Ginseng seed stratification

What we have here is the location where I buried last year’s ginseng seeds,
put them in stratification. There’s a small screen wire container bag and they’ve been in this location between the two little yellow
flag markers since about this time last year. So what
we’re going to do is dig them up wash them and clean them. Then we’re going to use the same bag to prepare this year’s seeds mixed with sand to be stratified for next year’s seed crop. So, I’ll proceed to dig these up and we can see what they look like. You notice they’re just, oh maybe three inches from the surface… the top end of the bag… maybe three inches below the surface of the ground. That way
they can get the rain moisture. In other words they’re not buried all that deep. The purpose of the stratification primarily is to protect the seeds, because they have to go through
two winters before they will germinate. Most seed, if you plant them, they will
germinate when the weather permits the following
growing season. Ginseng requires two growing seasons to pass before the seed will fully mature and germinate. So in order to protect the seed and give it maximum protection, it’s common practice to stratify the seed that way you have all your seeds
together and they’re protected, whereas without stratification if you plant so-called green seed which is ginseng seed that has not
been stratified, if you plant green seed then that seed is at the mercy of nature for two
years and a lot of the seeds theoretically anyhow won’t survive. If they’re stratified, then there is a better chance, a greater chance of the seed surviving and germinating. There’s a lot of roots in it. I don’t know if they’re ginseng early seeds that have germinated. No, that’s weed seed…the weed roots. It’s just a bag of sand with the seed in it. There’s an awful
lot of floaters there. As a matter of fact, I think most of them are floaters. The good seed, the viable seed
has what they call a corneal in it and it’s moist – what they call a moist seed and the moisture in the seed itself won’t allow it to float. It will sink to the bottom. There’s not many seeds left. See, it’s okay to let these seeds
air-dry on the surface but don’t let it go beyond that. The seed inside is still moist and viable but if they stay out in the air, sunshine, they will die. They’ve been fermenting for a few days.
What I’m going to do is clean them and prepare them for stratification. These are the seeds and the residue
from the berries. You see there’s an awful lot of junk pouring out of there and if you continue to pour water off of them, you eventually end up with
reasonably clean seeds. Until they get fully ripe then there’s a very high percentage of seeds that are not viable. They won’t germinate. In other words if
they’re not, if they haven’t turned red, then the seed won’t germinate. There’s a mixture of sand and seeds that goes into the bag and the sand is fine enough that it goes through the screen. If you just put sand in it, it will run out. So in order to hold, to contain the sand until I can get it buried in the ground I
simply put a piece a newspaper in it and that contains the sand until I can get it buried. Once it’s buried,
then the screen is in contact with the soil and the sand will no longer spill out. The idea of the screen is so the seeds won’t stand waterlogged. Now I’ll just put a layer berries and a layer of sand. The sand holds just enough moisture
to keep the seeds moist without waterlogging them because the water will drain right through that sand and soak into the soil. I don’t know that the cover is necessary but I’ve got one here so I’ll just put it in. Well, that’s it. Ready to bury it. And you can mark your location and forget about it until next year.


  1. What type of ginseng are shown? I have Peruvian Ginseng seeds, do they need Stratification as well?

  2. Old man send me some stratified seeds for free.. Khalid Habib, Shafat House, Natipora, Srinagar, Kashmir India .. pin 190015

  3. After you separate the floating seeds with the sinking seeds. You let sinking seed dry, on the surface, do you have to plant them right away? How much time do you think you have till you go bad?

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