American ginseng seed is important as the primary source of propagation. Little is known about ginseng seed stratification and germination. The green seeds are harvested in August/September and stratified in boxes outdoors for 12 to 14 months. Then the after-ripened seeds are field-seeded; they germinate in the spring. Ginseng seeds undergo long dormancy periods caused by embryo dormancy and impermeable seedcoats. The objectives of this research are to shorten the dormancy period, increase the percent germination, and study the changes that occur during stratification using growth regulator and temperature treatments. Seeds stored at 15C from harvest to January and treated with 1000 ppm gibberellic acid (GA3) resulted in the most embryo growth, highest percent germination, and best growth after one growing season compared to 20C and no GA3. Tissue culturing immature zygotic embryos showed a requirement for GA3 (3–5 μM). Radicle growth may need an attached suspensor for development.