Kratom plants are native to the Southeast Asian region and are said to be related to the coffee tree. They prefer a warm and sunny environment with moist and fertile soil. When grown in a native environment, Kratom plants can grow up to 50 feet tall with wide leaves to go with it.
Growing kratom at home, especially if you live in the cooler parts of the US, is a difficult proposition. The plant is known for being extremely sensitive to the cold, and a single bout of frost could very well kill it. While some people have actually tried to cultivate the plant in the US, so many factors work against their favor from the start that the vast majority of cases see failure.
Kratom seeds are abundantly sold online. But what they don’t tell you is that it is extremely hard to grow Kratom trees from seeds. Do not attempt to plant more than a hundred seeds in several seed pods since not one of them showed even the tiniest form of tree life. Kratom seeds are quite tiny in size and do not stay viable for too long especially with not the right kind of soil.
The only way to grow Kratom trees is to buy cuttings. Use home-grown worm casting along with potting soil and perlite. When the original Kratom plant grows to 6 inches tall, you can get several cuttings from the original plant to reproduce.
Propagation of kratom seedlings is notoriously difficult, and even in the event that it does succeed, a host of other problems enter the scene after that because the young plants are known for being extremely weak. They are often preyed on by fungi and other pests, and though fungicides meant for horticulture may help, the odds of the plant surviving are by then already against you.
The next problem has to do with temperature control. Kratom is a typical tropical plant: it is water-hungry and sun-loving and it simply cannot tolerate the cold. Even older, hardier trees can die due to cold temperatures. This is why most of those trying to grow kratom in the US have in place complex measures for thermoregulation, from greenhouse growth to heating lamp usage. That said, even these are often not enough to ensure that the plant grows into a proper tree.
If you do manage to grow your young plant to adulthood or near it, though, you may want to take note of a few things that experts say kratom plants demand. First, fertilizers are important for keeping the plant healthy. Second, monitor it constantly to ensure that the plant is not being infested by some parasite yet. Third, if you are growing it in order to make use of its leaves, take note that you will need wind.
According to kratom growers in Asia, wind stress is apparently critical in helping the leaves form the compounds necessary for them to have an effect on users. While this has yet to be investigated more thoroughly, preliminary research and accounts do seem to bear out the assertion. As such, kratom grown safely inside a greenhouse but without the presence of wind to exert environmental stress on it may well be purely ornamental.