Pre-germination Treatment for Ginseng Seeds
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Matt Needling
Posted on: April 5, 1998

What is the procedure to induce artificial germination of ginseng seed.

Ginseng seeds require stratification. This is a process that artifically induces seeds to germinate by simulating what the seeds would otherwise be exposed to if they were in nature over winter. Ginseng seems to require a sequence of cold and warm followed by a cold again. This is the natural cycle of winter, summer and winter which ginseng ordinarily needs to go through to germinate in nature. For more details on how to artificially induce germination by stratification, see the book, "American Ginseng: Green Gold" which is listed in our online catalogue (under "A Books").

We sell seeds that are already stratified. They have been put through the first part of the process, the first cold and warm cycles, and they are planted in the fall to be exposed to the final cold cycle. Because the seeds are already stratified, they cannot be allowed to dry out and so they must be handled carefully. We ship seeds in the fall only for immediate planting so as to minimize the potential for loss due to improper storage.

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