Grow ginseng by purchasing stratified seeds or roots from a dealer or plant nursery, selecting a planting location that is well-drained and offers plenty of shade and planting the ginseng either in the fall or spring. Water the plant only when the weather is dry and avoid fertilizing it.
Because ginseng seeds take up to 18 months to germinate, save time by purchasing stratified seeds. These have been planted in shallow sand and kept cool, so they are much closer to germination. Next, choose a location that is sloped or has well-drained soil, offers the plant plenty of shade and only 20 to 25 percent sunlight, and is moist. You can also used raised beds for planting.
Plant seeds in the fall at a depth of 1 1/2 inches. If you are planting roots, do so in the spring in 3-inch-deep holes. If the weather is sufficiently humid and the location moist, the plants only need to be watered during dry conditions. The plant should never be fertilized. It takes between five and 10 years and the growth of three or more prongs on the plant for the ginseng roots to be considered mature and ready for harvesting. Fall is the correct time for harvesting.