Ginseng Grower Resources

Ginseng can be difficult to grow in Maine and while a small number of growers are licensed, no harvested ginseng has been certified for sale since 2001. Growers face many challenges including:

  • the long time it can take to produce a harvestable crop,
  • damage from slugs, deer and rodents,
  • a lack of readily available information on growing ginseng in the state,
  • the difficulty and expense of obtaining seeds (see seed sources in the links below), and
  • a lack of suitable habitat.

It may take up to 15 years for plants to reach a harvestable size and, unfortunately, most growers in Maine have found their plants do not survive to that stage. We usually suggest not investing more money into the seeds or roots and site preparation than you are willing to lose.

In order to assist growers we've compiled a list of resources that may be useful in growing a succesful crop.


Persons, W. Scott, and Jeanine M. Davis. Growing & Marketing Ginseng, Goldenseal & Other Woodland Medicinals. Asheville, NC:Bright Mountain Books, 2005

Persons, W. Scott, American Ginseng: Green Gold Revised Edition, Asheville, NC: Bright Mountain Books, 1994

Pritts, Kim D., Ginseng: How to Find, Grow, and Use America's Forest Gold, Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 1995


Seed Sources

Partial List of Suppliers of Ginseng Seed and/or Rootlets

University, Extension & Other Resources

Forest Farming Resource Center

American Ginseng Production in Woodlots (PDF 889KB)

Economics & Marketing of Ginseng (PDF 707KB)

Alternative Field Crops Manual, Ginseng

History and Cultivation of Ginseng

Growing American Ginseng in Ohio: An Introduction (PDF 232KB)

Growing American Ginseng in Ohio: Site Selection (PDF 317KB)

Growing American Ginseng in Ohio: Site Preparation and Planting Using the Wild-Simulated Approach (PDF 392KB)

Growing American Ginseng in Ohio: Maintenance, Disease Control and Pest Management (PDF 223KB)

Growing American Ginseng in Ohio: Harvesting, Washing and Drying (PDF 238KB)

Producing & Marketing Wild Simulated Ginseng in Forest & Agroforestry Systems

Associations and Groups

Ontario Ginseng Growers Association

Associated Ginseng Growers of British Colombia

Government Agencies

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)

US Fish & Wildlife Service

Maine Natural Areas Program, Rare Plant Factsheet, American Ginseng

New York Department of Conservation

Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources