Potted Ginseng Plant Care: How To Grow Ginseng Indoors
Ficus Ginseng plants are sturdy taproots and require little care, which is highly regarded by many plant collectors because of their unique and notable characteristics.
This detailed care guide will discuss the important things to remember while caring for your Ginseng. If you want to know how you can get your hands on this distinct Ginseng, we have a few purchasing options below.
What Is Ginseng?
Ginseng is ideally placed indoors in partial to well-shaded areas. When grown outdoors, it is only recommended for hardiness zones 3-7 for higher survivability.
Also known as a man-root, this sturdy taproots plant is famous for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. It belongs to the Araliaceae family.
Origin And Family
This Ginseng plant was first identified 5000 years ago by Joseph-François Lafitau. Its native habitat is in North America, specifically southeastern Canada, and the central United States, but it is also found in Southeast Asia.
Man-root belongs to the Ginseng genus in the Araliaceae family. You’ll get to witness its small red flowers bloom late spring to early summer months.
Where To Buy
You can check with your local florist or nursery if you want to buy a Ginseng. However, there are usually better deals and wider selections at online sites like Etsy.
Regarding pricing, ficus ginseng trees or ginseng ficus bonsai trees could be fairly expensive.
Ginseng Plant Size
At its maturity, the Ginseng grows about 12 to 24 inches tall and 8–12 inches wide indoors. Considering this plant’s growth potential, a lot of light needs, and humidity requirements, you can place it in direct sunlight or even in partial to well-shaded areas.
Ginseng Care Needs
Though Ginseng is not a difficult plant to care for, growing it to its maximum growth requires certain conditions. Ginseng, with its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, loves well-shade and needs good soil to thrive.
Water your Ginseng when the surface of the soil is really dry. To properly hydrate the soil, ensure it has good drainage at the bottom of the pot. Do not be afraid to completely drench the soil during watering schedules. As for the light requirements, this lovely plant will do best in partial to full shade.
Learn about your plant’s detailed and in-depth care needs below!
While all plants need some level of care, the man-root is considered by most indoor gardeners to be moderately easy to care for. With the right combination of factors, such as well-draining soil, you can keep this plant in its best health.
As a houseplant, the man-root grows to a mature height of 12 to 24 inches. Typically, you will notice faster and bushier growth from June to July.
The majority of Ginseng species grow at a very slow rate.
Doing an interview out in the woods where we dig wild and wild-simulated ginseng. Hand dug some of the plants I took pictures of earlier. Those are my dad holding the roots as he’s getting to old to dig. #freetradenotaid pic.twitter.com/mvOPvvAQHW— Will Hsu 許恩偉 (PanaxQ) (@wphsu) September 13, 2022
You can go for a small to a medium-sized ceramic pot for potting requirements. An important requirement is that the pot should contain at least one drainage hole. Leaving your man-root in wet soil for extended periods could kill your plant.
Move your Ginseng into a bigger pot with more space for its roots to spread. You will know that it’s time to repot when you notice its root system coming out.
Typically, you’d want to repot this sturdy taproots plant 1-2 times. It is ideal to replace old nutrient-deficient soil with a fresh batch of rich, well-draining soil with a pH between 6.0 and 6.5 when filling up the new pot.
For the man-root, a rich, well-draining soil with a pH between 6.0 and 6.5 is a suitable choice. Remember that this plant prefers a bonsai growing medium.
Make sure the soil you choose provides adequate drainage and aeration so the roots can breathe.
The following potting materials are recommended:
You’ll want your soil to be between 5.5-6.5 (or slightly acidic) in terms of pH. There’s not much reason to be concerned about using rich, well-draining soil with a pH between 6.0 and 6.5. This medium’s pH level is usually within the ideal range.
If you are concerned that your man-root’s pH is excessively high, you can lower it with additives containing sulfur or aluminum sulfate.
If the pH is too low, you can raise it using calcitic lime, dolomitic lime, wood ash, or baking soda.
Try measuring the soil pH to see if you need to adjust your growing medium.
Proper watering is a vital factor for houseplants. Too much and you could invite diseases like fungal disease or fungal problems and root rot. On the contrary, inadequate watering might cause browning and undernourished leaves. As a general rule, ficus ginseng bonsai should be watered with at least a cup of water.
To check for moisture, one way is to simply stick your finger in the pot, and when the soil’s surface is really dry, you’ll know it’s time to give your plant a drink.
Aerated soil and drainage holes are must-haves for the man-root. Rule of thumb: Your plant should not be sitting in water for an extended period of time.
Ginseng wants to be in partial to full shade for 4-6 hours daily. Keep in mind that man-root is from North America, specifically southeastern Canada, and the central United States, and you will try to replicate its growing conditions in its natural habitat. In most cases, placing this plant partially in well-shaded areas works fine.
When there is photoinhibition of photosynthesis, photobleaching, and leaf death, you’ll know your Ginseng needs less light.
Plants, like people, need more food when they are actively growing because they are using up a lot of their energy. For the man-root, this growth spurt usually happens from June to July. During this time, you can apply a liquid fertilizer every two weeks.
In the winter, you fertilize it every four weeks because plants’ roots usually go dormant in the cold. This means they won’t be needing extra food for growth.
Reproducing your Ginseng can be done with the right propagation method, and the best time to do it is during its active growing period. Below are some options to consider, along with detailed instructions to help you out.
Photos of our native woodland shrub, Spikenard. A member of the Ginseng family of plants, it has small white flower clusters in June and July that are now reddish-purple berries. #NorfolkNature #nativeplants pic.twitter.com/PB5GLQrmIf— 1AcreOfNorfolkNature – John Sinclair (@AcreNature) September 14, 2022
Stem Cuttings In Soil
One basic method to grow a man-root is by directly planting stem cuttings into the soil. If you don’t have this plant yet, you can purchase a cutting from Etsy or your local Facebook Marketplace.
It is ideal to propagate during early spring so it will be easy for your plant to recover from transplant shock.
1. Cut. With clean shears, cut off a healthy section of the plant. A cutting should ideally be at least three inches tall and include a few leaves and nodes.
2. Plant. Fill a container or pot with damp potting soil, and bury the stem’s nodes. To keep the plant in place, push the dirt around the stem or use wooden skewers. Excessive movement might impede root development.
3. Maintain. Place your container near a window that receives both direct and indirect light. Keep the soil wet at all times.
4. Wait. New roots should emerge in around 2-3 weeks. A growing sprout is the clearest sign that your cutting has established roots effectively!
Stem Cuttings In Water
Here are the steps to successfully develop man-root cuttings in water:
1. Cut. Using a sharp knife, cut the stem right below a node. Remove flower stems and lower leaves so that your cutting may spend its resources on root growth.
2. Submerge. Fill an old glass bottle halfway with water and place the cutting inside. Any section of the stem under the water’s surface should not have leaves.
3. Maintain. Your new plant will thrive in a well-lit window with adequate airflow. Keep a humidifier around to keep the leaves looking fresh.
4. Refill. Check the water every 3-5 days to assess whether it needs to be supplied with a fresh batch.
5. Transplant. Your cutting is fit to be potted in soil when the roots are around an inch long or longer.
Division is a propagation method typically used for plants with pups shooting out from the roots.
You can divide the stem clusters of your man-root by following these steps:
1. Dig up. Take the plant out of its container. You should be able to see where the plant’s natural divisions are.
2. Separate. With your fingers, gently separate the sections apart. You may need to use shears to cut any entangled roots.
3. Repot. Plant each section in new pots filled with the same soil that they’re used to.
Humidity And Aeration
If your Ginseng has curling or crispy leaves that have brown edges, you may want to get a humidifier. This equipment is meant to continuously emit steam and effectively increase the humidity in a room.
Your man-root will prosper in an average temperature area, so keep the temperature between 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Like most Ginseng plants, this sturdy taproots houseplant will appreciate consistent temperatures throughout the year. Avoid using hot or cold water when watering your plant. Keep it away from heat sources (such as furnaces and vents) and cold (such as open windows during the winter).
Although a rare occurrence in an indoor environment, you might be able to witness your man-root produce flowers that are red in color. Outdoors, this plant blooms from late spring to early or late summer.
The man-root is not toxic to children or pets, and there are also no ingredients in the plant that are harmful to humans. This plant will not harm dogs or cats if ingested, according to the ASPCA.
|Toxic To Pets?||Care Specifics|
|Common Name||man-root, [COMMONNAME3]|
|Origin||North America, specifically southeastern Canada and the central United States|
|Leaf Shape||palmately compound with 3–5 leaflets|
|Leaf Color||pale yellow in the fall|
|Recommended Home Placement||partial to well-shaded areas|
|Growth Rate||very slow|
|Light||partial to full shade|
|Soil||rich, well-draining soil with a pH between 6.0 and 6.5|
|When To Water||Water when the surface of the soil is really dry.|
|When To Fertilize||every two weeks during growing season|
|Toxic To Pets?||No|
|Common Pests & Diseases||brown tips, fungus gnuts, powder mildrew, scale insects, yellow leabes, root rot, aphids, mealy bugs, drooping leaves|
Pests, Diseases, And Other Problems
Is your Ginseng looking ill? Most would say that this plant has strong resistance to pests, diseases, and overall problems.
In the following sections, I’ve provided the common issues that affect this plant. Use these tips to help diagnose and treat your Ginseng.
Fungus gnats frequently attack man-root. These insects give birth to larvae which mostly feed on organic matter in the soil, but they will also eat the roots of your plant.
Hydrogen peroxide is a chemical solution that will not only eliminate fungus gnats but will also reoxygenate your plant’s roots. Apply a solution of four parts water and one part hydrogen peroxide to your soil.
Because fungus gnats love constantly damp conditions, keep your soil dry by lengthening the period in between watering schedules. These bugs could try to enter through the drainage holes of your pot, so cover those holes with synthetic fabric that will still allow water to pass through.
Powdery mildew is a fungal infection triggered by heat and poor air circulation. It is identified by a white web-like substance that will quickly cover your man-root’s waxy leaves.
Here is a simple basic recipe to treat powdery mildew: In 1 liter of water, mix 5 mL of neem oil and mild dish soap (make sure it’s non-bleach), then 3 grams of baking soda. Use this solution to thoroughly spray on your plant’s leaves and reapply as necessary.
After spraying, ensure that you keep your plant away from direct light and heat sources to avoid burning your foliage.
Adult scales are usually still and have a waxy covering on their bodies, yet they can give birth to incredibly little crawling bugs.
You can scrape off Armored scales, but it must be done gently using an old ID card or with your fingers, and take care not to rip the leaves of your Ginseng.
Use insecticidal soap, horticultural, or neem oil to suffocate scale insects. If you see active crawlers, spray your plant with a general pesticide. Repeat the application procedure after a week. We recommend the following items:
My best plant… Ginseng ficus. Now 2 years in my place.. pic.twitter.com/GbVs3zMDB1— Matthew Rapaport (@quineatal) September 11, 2022
Aphids are tiny bugs that will eat the leaves of your man-root, resulting in black and brown spots.
To treat an infestation, use insecticidal soap or neem oil. Weak concentrations of dish detergent can also kill aphids without harming your plant. Choose a product that is free of fragrances, such as Ivory Liquid for example.
Start by diluting 1 teaspoon of dish soap in 1 gallon of water, then increase the ratio as necessary. Spray this solution on your affected plant, especially on the underside of leaves where aphids can be usually found.
Mealybugs may infest your man-root. These little parasites damage your Ginseng by inserting a feeding tube into the plant tissues and sucking on the sap, and they can eventually weaken or even kill your plant.
To get rid of them, soak a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol, then use its tip to manually remove each mealybug. Neem oil can also be sprayed on the leaves to suffocate these bugs.
Brown Leaf Tips
Browning edges on the leaves of your man-root can be triggered by many factors. Possible causes are:
Lack of humidity.
Excessive exposure to bright light.
Mineral and salt build-up from chemically-treated tap water.
A wilting, droopy appearance on your Ginseng indicates distress. Possible reasons for drooping leaves are overwatering, underwatering, excessive light exposure, lack of light, and low humidity.
If you see yellowing leaves on your man-root, you might need to consider several factors to determine the culprit. Are you watering your plant too little or too much? Is your plant getting enough light? Did you fertilize your plant recently? Are there sudden changes in the weather?
Of course, bottom leaves that turn yellow can indicate that your plant is growing and the leaf’s energy has been spent. In this case, simply pluck off the yellowing leaves so the plant can focus on growing fresh green leaves.
Root rot is a particularly frequent cause of death for man-root. Indoor gardeners can be a little unreasonable with their watering, or they might fail to provide proper drainage for their plants. Prevention is the best course of action, given the difficulty of treating root rot.
Allow your roots to breathe by using a well-aerated soil mix. River sand, horticultural coal, perlite, orchid bark, pumice, lava pebbles, coco cubes, aqua soil, and other coarse and gritty materials will considerably increase your plant’s drainage.
Another important element to consider before watering your plant is the weather. If your plant is in an area with restricted access to full sunlight and adequate ventilation, moisture will evaporate more slowly. Before watering your plant, always check to see if the soil is dry about halfway down the container.
Love man-root? Here are some other different varieties of this ficus ginseng bonsai plant options you should try:
Mandrake – A perennial herb known as the mandrake has thick, frequently forked roots that resemble the legs of a person. It is a member of the Solanaceae family and the Mandragora genus, which has three species that are indigenous to both Central Asia and the Mediterranean region.
German Chamomile – Matricaria chamomilla is an annual plant in the broad family Asteraceae. It is sometimes referred to as chamomile, German Chamomile, Hungarian Chamomile, Wild Chamomile, Blue Chamomile, or Fragrant Mayweed.
Kava Kava – The Pacific Islands are home to the Kava or Kava Kava crop. Kava, which means “bitter” in Tongan and Marquesan, is also known by the names Awa, Ava, Yaqona or Yagona, Sakau, Seka, and Malok or Malogu.
If you’re trying to look for a houseplant with some wow factor, Ginseng is the perfect plant. It is an excellent choice for bonsai beginners and bonsai enthusiasts as it can tolerate even a basic bonsai soil mixture. If you are planning to grow a ginseng ficus bonsai plant in your garden, simply follow the advice we’ve provided above, and you’ll be well on your way to attaining your plant’s maximum growth potential!
Can’t get enough of Ginseng plant guides? Check out these other options from Two Peas In A Condo!
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