The article will teach you how to grow ginseng indoors. You will learn about the best soil, how to take care of your plants, and when is the right time for harvesting. It will also tell you what type of fertilizer to use and a few other tips. This blog post can be helpful if you are looking for an alternative way to make money from indoor gardening.
How to Grow Ginseng Indoors in Pots
Before you start to grow your ginseng crop, look for roots or bulbs that have a healthy look to them. Assuming that you’re growing American Panax ginseng, pick ones that have dormant buds on them and then try these steps:
- Make a potting mix of 1 part perlite, 1 part vermiculite, and 4 parts sphagnum moss
- Moisten the mix and add it to your pots
- Put enough mixture to cover around ¾ of the way up the side of the pot
- Start to make an indentation with your gloved hand in the middle of the pot
- Place a ginseng bulb in the indentation that you made
- Cover the bulb over with a moist mix
- Flatten out and gently pack the mix on top
- Place the pot in an area that receives a reasonable amount of indirect sunlight, but not too much
- Water it as you would any other plant
- Wait 45 days for sprouting
- Fertilize the plants periodically
- Watch for any signs of outside cultures and remove them if they come up
- Keep the media mix moist during growing
- Provide fresh air through a window
- Ensure the environment stays insect-free
Fertilize your crops with a 10-15-10 solution that’s soluble in water. It’s probably a good idea to use around 3 drops for every 500 mL of water in the mixture.
Only fertilize your crops once a week or so, because you could otherwise risk burning the roots. Depending on how you grow your plant, it can take upwards of five years to become completely mature.
How to Grow Ginseng Indoors Hydroponically
While you can plant ginseng as a hydroponic crop, you’ll notice that it’ll grow rather slow this way. It does take a lot of work too, as is evidenced by these steps:
- Hang artificial growth lighting that puts out the wavelengths your ginseng crops are looking for
- Clean and prepare growth vessels
- Fill the vessels with a media mix of around ½ peat moss, ⅓ perlite, and the rest forestry sand
- Bury 3-4 seeds in each vessel
- Wait for root trainers to sprout
- Place the root trainers into a hydroponic irrigation system
- Set any growth lights or natural sun louvers on low
- Regulate the temperature around 68-72°F
- Store excess root trainers in a freezer environment at 35°F
- Create a nutrient solution that consists of around ½-1 gram of material for every liter of water used
- Fertigate three weeks out of four
- Irrigate with pure water once a month
- Return your plants to a greenhouse environment as they mature
- Support plants that begin expanding too fast
- Place ginseng into cold storage once it reaches a target
Growing Panax ginseng hydroponically isn’t impossible, but it’s relatively new. Noted ginseng researcher Thomas Li was only able to get hydroponic crops to mature using all-organic methods relatively recently.
How to Setup a Ginseng Grow Room and Increase Yield
Copying the same kind of light and temperature environment that a ginseng plant would have in the wild is always best. That means that you’ll want to have the kind of temperature you’d see in hardiness zones of 3-7 in a deciduous forest.
The soil in the indoor environment needs to be kept rich and moist. You need good drainage in any container used to grow ginseng plants and you’ll have to make sure that you clean up any material that comes out of the bottom of the pots to avoid contamination.
A cool room that’s shady but still has some light should accommodate ginseng roots well. You’ll want to keep it relatively humid as well and give your plants adequate room to grow as they start to flower.
Tile floors are usually a good idea for this reason as well as the fact that you need to keep the environment at least relatively clean. Ginseng plants tend to shed a fair amount of moisture, and you want to be able to clean that up if it becomes a problem later on.
How Long Does Ginseng Take to Grow Indoors?
Properly grown American Panax ginseng that’s planted in pots in a bulb state will take only around 45 days to start growing into sizable plants. While this might seem pretty fast, it actually takes much longer to grow into a genuine mature plant that you could use.
Say you grow a plant from seeds in an indoor environment. Under perfect conditions, you could have a four-pronged flowering plant in around 4-5 years.
Depending on the average growing temperature and whether or not the soil stays moist throughout the entire time the plant is immature, it might take another year or so for your ginseng to completely mature. Growing plants from roots with dormant flowering buds on them is a good way to speed up this process.
When shopping for them, make sure that the roots themselves have a healthy color. Roots that have dried out or otherwise lost too much of their natural moisture will take longer to grow in an indoor environment.
Is Ginseng Worth Growing Indoors?
Most gardeners agree that ginseng plants grow much faster outdoors than they do indoors, but it’s hard to get the exact environment they need to flourish if you plant them outside. That’s why it’s a good idea to at least start the plants indoors if you can’t be sure that conditions are always going to be right outside.
Some people might want to transfer the plants to a shady exterior environment once they start to really produce solid roots. That being said, there’s no reason that you can’t grow them inside if you don’t mind a slight increase in the amount of time it’ll take for them to grow.
Hydroponically growing ginseng probably isn’t worth it in most cases, except for those who are engaged in some kind of research. Most experiments involving fast, aggressive ginseng plants are grown hydroponically have involved some sort of artificial fertilizer, which probably goes against what most ginseng gardeners want out of their plants.
Those who grow it in pots can usually use a special peat mix that doesn’t require growers to rely on anything artificial. Most could probably even make it themselves, and they won’t have to move the plants outside to take advantage of it either.