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
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.