ginseng uk


Can I grow ginseng in the UK or Europe

Can I grow ginseng in the UK or Europe?

This page was updated 2nd April 2018

It’s a good question and the answer is yes .The other question is ,Is it easy to grow ginseng in the UK or Europe ?,its  probably harder than you think .But with a little hard work and attention to detail it gets easier .

There are short articles on this website to help you to cultivate your ginseng, the links to the articles can be found on the website side bars, growing ginseng, ginseng seeds and ginseng roots.

There is huge potential for ginseng in Europe that has hardly been tapped .The market consumption is slowly increasing with production lacking behind .Ginseng is pouring in from china and America. I am sure there is a market share for growers in UK and Europe

The main problem in England is we have virtually no hardwood forests and to find a hardwood forest with a north facing slope doesn’t make it any easier

Most of the growers I have spoken to are growing on a small scale, all of the large scale businesses have disappeared .It can be quite expensive and time consuming to erect shading but it is possible.

A few years ago America and china held a monopoly on ginseng production and they were intent on keeping it that way

In the past growers in Europe bought seeds from various website sources for their gardens or hoping to get a foothold in the market only to find that in most cases the seeds were dead or they managed to finish them with incorrect culture methods .If they were lucky enough to find roots lack of experience usually killed them in a few months.

Hopefully from this site I can spread the correct information for growing ginseng and provide good seeds and roots for planting.  I use and grow all the seeds and roots myself for planting and growing so I know that they are good .Seeds and roots can be purchase from this website store please take a look see if there is anything you are interested in .If you have questions or would like other ginseng products please contact me and I will get back to you.


Growing ginseng 

When the seeds have sprouted and forming good leaves make sure the compost is kept moist
There is more information and pictures about seeds on the ginseng seed page .Seeds can be purchased from the web store
The picture  shows the results of letting the compost dry out .I only watered half the plant the compost dried out on the half I missed  It killed all the seedlings on the left of the pot .Thats how delicate the seeds can be .Keep compost moist never wet .

I have visited ginseng websites read books and looked at hundreds of vids .The more I do it the more confused I get .The ideas about growing ginseng are many and mostly different often in direct oposition to each other

As a long suffering grower I have found experimentation with soil and shade vital.

Ginseng soil mixes

I wanted to show you some soil experiments I have been doing the compost on the left is a 50 50 mix of john innes soil and peat .The one on the right is a much more open mix with larger pieces of straw sticks and other pieces of material .See how it has dried out much quicker than the compost on the left .This year I had a very poor showing of seedlings many rotted in the ground .The compost on the right fared a great deal better.

Having said that many American growers have had a catastrophic year some have only produced enough seeds to break even  

Growing conditions 

Ginseng grows best under conditions that simulate its natural habitat. It requires 70% to 90% natural or artificial shade. Ginseng thrives in a climate with 40 to 50 in. of annual precipitation and an average temperature of 50°F. It requires several weeks of cold temperatures for adequate dormancy.

Roots for growing can be purchased from my web store

Ginseng generally prefers a loamy, deep (12 in.), well-drained soil with a high organic content and a pH near 5.5. Extremely sandy soil tends to produce long, slender roots of inferior quality.

Ginseng in pots 
I planted this in the pot as an experiment and it has grown very well .Its important to get the drainage correct or the compost will retain water

Planting ginseng roots in the woods

At the end of December 2014 I had sold half my roots.I thought sales had gone absolutely mental .

Last  year 2015 I  sold virtually all of my roots before I have them dug up. All sales will be on fist come first served basis . If you are a regular customer I would urge you to make a decision soon.

We  should have a very limited number of  good clean strong first year roots available  but we are selling out fast  .

We sell  ginseng roots ready to plant

Roots can be transplanted any time after the tops of the plants have begun to die back but before the ground has frozen.

In the picture on the left is a lovely old ginseng root ready for planting .It is about eight years old .You can tell by the notches on the neck of the root

Roots can be planted from september until the ground freezes

Plant in a shaded area 70 to 80 % shade well drained soil in hardwood forest conditions If you can find a north facing slope mores the better

Plant the ginseng root approximately 75mm below the surface

When planting your roots outside in the woods in a semi wild situation I would suggest marking them with plant sticks. We sell them in the web store .They cost very little and are good value for money when you consider that when you go back even two or three weeks later you will not have a clue where they are particularly in dry periods when they need water.

Planting roots under artificial shade 

Plant in raised beds in well drained soil 

Raised beds should face east to west with wooden laths or non porous material shading out 80% of direct sunlight 

The general consensus is plant roots at a 30° to 45° angle from the vertical, with the crown of the root 3/4 to 1 in. deep. I would suggest planting deeper perhaps 3 inches deep Cover the bed immediately with 1 to 2 in. of straw. A 4 to 5 in. layer of mulch is necessary on fall transplantsSome of the mulch can be removed in the spring before the first shoots appear.

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