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How to Save a Dying Ginseng Plant

Updated: December 27, 2022

Ginseng is a popular medicinal herb that has been used for centuries for its therapeutic properties. The plant is native to China and Korea, but it is now grown in many other parts of the world, including the United States. If you are growing ginseng at home and notice it is not doing well, there are several steps you can take to save it.

Identify the Problem

The first step in saving a dying ginseng plant is to identify the problem. Some common issues that can cause a ginseng plant to wilt or die include:

  • Overwatering or underwatering
  • Poor soil quality
  • Lack of nutrients
  • Pest infestation
  • Disease

Once you have identified the problem, you can take steps to address it.

Adjust Watering

One of the most common problems with ginseng plants is overwatering. Ginseng plants need moist soil, but they do not like wet feet. If the soil is too wet, the roots can rot, and the plant will die.

To save a dying ginseng plant due to overwatering, stop watering it immediately. Allow the soil to dry out completely before watering again. When you water, make sure to only give the plant enough water to moisten the soil, not saturate it.

If your ginseng plant is underwatered, it will wilt and its leaves will turn yellow or brown. To save an underwatered ginseng plant, water it more frequently and make sure to water deeply so that the water reaches the roots.

Improve Soil Quality

Ginseng plants need well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. If your ginseng plant is growing in poor quality soil, it may not be able to absorb enough nutrients and water to thrive.

To improve soil quality, add organic matter such as compost or aged manure to the soil. This will help the soil retain moisture and nutrients, which will benefit the ginseng plant.


Ginseng plants require a lot of nutrients to grow properly. If your plant is not getting enough nutrients, it may be stunted or die.

To fertilize a ginseng plant, use a balanced fertilizer that contains equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Apply the fertilizer according to the instructions on the package.

Pest Control

Ginseng plants are susceptible to pest infestations, especially aphids and spider mites. These pests can suck the sap from the plant, causing it to wilt and die.

To control pests on a ginseng plant, use an insecticidal soap or neem oil spray. Make sure to follow the instructions on the package carefully.

Disease Control

Ginseng plants can also be affected by diseases such as root rot or fungal infections. These diseases can cause the plant to wilt or die.

To prevent disease in a ginseng plant, make sure to plant it in well-draining soil and avoid overwatering. If you suspect your plant has a disease, remove any infected leaves or stems immediately and treat the plant with a fungicide.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I water my ginseng plant?

Ginseng plants need moist soil, but they do not like wet feet. Water your plant when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch.

Can I grow ginseng indoors?

Yes, you can grow ginseng indoors as long as it has access to bright, indirect sunlight and is planted in well-draining soil.

How long does it take for a ginseng plant to mature?

Ginseng plants typically take 3-5 years to mature. During this time, they require careful attention to watering, fertilizing, and pest control.

Can I harvest ginseng from a dying plant?

No, it is not recommended to harvest ginseng from a dying plant. The roots may be weak or diseased, which can affect their medicinal properties.

Is ginseng safe to consume?

Yes, ginseng is generally considered safe when consumed in moderate amounts. However, it can interact with certain medications, so it is important to consult with a healthcare professional before using ginseng as a supplement.