What Climate Does Ginseng Grow In?

by | Gardening

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When you are cultivating a new crop of ginseng, it’s important to do your research not only on how to grow the plant but also in the conditions it thrives in. Many growers choose American ginseng because it is a native plant that requires little help in growing as long as you select the right site.

What Climate Does Ginseng Grow In?

The type of climate that ginseng grows in is typical to the central to the northeastern mountainous region of the United States. This means an average temperature of around 50oF and around 50 inches of annual rainfall or precipitation. These conditions are typical of rich mesic forests in deciduous landscapes that support thriving biodiversity.

As an understory plant, ginseng grows primarily in the shade and can burn if exposed too much. The canopy of these forests typically provides the plant with 70% to 80% shade.

Where Does Ginseng Grow in the US?

Typically, ginseng grows along the Ozark and Appalachian regions of the United States. This means anywhere from Oklahoma to Quebec province is ripe land for ginseng planting, assuming your slope and climate conditions are correct. Check out this page for a more exact example and map of ginseng’s typical growing regions.

Is Ginseng Hard to Grow?

When growing ginseng, it’s important to mimic its natural habitat as closely as possible. Not only will this result in a thriving plant population, but you’ll also have an easier time with maintenance. This is a large reason why wild-simulated has become the preferred method of cultivating ginseng.

A Shifting Zone: The Importance of a Four-Season Climate

Growing zones are shifting north, which is indicative of a warming climate. With all the maps and growing regions that we are now dealing with, it’s important to realize that ginseng is one among many plants that are dependent on a four-season climate. The cold weather helps the seeds germinate; without this cold stratification, ginseng’s population will continue to decline, only thriving in more northern regions that can accommodate its needs.

Why is Harvesting Ginseng Illegal?

You may be looking for a guide on identifying ginseng and determining its natural climate to go harvest the plant yourself.

Unfortunately, harvesting wild ginseng is illegal or regulated in many states. Where it does grow, it is like finding a needle in a haystack due to declining population numbers. American ginseng is also listed as an appendix 2 CITES plant, which restricts and regulates the exportation and sale of the plant.

The illegal or restricted status of the plant is not to protect a valuable commodity, but rather, to protect the natural resources of the landscape before it disappears from the wild entirely.

Want to Learn More About Ginseng?

Enjoy more in-depth information about how to identify, grow, and harvest your own American ginseng crop in HerbSpeak's new book: How to Grow Ginseng.

In this book, you’ll learn everything you need to know about growing ginseng – specifically American ginseng, Panax quinquefolius – and how to care for this wonderful plant from seed to harvest.

Beyond that, you’ll learn why such a small root has earned such an honorable reputation, and what you can do to help keep this plant in our lives no matter what your motivation for growing ginseng is.

Your journey into the world of ginseng starts here.


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About Destynnie K. Berard
I am a lifelong naturalist who believes a good sense of humor is essential to staying happy. ★ After traveling for years, I settled in New England, falling in love with the diverse landscape the Northeast has to offer, and began pursuing conservation in earnest. ★ My career background is in enterprise marketing and communications, which provides me with a unique perspective of ecological relationships.


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