Hello everyone, I own some land in Virginia and I haven't spent a lot of time looking for ginseng but I have done a little scouting...did not find any but I do have black cohosh and snakeroot. Also, I have a big sinkhole with some Christmas fern. My question is can ginseng go dormant and not come up in a severe drought??? This area has suffered the worst drought in recorded history. Next question, the land I own was logged off some 25 odd years ago, in the early 90's. Since that took away a lot of the shade will this cause a ginseng kill off???? Am I wasting my time looking or can there still be some there???? If it did kill any that was there can it be naturally reintroduced??? What are the chances of that happening??? Even if I find it I doubt seriously that I will dig it up. I will probably mark the spot and take pictures of it, but that is about all for now. Thanks in advance for any info.
Edit: I forgot to ask one more...is there an ideal elevation for ginseng??? This land is like 2200 ft up.
My question is can ginseng go dormant and not come up in a severe drought???
Yes. I think ginseng definitely does at times stay dormant. Another likely possibility is that drought, disease, insects, or deer have eaten the tops earlier in the summer so you just arn't seeing anything this late in the year.
Next question, the land I own was logged off some 25 odd years ago, in the early 90's. Since that took away a lot of the shade will this cause a ginseng kill off????
Again, I think ginseng can lay dormant at times. If the sun is too bright, it might come up and the tops die back leaving the roots ...which normally try again the following year.
If it did kill any that was there can it be naturally reintroduced???
If you have suitable conditions, you should be able to get ginseng to grow there. Be sure to check your state laws though.
is there an ideal elevation for ginseng??? This land is like 2200 ft up.
I'm in Ohio...its pretty flat here for the most part. Some of the other guys can likely answer this one for you.
Logging has never killed off all the ginseng so no need for worrying about having to seed it back. In fact around 15 to 20 year old clear cuts have ideal conditions for ginseng to grow wonderfully. It'll be there if it's the right kind of place. Like others have said look earlier next year before the deer work em over
Okay, I'll sure have a good look early in the year...I never knew deer ate ginseng. How about bear??? I seem to have more of them. There is a lot of pretty good size poplar trees and quite a few wild cherry.
It might help us to evaluate your potential growing area if you posted one or two photos of the land you are thinking about growing on. Not like roads or anything, just some general photos of the area.
Plenty of shade...in fact the woods are kinda dark in the summer most of the day. Some light does get thru but it is spotty. I just ask about the elevation because I was always told ginseng needed it to grow and that is why we don't have it in southern Maryland. Woods are dark and moist here too, paw paw trees everywhere but no ginseng.
Yep, I have managed to find pretty much all of the so called \"companion\" plants there...you know I got a couple books about ginseng with some real good pictures and I think I might have been looking for the wrong thing. The last time I saw real live ginseng was in Mt. Storm, West Virginia in the late 70's. I was a kid in high school and used to hunt W.Va. with one of my dads buddies. His cousin lived there and showed us some he had growing in the woods behind his house. Memories can play tricks on you, especially years later...for some reason it stuck in my mind that the leaves were darker green and shiny, like mountain laurel. None of the pictures I have are dark green or shiny. I will be up there again in October for archery bear and have a better look around. Might be done by then, so I'll have to wait until spring. Thanks again fellas for all the replies and info.
The ferns you have pictured will grow where ginseng grows... but they will also grow way outside of ginseng range too.
Planting where you find black cohosh would be a good choice.
If you can find the fern below (Maiden Hair Fern) growing on your place, that would be in my opinion the best place to put in a few test plots.
MHF requires almost identical conditions as seng... even requires higher levels of calcium in the soil to grow... and higher levels of calcium are a plus for seng.
Get you a pound of seed, or half or quarter... and put in a few small patches... and watch them as they develop for the next 3-4 years.. It takes about that much time to be able to tell if they are going to do well or not.
If you get to year 3 and you have some 3 prongers and nice 2 prongs... and then year 4 and 5 and some of those are producing berries and perhaps some turning into 4 prongs or nice sized 3 prongs... that is what you want to see.
When you get to that point.. you can sure step up the game and plant a lot more.
You will know which areas it grows better in and you can focus on those areas.