diseases.

Mulching ginseng plants in the winter helps to protect them from cold damage in addition to managing moisture. Simply cover dormant ginseng plants with a layer of mulch on the soil’s surface. 

Mulch layers in colder climatic zones may need to be several inches thick, whereas those in warmer climate zones may not.

What Type Of Soil Does Ginseng Need?

Ginseng grows best in loamy, well-drained soil. It thrives in a deep soil bed of at least 12 inches, with high organic content and a pH of around 5.5. Extremely sandy soil produces roots that are long, thin, and of poor quality.

How Long Does Ginseng Take To Grow?

After an initial year of preparation, ginseng takes 3 or 4 years to mature. Therefore you must cultivate 4 or 5 crops before harvesting the first crop. For this reason, growers pay up to a $200,000 investment before they see any return. 

The seeds of the deciduous plant germinate in the year after planting, but the root, which is the most valuable part of the ginseng plant, matures after 5 to 10 years. 

When Should I Plant Ginseng?

Ginseng seeds should be sown in the fall or early winter, whether you’re growing them in a container or in the garden. Choose a location that is free of weeds, has at least partial shade, and has good drainage. 

Plant seeds at least 14 inches apart and 12 inches deep.  Keep an eye out for weeds, slugs, and other pests, as well as fungal problems, while the plants grow. 

Does Ginseng Need Shade?

Ginseng can not handle direct sunlight well, so offer 70 to 90 percent shade. Too much shadow reduces root and seed yields, while too much light burns the foliage, reduces yields, and even kills plants. 

You can create an artificially shaded growing environment by using a canopy of posts and shade fabric. The costs of constructing the shade canopy, preparing the soil, and planting the seeds and rootlets might make this method expensive to start.

A lower-cost alternative is to rely on the shade produced by hardwood trees like maple, sycamore, oak, and basswood. However, this method depends on land and resource availability.

How Often Do You Water A Ginseng Tree?

Ginseng doesn’t require much watering, and you shouldn’t water it too regularly. During the spring and summer, water every 2–3 weeks and lower the amount of watering in the fall and winter months.

It’s also critical to mist. Misting ginseng plants is highly effective. Gardeners should spray these trees with water from a spray bottle every day for best results. Ensure the soil stays damp, as these trees do not grow well if the ground is allowed to dry out. 

The right amount of water is something you learn through experience, but there are signals to look for: if the roots get too much water, they will rot. 

Can I Grow Ginseng In My Backyard?

Ginseng is a hardy plant that you can grow all year round if you build a greenhouse in your yard or a growing room in your home.

However, you’ll need to ensure that the temperature, light, and moisture levels are as close to optimal as possible. When it’s time to harvest, this will help you get the most out of your crop.

This also assists you in preventing problems such as root rot or fungus infections.

Can Ginseng Be Grown Hydroponically?

Ginseng is easy to grow in a greenhouse because it’s easy to maintain a cool temperature and low light. While the hydroponic method is cheaper, it requires a delicate balance of elements and often takes longer to harvest in a period of up to seven or eight years.

There are three steps to this method: foundation preparation, planting, and maintenance. The essential element is to emulate its natural environment.

Why Are My Ginseng Dropping Leaves?

The most prevalent reason for dropping leaves is a change in the environment; when the seasons change, you’ll often see leaves fall. To help combat this, keep your tree’s habitat as stable as possible.

Avoid draughty windows and doors, as well as air conditioners and heaters. In the winter, when the air becomes dry, use a humidifier. Also, do not relocate your tree once planted. 

If your environment is stable, but your ginseng continues to drop leaves, consider the following:

  • Are you overwatering your plant? Or not watering it enough?
  • Does your plant have sufficient light?
  • Is your plant infected with fungus?

If the leaves of your ginseng house yellow or brown patches, it’s possible that it has a fungal infection. You can treat this with a simple pesticide.

Is Ginseng Profitable To Grow?

Growers can make a good living from even a little plot of land. A half-acre of ginseng, for example, will begin producing seeds in the third year. That year, its yield would be roughly twenty pounds. It should produce around fifty pounds of seed in the fourth year and one hundred pounds or more in the fifth and sixth years.

A half-acre garden could generate somewhere in the region of $100,000 worth of seeds and roots in six years, or nearly $16,000 each year. 

What States Is It Legal To Grow Ginseng?

New York, Virginia, West Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Indiana, Kentucky, Vermont, and Wisconsin are the 19 states that allow wild ginseng harvesting for export.