American Ginseng Container Growing II
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Matt Edgren
Posted on: November 2, 1999

Would it be possible for me to put ginseng seeds in a refrigerator for a couple of weeks instead in order so that I might cause them to germinate sooner? As of right now I have them in pots in my garage where the minimum temperature will probably be about freezing.

You will have to simulate a winter at least as severe as the ones that occur in zone 8. Average minimum winter temperatures there are minus 12 to minus 7 which translates to a temperature just a bit below freezing in the root zone. To be safe, I would keep the pots at that temperature for at least one month, two would be better and three would be best. Dr Norman C. Deno, the seed germinating expert feels that ginseng needs the oscillating temperatures of outdoor treatment to germinate. I suspect that you should plant them out of doors or sink the pots out of doors for the winter to get anything like a satisfactory germination. The even temperature of a fridge may not be suitable for germination.

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