Growing Kratom.Madi Furlong
The plant Mitragyna Speciosa, more commonly referred to as Kratom, is a cousin to the plant Coffea Arabica, or more commonly referred to as coffee. Kratom is native to Southeast Asia and thrives in Thailand, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and surrounding countries in the Pacific Rim.
Kratom needs heat, humidity, and the right soil pH to thrive. As such, Kratom trees thrive in their home regions where it’s hot and humid, and the soil is perfect. “Perfect” for Kratom means a pH range between 5.5 and 6.5, high humus levels, and exceptional fertility. Kratom’s strict growing requirements also demand that the consistency of the soil must be porous enough to drain but sturdy enough to retain moisture. Consistently wet soil wet is not recommended because it increases the chance of insects and fungi.
In the U.S, it is nearly impossible to find the right conditions to plant Kratom outdoors. To grow this botanical stateside, an indoor growing light, proper humidity, and a temperature-controlled environment are recommended. For reference, the average humidity in Medan, the capital city found on the western island of Sumatra in Indonesia, is between 72 and 74 percent. Humidity is one of the factors that change the alkaloid content of the Kratom leaves. If the humidity isn’t right, the whole chemical makeup of the plant can be disturbed.