Just looking for a rough estimate as to how many berries a +5 year old or mature ginseng plant may produce? In reading past threads it seems like a berry pod is +20?? any estimates would be greatly appreciated.
I would estimate half that from what I see on wild plants, as an average. Especially if I were wanting this data for future harvest potential. A lot of times a healthy looking plant's blooms seem to not get pollinated.
I seem to remember finding 6 or 7 berries on many wild plants this year. One place averaged 11 or 13.
Very few plants had 17 or more berries. I found maybe three plants that produced 21 berries. These were all giant-sized ginseng plants. I think that only plants growing in perfect conditions have the capability to become giant- size ginseng. Other plants growing 5 feet away might stay regular-sized for their entire lifetime.
Anyway I would say 6 to 11 berries for an average adult plant. Only 6 if there is a drought.
In the average woods around my house... a wild ginseng plant usually changes from a 2 prong to a small 3 prong in the 5-7 year range. And they usually start producing berries in that 5-7 year range too, but just a few. Sometimes only 2-3 berries which increases slowly over the years until once in the 10+ range and they migh be putting on 8-12 berries then. I have seen them 35-40 years old in this average woods, and still producing a max of 8-12 berries.
Now that is in the average woods around my house (good timber, probably a little too much shade for ideal growth of seng)...
But now when you get down the main hollow to the creek, and go around a bluff that faces the east... there is some huge ginseng that grows there. It is getting ideal light conditions (lots of morning sun) but no hot evening sun, and is growing in mineral rich (limestone rock chip filled) soil.
Below is a pic from a nice wad of berries I got off of a 4 prong on that bluff area... which looked to be in the 7-8 year old range.
Location / growing conditions - definitely make a big difference in berry production as well as how large and health the plant is.