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Ginseng Seed and Rootlets are our Specialty

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Marathon, WI  54448

  


Ginseng Seed

Ginseng seed is one of the most unique seeds coming from the native plants which once inhabited this country.  This uniqueness is also one of the major reasons that ginseng (panax quinquefolius) is now included on the endangered species list.   

Ginseng seed will begin to develop on plants once they have reached maturity (at least 3 years old and often times 8-10 years old in the wild).  During the early summer months tiny white flowers will be noticeable upon close inspection.  Over the next two months these flowers will develop into bright red berries containing the ginseng seeds.  These berries (containing the seeds) will then fall to the forest floor.  Only a very small fraction of these seeds will survive to sprout and have a chance at growing.  The reason for this is that the seeds require about 18 months to germinate and eventually sprout.  During this time they are extremely vulnerable to rodents and other small animals or birds looking for a nutritious meal.  Ginseng seed will also dry out and die if it does not fall to the forest floor and receive adequate protection from leaves or other types of mulch.  

Only after the seed has survived for approximately 1 1/2 years will it then sprout during the second spring after it fell from the plant.  Overharvest of wild ginseng during the late 1800's and 1900's, loss of habitat and this very difficult process of reproducing has led to the near extinction of wild ginseng in many parts of the U.S. that once had thriving populations of ginseng in the abundant harwood forests.  

Stratified Ginseng Seed

Stratified ginseng seed is seed that has been harvested from the plants and put into moist sand for one year.  This process helps protect the seed from predators and "mother nature" while the embryo develops and grows.  After one year in these "seed boxes" it is removed from the sand and is ready to be planted.  Stratified seed can be planted throughout the fall and into early spring (Mid August through the end of March).  These seeds will then sprout in spring and be well on their way to hopefully reaching mature size.

It is recommended that only stratified seed be planted when planting ginseng.  (Seed that has just been harvested and placed in the sand is known as green seed.)  By planting stratified seed the seed is only vulnerable for a very short time period and thus chances of survival are much greater.

For more information on planting ginseng seed go to Ginseng Growing Instructions or to view a listing of our products go to Price List.