My Trees of Life makes no claims about kratom diagnosing, treating, preventing or curing disease. Our plants are sold for aesthetic and research purposes only.
Everybody should have a kratom tree. Some say that it will take several years before your tree is mature but that doesn’t take into account the fact that the age of your cutting will be the same as its parent plant. The parent plant is also the same age as its parent, all the way up to the original seedling. So if you purchase a Rifat clone (clone is just another term for a cutting! People sometimes confuse cloning with tissue culture, which is another more sophisticated method of cloning, but the term clone is used for any asexual propagation of vegetative plants.), it is the same age as the first seedling that was originally planted many years ago.
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When it arrives take it out carefully and if you live in an arid environment then transition it to the change. Its been wrapped for a couple days and it’s coming out of a 100% humidity environment, so taking it out into dry air can shock and dry the leaves out. The transition is easy; create a dome of some sort to maintain humidity, and take the dome off a little bit more each day for a few days till it’s completely off. Or just leave the originally bag that’s packaged on the plant, or some other large plastic ziplock bag, and poke a couple holes it. Each day poke another hole, until a week later it’s completely opened and exposed to its new environment. Now transplant your plant into its new home, that being a pot/bag of soil. Use a high-quality soil with a high content of perlite/pumice for drainage is preferable, although it would probably grow in a variety of soils as long as fed and watered properly. Keep the soil wet, but not saturated. The trees can sometimes be found in swampy areas so keep this in mind, just don’t go too far if trying to replicate that. The soil you purchased should have instructions on it for when the nutrients in it will run out (typically 2 to 4 weeks) and at this point you will have to fertilize. Use all natural fertilizers. They are relatively cheap, you can probably buy yourself an all purpose bag of organic nutrients for ten bucks, and I personally think they turn out healthier plants than synthetics. Make sure the fertilizers you choose are either all-purpose or specifically for vegetative growth. Feed according to the manufacturers instructions for trees, but at first always err on the side of caution and start with quarter strength or less.
My favorite all natural vegetative fertilizers are derived from fish; fish emulsion, which is great as a liquid, and fish meal if using as a top-dress.
If growing outside it’s best to put it in a greenhouse to keep the humidity up and to generally provide protection from the elements (although keeping the humidity high is not a requirement, the higher the happier). If you live in an area that has cold winters you will want to have that greenhouse (as too much cold is dangerous for your kratom trees.) Although if kept around 50 degrees F, it will just go dormant. It may drop its leaves, then come back to life in the spring. Just be sure to protect it from the cold wind. As for heat, they love warm temps, and don’t seem to mind at all even when it’s over 100F. Otherwise if growing indoors and if one so desires, they can create a tropical environment 365 days a year, much like the Mitragyna speciosa trees get in their native lands.
If growing it indoors then investing in a humidifier would be a great idea especially if living in a dry area. Remember kratom’s naturally habitat is that of a tropical rainforest. You will have to put your new transplant wherever it will get a good amount of light, so supply your plant with a good source of artificial lighting. High Intensity Discharge bulbs, specifically high pressure sodium and metal halides, are the bulbs of choice for growing many indoor crops, and kratom growers should take notice. Metal halides will be the superior choice, as they have a higher amount of blue in their color spectrum, which is preferred by plants that are in vegetative growth. Because of their ability to spread the light’s intensity several feet, HID’s are great for tall plants, unlike flourescents, whose lumens dissipate very quickly within inches away from the bulbs. ‘Compact flourescents’ may work well for the first few months with seedlings and cuttings, but after that even these dissipate too much the farther away one gets from the bulb. One issue with HID’s is the light can be too intense, so make sure it’s kept very high up away from the canopy. A 400 watt metal halide at least 4 feet away from the canopy is probably ideal. See how they respond to the distance of light and adjust accordingly. Look out for red and brown spots, a sign the light may be too intense. The distance your canopy is from the bulb will become an issue when the plant becomes a tall tree, so prune it or tie it down to promote bushy, short growth. It’s probably best to have several, shorter bushes instead of one tall tree. This will make the most efficient use of the artificial light. Putting it by a window that gets lots of sunlight is also a great option for indoor growth. Another thing to consider when growing indoors is ventilation. If just growing a few plants then simply letting fresh air in with a window and a fan to spread it will suffice. But if one has several large plants and they want them growing at their full potential, then fresh air will have be to brought in while stale air is exhausted out of the room. Along with ventilation one also has to control the temperature. If living in the colder parts of the world, heating is easily done with space heaters. These steps in creating a tropical habitat indoors is especially for those that live in areas unsuitable for outside or even greenhouse growth.
One will have to take steps to keep bugs from eating your kratom leaves; preventing this will maintain the high health of your tree. There really is no reason to entertain synthetic pesticides as an option; the natural stuff works just as good without all of the health concerns for you and your plant. Horticultural oils can be anything from neem oil from the garden store, to food-grade vegetable oils found in your kitchen. Neem oil works best. It not only deters bugs from eating the leaves (bugs hate the taste of neem covered leaves and will refuse to eat!), but bugs that are exposed to it will not reach full maturity, putting a wedge in their reproductive life cycle. For this reason it is recommended that the gardener apply it multiple times (2 to 3 times per week for 2 weeks or so is a good rule of thumb) to account for bug eggs hatching after a spray. When bugs are not present, take preventative measures so you never do. This is done by giving the plants a good rinse with the neem solution every couple of weeks; as long as you keep strict with this, you should not have bugs. Using regular vegetable oils works, but I recommend getting creative by using things like sesame oil instead. Citrus and/or mint oils added to any oil solutions works great. Other alternatives are using all natural and horticultural soaps; these seem to be just as effective as horticultural oils. Hot pepper solutions are a great option if you have a serious bug problem and want to kill everything, followed by a regime of oils/soaps to make sure you never have the problem again! Simply buy some hot peppers and blend them with water to make your “pepper spray”. And bugs don’t just attack your leaves, they also can be found in the soil, especially soil that isn’t allowed to dry out all of the way, as is the case with kratom.
Always experiment with the way you grow your kratom trees. Growing Kratom outside of its natural habitat is new territory, and the next few years will offer test results from the many people out there growing kratom and reporting on what they’ve learned. The best ways to trigger flower, what the optimal hours of artificial light for vegetative growth is, and tricks on how to promote the different vein colors are just a few examples of things that need to be experimented with.
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Disclaimer: The FDA has not evaluated any statements made on this site. My Trees of Life makes no claims about kratom diagnosing, treating, preventing or curing disease. Our plants are sold for aesthetic and research purposes only, not for human consumption. Must be 18 or older to purchase.