Growing kratom outside of its native Southeast Asia habitat presents many unique challenges that might be overwhelming for the average home gardener. The plant, also known as Mitragyna Speciosa, thrives in the balmy climates and nitrogen-rich soils of regions like Borneo, Vietnam, and Thailand. But what about growing the tree for personal use in less topical climates? Kratom enthusiasts might find the idea appealing, but in the end, cost and inconvenience might make this project more trouble than it’s worth. Here are some of the methods people use when trying to grow Kratom from seeds at home.
Growing Kratom From Seeds
In the wild rainforests of Sumatra, cultivating kratom may be as easy as scattering some seeds on the ground and letting nature take care of the rest. In the rest of the world, growing from seed is exceedingly difficult. The first obstacle you’ll face is freshness. The seeds of the kratom tree are most viable within a couple of days of leaving the parent tree. For this reason, many growers report that sacks of dried seeds ordered online often do not even get to the sprout stage, much less become full-grown plants with alkaloids rich leaves. Still, it’s not impossible. Here’s what you’ll need to try:
- Seeds from the kratom strain of your choice. The fresher the better. The key is to overdo it – you may have to plant hundreds of seeds for every one that sprouts, so get a lot.
- A well-fertilized, moist growing area. Choose a spot that has good drainage but is not too dry. Fungus can result if the land is flooded, so a good balance must be struck.
- Ample sunlight, ample shade. Kratom needs a warm, tropical climate to thrive, yet too much direct sun can be overly drying. Imagine a rainforest canopy – now try to recreate that type of light at home.
- Wind. A soft warm breeze is known to stimulate alkaloid production in kratom leaves. If this doesn’t occur naturally where you grow, add gentle wind with a large fan.
- Nutrition. Fertilizer and plant food are a must during the early stages of your tree’s life.
- Time. This is the hard part for most people. If your seed sprouts, it will be at least a full year before any viable leaves are produced for harvesting.
What about hydroponics? Kratom can be grown indoors with the use of a lighting kit and irrigation system. The only problem with this method, besides expense, is the eventual size of mature kratom trees, which often grow to fifty feet or taller. This makes a long term indoor grow situation unfeasible.
Most kratom growers find more success by skipping the seeds and growing from clippings from live plants. You are far more likely to end up with usable kratom leaves, sooner, by starting with a tree that has already made it through the treacherous early phases. In fact, kratom plants have been famously and successfully cloned over the years, and are even known by name. The Robert Rifat clone from Thailand is the source of much of the modern research we have concerning kratom’s properties. You can purchase descendants of this plant and other similar clones online already rooted. However, this method also has some pitfalls. If you’re not careful, plants grown from cuttings are easily subject to infection.
Legality of Growing Kratom
Everywhere that it is legal to consume and purchase Kratom herbs, you may also grow the source plants without breaking any laws. As of this writing, kratom is fully legal in most parts of the world, excluding the countries of Australia, Burma, Malaysia, and Thailand. In the U.S., you can grow kratom trees in all states except Indiana.
Cost – It Might Be More Cost Effective To Let Someone Else Do The Work
Any amateur grower will tell you that mounting a home cultivation project is a pricey hobby, and harvesting kratom is no exception. In addition to the original seedlings and plants, you’ll have to pay for fertilizer, plant food, and possibly lights and fans. Building out an outdoor or indoor grow space can get very expensive depending on how elaborate it is. And, the time you’ll have to spend tending the plants over the first year is considerable. All of this will produce a yield of just a handful of doses after a year.
The best reason for growing kratom is for the fun and the challenge of it. If you are interested in horticulture as a hobby and find this tree fascinating, then go for it. Otherwise, it is far more cost effective to buy the well-grown kratom powder of your choice, among a selection of the best products the world has to offer. Why limit yourself to a single strain, and tie yourself to the large amounts of time and money it will take to prepare even a single dose via growing? Modern kratom vendors like Arena Ethnobotanicals can ship to you same day – this option just might be a lot easier, and a lot more fun.