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Growing Ginseng Indoors

By Robin Coe ; Updated September 21, 2017

Ginseng is a natural energy boosting root herb that is great in tea and has many medicinal benefits. There are many types of ginseng, with the most common varieties being Panax and American ginseng. American ginseng, once an abundant wild plant in North America, is now rare because of excessive harvesting. It is possible to grow your own ginseng at home--even indoors. Growing ginseng takes great care and patience when starting it from seed.

Make sure your ginseng seeds are stratified. You can buy stratified seeds or do it yourself. Stratify your own seeds by sandwiching them between a top and bottom layer of sand that equals twice the volume of seeds.

Cover the top layer of sand with two inches of mulch. Write the date on the outside of your container.

Cover and place your container in the refrigerator for six months to a year. Check the seeds in early spring and remove any that are soft or decayed. Some seeds may be enlarged or have begun to open, signs that the seeds are viable.

Fill your 10- to 14-inch-deep pots with well-drained soil. Press one seed 1/2-inch deep into the center of each pot. Cover the soil with mulch and water just enough to moisten the soil.

Moisten the soil each day during germination. Your ginseng should germinate the next spring. Typically, roots take up to eight years to get large enough to use.

Harvest any ripe berries that appear on the ginseng plants. You can remove, dry and stratify the seeds to grow indoors. Fresh seeds can be planted immediately outside.


Things You Will Need

  • Ginseng seeds
  • Sand
  • Plastic container with lid
  • 10- to 14-inch pots


  • Ginseng is a perennial that goes into periods of dormancy. Continue to care for your plant even if there is no apparent top growth.

About the Author


Based in Ann Arbor, Mich., Robin Coe has reported on a variety of subjects for more than 15 years. Coe has worked on environmental health and safety issues in communities across Ohio and Michigan. Coe holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism with a double-major in international politics from Bowling Green State University. She has also received training and experience as a nurse aide.