How to Buy Ginseng Seeds


Ginseng, known botanically as Panax, is a perennial woodland herb prized for its root, which is widely used in holistic medicinal and nutritional preparations and as a flavoring agent. According to Purdue University, ginseng seeds germinate and mature to become fruiting and seed-bearing plants in three to five years time. Each fruit produces two to three seeds; nearly 200 bearing plants are required to produce 1 lb. of seed. These facts, along with its highly specific cultural requirements, make ginseng a costly crop to grow in small quantities or over the short term. According to Virginia Tech University, as of 2009, there are approximately 20 commercial outlets for American ginseng seed.

Step 1

Find and do business with experienced ginseng farmers in the Midwest, Southeast and Southern regions of the United States where ginseng grows naturally. Ginseng farmers are the primary sellers of viable ginseng seed in the country, according Virgina Tech University.

Step 2

Order and purchase your ginseng seed in July or August and have it scheduled for delivery in mid-October, in time for planting. By purchasing early, you are ensured a volume of quality seed--not the dregs of the seed crop left over after other growers have made their purchases.

Step 3

Know the appropriate market price range for the seed and be prepared to pay for quality viable seed. Discount ginseng seed is an oxymoron in the marketplace and is unlikely to be a bargain in the long run due to poor quality and germination failures. According to Virginia Tech University, as of 2009, 10 lbs. of ginseng seed would sell for an average of $800.

Tips and Warnings

  • Refrigerate the seed immediately upon delivery and mist with water as needed to prevent the seed from drying out, which will render it useless.


  • USDA Plant Database Profile: Ginseng Panax
  • Purdue University: Alternative Field Crops Ginseng
  • West Virginia University: Growing Ginseng
  • Virginia Tech Cooperative Extension: Producing and Marketing Wild Simulated Ginseng in Forest and Agroforestry Systems

Who Can Help

  • Wild Grown: Example of Ginseng Seed Specialist Retailer
  • West Virginia University: Catalog Shopping for Seed Supplies
Keywords: buying panax seeds, buying ginseng seeds, ginseng plant seed

About this Author

An omni-curious communications professional, Dena Kane has more than 17 years of experience writing and editing content for online publications, corporate communications, business clients, industry journals, as well as film and broadcast media. Kane studied political science at the University of California, San Diego.