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December 30, 2020 3 min read

If you are cultivating ginseng, then you may wonder – do deer eat ginseng? There is nothing more awful than deer damaging our hard work. Therefore, it’s good to learn about their eating habits to figure out the best ways to protect your gardens.

Ginseng is a woodland herb, grown for its amazing medicinal properties. Many people believe that the herb is a panacea for many ills and can boost vitality and longevity. Wild ginseng root is particularly coveted, making it a big-time operation for many farmers. Therefore, ginseng is one of the most profitable plants you can cultivate. If you plan on doing so, then understanding the different pests you might face is ideal. A great question to ask is this – Do deer eat ginseng?

Deer eat ginseng to death

Unfortunately, deer are crazy about all things ginseng. In truth, several experts raised the alarm in 2005 about the dangers of wild ginseng becoming extinct due to the brutal way deer feed on them. The deer population across the US are taking a toll on forest vegetation and, by extensions, our farmlands. The most common being the white-tailed deer. To enjoy high ginseng yields, you must seek measures to protect your investments in deer.

Ways to protect ginseng from deer


Fencing is one of the best ways to keep deer out of your fields. You can choose between an electric, wire, and wooden fence. Electric fencing is an excellent choice because it does not detract from the natural esthetics of your fields. However, you may consider your electricity needs before making this choice. Whichever your choice, ensure you erect a fence of at least 8 to 10 feet tall. The fence should also reach the ground to prevent deer and other pests from sneaking under.


You can also consider using chicken wire, bird betting, or other sorts of covers to protect your ginseng plants from deer. Deer netting especially does an excellent job of making sure, deer cannot get to your ginseng plants, making them efficient. Nonetheless, you must make sure you fasten the net properly to the ground to prevent them from tearing it away.


Odor and taste repellents can help keep deer away. However, you should consider if the repellents can cause compost and leaf mold leading to more issues. Your ginseng plants need plenty of air circulation, so liquid repellents might not be the ideal choice. There are off-course other repellents to try, such as human hair and bar soap shavings. Do note that repellents can only work for some time. Deer can readily become used to them. To prolong their efficiency, you should consider alternating between repellents.

Other pests to look out for

Besides deer, other pests you should prepare against including wild turkeys, songbirds, ruffled grouse, mice, chipmunks, and red and gray squirrels. There is also the issue of thievery to prepare against. Because ginseng is highly profitable, you must be vigilant against poachers.

Concluding Thoughts

Do deer eat ginseng? Yes, they do and will most likely cause irreversible damage to acres of ginseng roots. If you are cultivating farmed ginseng, consider erecting a fence around your roots. Netting for individual ginseng plants is preferable when cultivating “wild-simulated” ginseng since fencing the forest is not feasible.

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