How to Plant Ginseng Roots


American-grown ginseng has been in high demand as a component of Chinese Herbal Medicine since the 1700s. Today, collection of wild-grown ginseng is tightly controlled in many states. While some states ban the collection of wild ginseng outright, others restrict its collection and sale to certain times of the year. Because of this, some farmers grow ginseng commercially. Raising commercial ginseng is a long-term investment. Once planted, a Ginseng root takes seven years to mature. Ginseng is easy to plant. In the wild, the plant will self-sow. For this reason, newer plants are often found downhill of their parent plant, where the seeds from the parent plant rolled.

Step 1

Select a shaded woodland location on a north- or east-facing slope. Ginseng grown in conditions that simulate growth in the wild has a different appearance and composition than ginseng grown under cultivated conditions, and fetches a much higher price when sold.

Step 2

Time your planting for fall just after leaves begin to drop off of trees but before the ground grows hard. Ginseng seed requires a resting period of cold in order to induce the seeds to germinate.

Step 3

Rake aside the layer of leaves that covers the floor of the planting location. Scratch shallow furrows into your soil using the rake.

Step 4

Scatter four to five seeds per square foot over the raked planting location.

Step 5

Rake leaves back over the seeds and leave the location.

Things You'll Need

  • Ginseng seed
  • Rake


  • University of Ohio Extension: Growing American Ginseng in Ohio
  • University of Ohio Extension: Site Preparation and Planting Using the Wild- Simulated Approach
  • University of Kentucky Extension: Forest Production of Ginseng

Who Can Help

  • NC State University: Care and Planting of Ginseng Seed and Roots
Keywords: plant ginseng roots, wild-simulated ginseng, growing ginseng

About this Author

Tracy S. Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published two novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World."