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Goldenseal Growing Instructions

Goldenseal is a native perennial and occurs over the same range and under the same wooded conditions as ginseng. The cultural requirements for Goldenseal are the same as for ginseng and it is often grown under the same wooded conditions or shade structure. (Please see Ginseng Growing Instructions for more information on growing conditions.)

Goldenseal plants emerge in early spring from buds on perennial rootstocks.  Goldenseal is propagated by seed, rhizome divisions, or rootlet cuttings. Similar to ginseng, goldenseal seed requires stratification before it will germinate. However, goldenseal seeds will germinate the following spring after harvest unlike ginseng which takes about 18 months to germinate.

Golenseal rootlets or seed should be planted in a similar fashion to the way ginseng is planted.  When planting small amounts the leaves can be raked back and the soil worked slightly. The seeds can be planted about 1/4"-1/2" deep and the rootlets can be covered with about 3/4"-1" of soil.  A mulch can then be placed back over the planted area. One thing that we have noticed when growing goldenseal is that goldenseal has a toughter time coming through the mulch than ginseng does.  This has led us to loosen the mulch or remove some of the mulch in spring prior to the plants sprouting to help the plants emerge easier.  Roolets can be planted in 8" rows spaced 8" apart.  Seed can be planted in 3" rows spaced 3" apart.

When planting larger areas of goldenseal the soil can be tilled and formed into beds similar to ginseng. A straw or sawdust mulch can also be used.  It will usually require about 3-5 years for goldenseal to mature.

The tops of goldenseal can also be harvested and dried for sale.  They  should be harvested and dried in the fall when they are still green.  The goldenseal roots can be harvested after the plants go dormant in the fall.