Buy Bare-Root Ginseng Seedlings in Arkansas
Wild Ozark is the place to buy first-year ginseng seedlings in Arkansas! First year ginseng seedlings are available spring through summer, and ship out as bare-root beginning in October. This year I won’t be shipping potted seedlings. I’ll have a limited amount this year that can be picked up from the nursery here in northwest Arkansas. I will also not be doing the market this summer, so the options are limited to nursery pickup for 2019. There may be a limited number of bare-root seedlings I will ship in fall. I’ll update this post at the end of April to let you know when I see how many seedlings will be available.
I didn’t get to plant seeds this past fall, so the only ones available will be the seeds that sprout this year, and there may be some 2-yr old seedlings as well.
Wild Ozark is a certified American ginseng nursery, the first and/or only one in Arkansas.
TAKING ORDERS NOW, for potted seedlings-pickup or meet in Kingston only.
Bare-root seedlings will be available to order in July, to be shipped as soon as the weather cools off. This is usually in late September-early October. If you order bare-root in July, I’ll keep you updated on when shipping can begin so you can let me know when you’d like yours mailed, in case you’re unavailable when shipping begins.
We start our seeds in the woods without tilling or bed preparations other than raking back the leaves. We don’t add fertilizers, or water, or give them any special treatment.
About a week after unfurling, we begin transplanting the ones I’ll sell as seedlings into pots and bring them to market. They can stay in the pots until fall if you put them in the shade in the woods, about halfway buried with the soil surface covered with leaves. Bare root plants can be kept in the vegetable drawer until you’re ready to plant. I’d suggest planting them as soon as you can so they overwinter in the location you intend to grow them.
About American Ginseng
Panax quinquefolius, or American ginseng, is a medicinal herb native to eastern United States. It has a very narrow range of habitat requirements. Deep shade, deciduous tree cover, and cool moist soil with lots of humus marks an ideal location. The photo below shows what a mature plant with fruit looks like.
First year roots are small, usually around an inch long and second year aren’t much larger.
The younger your bare-root plants are when transplanted, the more likely your mature root will have the “wild” look. Wild roots are thinner with more wrinkles than cultivated, though they often have a roundish section near the top. The roots here in the Ozarks grow in ground with lots of rocks and tree roots, so the ginseng roots can be less uniform in shape and size because of that.
Here at Wild Ozark, we don’t water, fertilize, spray pesticides, fungicides, or weed or cultivate around our plants. They grow exactly in the same conditions as wild. All we did was drop the seed or plant the rootlet. Sometimes this means the plant won’t survive if conditions at any given time become harsh due to drought or excessive rain.
How do first year bare-root ginseng seedlings look?
Before the tops die back, they look a lot like wild strawberry plants, with only one prong and only three leaves:
The seedling roots you get in an order of first year bare-root plants will be considered two-year old plants the following spring after planting. The same goes for potted plants, too, of course.
When they come up they’ll either have one prong with four or five leaves, or two prongs each with four or five leaves. They’ll look like or similar to the ones below:
Before I ship the bare-root seedlings, the yellowing tops will be trimmed off and only the roots will be packed. Here’s how the roots look when packaged to ship:
Where does it grow?
It grows in eastern United States, mostly in hilly or mountainous areas, in mixed hardwood forest where the soil is loamy and the shade is dense. North facing slopes usually have the best conditions, but I’ve found it growing wild on all slopes. Southern facing is the most unusual, but it can happen in certain circumstances.
What kind of environment?
Ours grows under a hickory, oak, beech, maple, redbud mix. It doesn’t grow where only the oak and hickory grow. The leaf mat under only those trees is too dense for the buds to push through in spring. Look for these habitat companions to indicate great habitat for your first year ginseng seedlings:
- christmas fern
- maidenhair fern
- blue cohosh
- black cohosh
- pawpaw trees
There’s a lot of fungal mycelia present in the areas where the ginseng grows. In some areas there is white mycelia, but in the spot where I went today only the orange was there. Tilling the soil destroys these microorganisms.
The air is cooler in the moist woods where this plant grows, because of the shade and ground moisture. It also likes a nice thick layer of leaf cover on the ground – as long as the leaves are not hickory, oak, or conifers alone.
You can read more about ginseng at my blog: https://www.wildozark.com/american-ginseng/.