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Kratom Seeds

Kratom Seeds

I’ve espoused the joys of growing kratom elsewhere on this blog, but getting a rooted kratom cutting can be difficult to nigh impossible these days. So I thought it would be helpful to do a follow-up post all about germinating and growing kratom seeds! It’s signifcantly easier to find kratom seeds online than the cuttings… however, growing kratom from seed follows a different set of rules than caring for already established cuttings. The success rate for germinating kratom seed can be iffy and require trial and error. The information below will tip the odds a little more in your favor when working with this picky but ultimately very rewarding plant.

First of all, know that you will probably need quite a few kratom seeds to get one or two to germinate successfully. On wild kratom trees, the tiny, sliver-like seeds grow in seed pods of about fifty seeds, which are clustered into podheads of about fifty pods. This should give you some idea of how many seeds the tree has to produce to ensure a few grow into new seedlings! Kratom nurseries spend thousands of dollars on specialized equipment like heat lamps, special fertilizers and humidifiers to grow kratom commercially, but you don’t need to break the bank to grow kratom from seed. A little research and know-how should carry you through, provided you’re willing to be patient and endure a few failures. I know I have!

If you’ve already successfully raised a kratom plant to maturity, sometimes you’ll be lucky enough to get it to flower and collect the seeds that result. However, most of you will have to look to online vendors to purchase kratom seeds. Be warned: some uncrupulous vendors have been known to sell fake kratom seeds, usually by passing off Mitragyna parvifolia seeds as Mitragyna speciosa seeds. While they looks similar, Mitragyna parvifolia is a different species with a different alkaloid profile. As with all things kratom, you can avoid getting ripped off by only buying from vendors with a verified track record. I’ve found I Am Shaman to be a reliable source for real kratom seeds.

However, even kratom seeds from good vendors may be hard to germinate. These seeds only remain viable for a short time, so you want to get them VERY FRESH to have any hope of germinating them. This can even be a problem if you’re traveling in a Southeast Asian region where kratom grows and plan on bringing back some seeds: your best chance of success is to have soil prepared to transplant the seeds into a couple days after collecting them. That’s how delicate kratom seeds can be. To give you a ballpark figure, about 20% of kratom seeds will germinate when fresh, and about 10% when not so fresh. For indoor cultivation, this means you should plant between 5-10 seeds per pot for one or two to germinate.

Germinating Kratom Seeds

Potting: Kratom seeds will respond best to standard potting soil that is not too sandy; you want the soil to retain mositure but drain well to provide aeration for the roots. Make sure to keep the soil consistently moist, as kratom prefers a swampy environment. Finally, you don’t want to bury kratom seeds: in nature, the super-light seeds are spread by the wind and come to rest on the forest floor, so use this as a guide and scatter your seeds on the surface of your soil, then add a light coating of soil on top.

Environment: A greenhouse environment with lots of heat, humidity and light is deal for getting kratom seeds to germinate. Kratom does best in a temperature range of between 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit (24-29 degrees Celsius) and high relative humidity of 60-70%. Don’t worry if you don’t have access to a greenhouse: you can buy a germination box or make one out of a styrofoam container with a clear plastic lid. A standard 100W lightbulb works well as both a light and heat source.

Some Germination Techniques

Beyond the basic guidelines, I thought I’d outline a few tried-and-true techniques used both in the kratom hobbyist community and by professional growers to get those picky seeds to germinate and help kratom seedlings thrive.

Community pots or beds: In this method, kratom seeds are sown in one communal pot or seedbed. The benefits of this technique include better air circulation and easier application of water and fertilizer to multiple seedlings at once. It’s also easier to remove individual seedlings. However, communal potting can also increase the chance of fungal growth or desiccation. This method can also be harder for the newbie kratom hobbyist to set up.

With communal beds, you can sometimes use bottom heating to improve germination rates: widely used by commercial growers, this involves placing a heating mat with thermostat under the communal pot or tray. You can get these mats at most pet stores or plant nurseries, they are fairly inexpensive to use, and often create a definite improvement in germination rates for heat-loving kratom varieties. However, be aware that bottom heating will increase the plants’ watering and misting requirements. Be sure as well not to place the mat too close to the seedlings to avoid overheating them.

Baggie: In this technique, kratom seeds are placed in a baggie with some damp sphagnum peat moss or another germination substrate and placed near a humidity source such as a water heater. It’s pretty easy to see the pros of this method—it’s easy to set up, mobile, inexpensive, and the most space efficient of the lot. However, it does require you to keep a close eye on your seedlings: it can be harder to observe the seedlings through the plastic bag and spot the beginnings of fungal growth or desiccation, and seedlings can sometimes get twisted as they grow. This method also requires the timely separation of multiple seedlings to prevent them from tangling together.

Outdoors: If you live in an area where it doesn’t get below 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 Celsius) at night, or you’re growing kratom seeds in the summer, you can plant them outdoors in a pot or garden bed. When growing kratom outside, make sure as always to keep the soil moist and avoid placing the seedlings in direct sunlight. If you’re using a pot, aim for a germination mixture that isn’t too dense and drains well, so that the roots are adequately aerated. I’ve found a handmade mixture of sphagnum peat moss and perlite in a 3:1 or 2:1 ratio works pretty well. If you do go with peat moss, don’t let it dry out as it can turn into a rock hard block!

Growing kratom seeds can be tough, but it can also be a lot of fun. All you need is a little patience, the right tools, and a can-do attitude to adapt to whatever methods work for you.

One Comment

  1. If anyone is looking for rooted cuttings shoot me an email itsphilnotbill@gmail.com

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