Germinating Goldenseal Seeds Indoors
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Tom Nerbas
Posted on: February 25, 2002

I was wondering about the goldenseal herb germination – do the seeds need a frost, or freeze or be left outside during winter in order to germinate, or can the seeds be planted in an indoor planter with 2 inches of stones at the bottom of planter for drainage, and 6 inches of leaf mulch soil on top of the stones? I am wondering because I’ve planted a packet of your company’s seed on Dec 1, 2001, and there is no sign of germination yet. Am I doing something wrong or is the germination a 2 year wait?

Goldenseal needs two winters (just like ginseng) to germinate. This is why we recommend outside sowing in temperate climates, since it is hard to look after a seedflat for two years and never let it dry out. Also if you are indoors, the flat has to go in the fridge for 3 months for each winter. sometimes we obtain seed that has already been stored cold and damp for one winter and then this seed will germinate the next spring without requiring another summer and winter before germinating.

If you have kept the flat at room temperature, put it in a plastic bag and place it in the fridge for three months, then leave it at room temperature for another three month and any seeds that have not germinated by the end of the three months warmish temperatures should be put in the fridge (in their damp, covered, flat) for another three months. When the flat is then returned to room temperature the majority of the seed should germinate during the next month.

Check our web-site under "News&Info" , click on "Q&A", then on "Search Questions and Answers" and type in "goldenseal" there is a good article under "commercial" on the problems you may encounter in indoor growing of this plant.

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