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How Long Does It Take to Grow Ginseng?

Ginseng roots are mainly used in herbal tonics for years. High-quality species are of great demand and fetch higher prices. Patient farmers are capable of handling various methods to harvest vast amounts.

Whereas those grown in artificial shades within 4 years produce less valuable species. These are mainly used for large scale purposes.

Here let’s discuss in detail the method that requires at least 7 years to harvest and yields high-quality roots. These types also have lesser crop deaths.

How Long Does It Take to Grow Ginseng

This tutorial focuses on how long does it take to grow ginseng. For this, the first step starts with selecting the right plot. Selecting a site that will help you grow crops that thrive and yield a good harvest is essential. Choose carefully with diligence to avoid mishaps. Here are some steps that can turn useful.

How Long Does It Take to Grow Ginseng

Choosing A Suitable Site

Even before you plant those seeds, ensure that you have a great market to sell the products. You can connect with a licensed dealer in your place for easy sales.

However, if you wish to make direct sales, consider going for a dealer license. Once you get your license, you can freely sell. You can also sell at auction sites for which you need an export license.

Learn The Wild Simulation Growth Method

This is similar to the natural environment of the plants. This slow procedure might take 7-8 years to yield high-quality crops. You can alter this process and use artificial methods. However, the result wouldn’t be satisfying.

Right Environment

For growing these roots, you need a site that is similar to the natural range of the plant. These plants usually prefer cold and temperate regions with an annual rainfall of about 20-40”. These crops are commonly seen in Canada and the United States.

Test The Soil

The soil has to be moist and loamy and capable of draining quickly. Stay away from hard clay and swampy terrains. When you plan to select a site, conduct a soil analysis to see if it is suitable to grow your crop.

Fertilize The Soil

If you come across a perfect site that only has issues with soil chemistry, you can make changes. You can add fertilizers and adjust the pH levels to make the land fertile for cultivation.

Now that we have selected the land, we can come onto the next step of cultivation. 

How to Grow Ginseng

Things Required

To plant and harvest these roots, you might need the following essentials. These are:

  • High-quality ginseng seeds
  • Pickford or spade
  • Basket or tray to gather the roots
  • Hand gloves
  • Water hose to clean the soiled roots
  • Rack to dry the produce
  • Boxes to pack the final products

Planting The Seeds

For this, you will have to get the best quality seeds that are available. The seeds must be moist so that they can sprout quickly. Rinsing the seeds in bleach water before planting is a great idea. As this will help you get rid of fungus and other microbes on the seeds. Follow the steps while planting your seeds.

Clean Up The Area

Get rid of all the ferns and weeds from the site. You don’t have to remove all the plants. However, it is advisable to remove those shrubs that hinder the growth of ginseng. 

Scatter Huge Number Of Seeds

Have a large number of seeds with you? Wish to grow these roots in a natural and wild condition? Scatter them across the planting area.

Planting Small Amount Of Seeds

If you are planting only a few high-quality seeds, sow them carefully. Space them out at a distance of 6 – 9 inches. This spacing will help reduce the danger of any disease from spreading.

Fill The Area With Mulch And Leaves

Replace the site with the leaves and mulch you raked up earlier. This ensures the ground stays moist, which is essential for the proper growth of these roots. Avoid large leaves as they might hinder the sprouts from springing up.

Mark The Spot

As you won’t be visiting the site more often after planting the seeds, mark the site to locate it later. This is because, within a decade, the grounds may change a great deal. You might find it hard to identify the site later, so either use a GPS or mark the spot.

Time Taken to Grow And Harvest The Crops

Once planting the seeds is over, you need to give enough care and attention as it grows to get a good harvest. Sure, it does take a while before it yields results.

However, you will be well rewarded for your efforts. As each pound of high-quality ginseng roots costs more than hundreds of dollars each. Let’s discuss in detail the time needed to harvest the crops.

1) Wait Till It Matures And Secure The Location

It will take around 7 – 10 years for wild species to mature and bring forth great and valuable produce. However, to get the right size is a pure shot of luck.

The wild simulation method hardly requires much maintenance. Period checking to see if the ground is moist and covered will do. If the plants are densely planted, uproot then and replant it with enough spacing as wild ginseng is expensive, fence off the plot to avoid poachers.

Fencing also helps to keep animals at bay.

2) Not Visible Throughout The Year

The portion above the ground dies during the fall and springs back to life in spring. It tends to grow bigger each time. Don’t worry! During this time, the roots will be growing bigger and bigger each year.

3) Harvest The Berries From the Third Year Onwards

On reaching maturity, these plants will produce red berries in clusters with seeds in them. You can gather these berries during autumn. You can either harvest the seeds or go ahead and sell them.

4) Harvest After The Seventh Year

To attain high-quality roots, you can harvest after it has completed 7 years of growth. If you are not in a hurry, you can leave them to grow for a few more years to yield better results. Or else, check with local regulations to find how early you can harvest the crop.

5) Dig Carefully To Avoid Damages

Use a spade or pitchfork to dig under the crop. See that you leave enough space to avoid damaging the roots while digging. These roots do not grow straight down but at a 45-degree angle. It also forks out into several directions. So pay attention to avoid breaking the roots.

6) Wash And Dry Them

Your patience has finally paid off! After collecting those highly-priced herbal roots, soak them in water to remove excess soil. Wash them thoroughly and leave it to dry. Larger and more mature roots take around 6 weeks to completely dry, whereas smaller roots take only 1-2 days. The final product is all set to hit the market.


High-quality yields take only less than a decade to give good produce. All it requires is your time and patient effort. You can also use fertilizers that do not harm the crops to get a great harvest. 

Living Earth Farms Peruvian Seabird Guano is one of the best options as it has a considerable level of nutrients. Also Schultz All Purpose Liquid Plant Food acts as an excellent growth promoter for the plants. Both these help in producing a great harvest for your crops.

How Long Does It Take to Grow Ginseng

Now that you are aware of the growth process and time took to cultivate ginseng go ahead plant your own. Feel free to contact us for more information.