Top 10 FAQs About Growing Ginseng For Profit

Many people have questions about starting a ginseng garden. You probably have some too. Here are 10 FAQs about growing ginseng for profit. Think about these questions and their answers, and you’ll get off to a great start.

1. Do I have the right climate to grow ginseng?

Ginseng can do well in most climates. You need to grow in an area that is exposed to some sub-freezing weather. Cold will help break your ginseng’s dormancy, and will lead to it sprouting in the spring.

2. What pH balance does my soil need to be?

Healthy soil is important for any plant, and it’s certainly important for ginseng. Your soil’s pH should be between 5.0 and 6.0. If necessary, have it tested. Great soil will lead to healthy plants, large roots at harvest and great profits.

3. Which growing method should I use?

The artificial shade method can be a good one, but it costs several thousand dollars an acre to get started. If you have a few acres of hardwood trees, then the wild-simulated method can work great for you. Chances are the woods-cultivated method will be the one you’ll use. You simply use the natural shade of a forest canopy of hardwood trees, such as maple, oak and sycamore.

4. How can I tell when my ginseng roots are dry?

Properly dried roots should make a crisp “snap!” sound when broken. You can dry your roots naturally by placing them in a covered area, spread out on a screened rack. If there isn’t proper air circulation, use a fan and keep it running for two to four weeks. At that time your roots should be dried. Break a few and see if you get that “snap” sound.

5. How should I stop pest and disease problems?

First of all, having a healthy, well-drained soil should stop a lot of potential pest and disease problems. If some problems do arise, only use natural pesticides to stop them. Try yellow sticky traps for most pest problems. Be sure to do regular weeding, but be careful not to harm your roots. Check for proper air circulation. Keep an eye on your ginseng garden, and it could be a success in no time.

6. How can I sell ginseng roots?

There are three main ways to sell ginseng roots. First is to sell directly to wholesale buyers. This gets you paid right away, and you can sell right out of your backyard nursery. Second is to sell to out-of-state buyers. Take good care in shipping your ginseng. Treat it like a fragile item. Finally, you can sell to ginseng brokers, who buy ginseng in bulk and then resell it to other people.

7. How much does it cost to start a ginseng business?

You can start your own ginseng business for a fairly low amount. Using the woods-cultivated or wild-simulated methods, you should be able to start a quarter-acre ginseng garden for less than $1,000. Over a six year growing cycle, that quarter-acre could produce as much as $50,000 worth of roots, seeds and rootlets.

8. Using the woods-cultivated method, how do I start my growing beds?

First clear away any underbrush in the area. You want underbrush to be at least 10 feet away from the growing beds. Next use a walk-behind tiller to work the soil over several times until you can loosen it to at least a depth of six inches. If you’re planting seeds, plant them one-half to one inch deep and three inches apart. Be sure to keep the rows about eight inches apart. For rootlets, plant them at an angle that is about 45 degrees from vertical. You want the bud to be an inch below the soil surface.

9. When will my mature roots be ready to sell?

In most cases, your mature roots will be ready to sell after five or six years.

10. Can I sell anything from my ginseng garden in the meantime?

You sure can. Seeds and rootlets can be ready for sale as soon as just a few years after you started your ginseng garden. They can make you good money too. What you can make depends on how old they are, and what their quality is.

Think about these 10 questions and their answers. Hopefully these answered the questions you might have. Now that you’ve gotten some answers, you’re ready to start growing ginseng for profit. Good luck! To learn more about growing ginseng for profit, visit