Kratom is a tree which is native to Southeast Asia (Malaysia, Borneo, Thailand, Indonesia, etc).The botanical name to this tree is Mitragyna speciosa. It falls under the same family as coffee tree (Rubiaceae).Mostly it is grown in the southern and central regions of Thailand, and rarely in the north. The Mitragyna genus, which forms part of family Rubiaceae, can be found around tropical and sub-tropical areas of Africa and Asia. The Asian Mitragynas are mostly found in rainforests, whereas species found in Africa are often found in swamps. Most of the species are arborescent, reaching heights of about 100feet (30 meters).The name genus comes from Korthals because stigmas in the first species which he examined were similar to the shape of a bishop’s mitre.This genus has globular flowering head which bears up to 120 florets each.
Mitragyna speciosa grows to heights of over 50 feet which is closely equivalent to 15 meters with a spread of over 15 feet (5 meters). It has a branching and erect stem, yellow flowers. Evergreen leaves, which are dark glossy green, opposite in growth pattern and ovate-acuminate.Kratom is evergreen since the leaves are constantly replaced when they are shed, however there are some quassi-seasonal shedding of leaf due to varying environmental conditions. Dry seasons lead to abundant leaf fall and new growth is more during wet seasons. Those that grow outside their natural tropical habitat experience leaf falls during cold temperatures, around 4 degrees Celsius.
Kratom is grown from fresh seeds but its germination rates are very low, which is around 20-30% that why many prefer to just buy kratom strains such as Maeng Da kratom . Once the Kratom seeds have germinated, they are able to grow to an average height of between 14 feet and 19 feet.
Growing Kratom – Mitragyna Speciosa
Kratom grows well in a protected position. The soil need to be wet and humurus-rich and very fertile since it is a heavy feeder. If grown outside its native habitat, it is sensitive to frost. It is also drought sensitive.Kratom seeds and cuttings are hard to find, it is however worth noting that Kratom cuttings are somewhat difficult to grow. The plant is however very hardy once it has established itself. Getting cuttings to root is very difficult and because of this many are experimenting with cloning. The cuttings are attacked by fungus or never put out roots. To deal with this there are some suggestions which include:
-Putting it in water with bubbles of air so as to increase levels of oxygen;
-adding fungicide in the water to ward of growth of fungus;
-changing water daily to reduce chances of fungus.
It is reported that M.speciosa leaves are potent mostly in late autumn, just before falling of the leaves. The plants growth in cold climates is reported to be very weak. Their growth in warm or subtropical temperatures are weak in late spring and winter, but high in late autumn, summer and in early winter. Most plants that are grown in hothouse are also observed to display weak growth. In addition, potted Kratom plants should be lightly fertilized after some weeks. This can only be done when the plant is actively growing.