Growing a kratom plant at home is not an impossible task, but it does require effort. Especially because it requires conditions that may not be natural where you live. This may lead you to taking the wrong decisions and needing to part with your kratom tree.
Luckily, kratom plants are quick to let you know when they are not happy by dropping leaves. As long as the stems are green and healthy, there is enough time to make the necessary changes.
Let’s review the most common kratom plant growing mistakes and what you should do instead to ensure that your kratom tree is healthy and happy.
Growing Kratom at Home: Common Mistakes and What to Do Instead
1. Choosing the Wrong Soil
To grow kratom trees, you need a pot and soil. Yet, if you visit your local garden center or even look for soil online, you may be surprised at the variety available.
You’ll find soil for seeding, potting, transplanting, containers, as well as for various types of plants. Moreover, you’ll come across soil and soilless blends, soil products with fertilizer and without it.
But which one of these would be best to grow kratom?
Most likely, none of those. Most commercially bought soil is not optimal for kratom. It encourages mold and fungus growth that can be detrimental for tender kratom plants.
Best Soil for Growing Kratom Seeds and Seedlings
If you have gotten a hold of kratom seeds, your best bet may be high-quality soilless blends. Those usually consist of peat moss, vermiculite, and perlite, and are usually the best for starting seeds and seedlings.
Store-bought soilless mixes are pasteurized or heated at very high temperatures and do not contain any organic matter or pathogens that may be harmful or even kill your tender kratom seedlings. Soilless mixes are also relatively light. So, they are much easier for seedlings to get started in.
However, if you have bought kratom cuttings, then you should plant them into soil.
Best Soil for Growing Kratom Cuttings
In tropical jungles of its origin, kratom grows in humus-rich and fertile soil that has a pH level that ranges between 5.5 to 6.5. This means that the soil is slightly acidic. That’s not all you need, though. The soil also needs to have the consistency that enables it to drain easily yet retain some moisture at the same time.
So, regular seeding or potting soil may not be the best option for growing kratom trees. If you can find it, go for ProMix potting soil, one of the most favored soils of organic gardeners.
Promix soil contains ingredients such as peat moss, peat humus, perlite, limestone, organic fertilizer, as well as Mycorrhizae fungus. The peat in the soil provides some bulk volume that allows the soil to hold on to moisture and nutrients. The Mycorrhizae fungi create a symbiotic relationship with the roots by colonizing them. This, in turn, increases water and nutrient absorption and boosts plant growth.
2. Not Watering Enough
Kratom plants naturally grow in tropical rainforests. So, they require plenty of moisture to thrive, and you need to recreate the tropical environment to ensure that your kratom plants are happy and healthy.
Therefore, you should water your kratom plants more frequently than you would any other plants that you have.
In addition to watering, kratom plants also require air humidity. So, you may want to invest in a humidifier. That, however, can be expensive to run and maintain. If that’s your case, you can also regularly spray your kratom plants with water.
3. Watering Too Much
While a lot of water for your kratom plants is good, too much water is not. It can cause your plant to drop leaves or its roots to start rotting. So, you can monitor the surface of the soil. When it starts drying out, it’s time for another watering. Alternatively, you can stick your finger into the soil about 2 inches deep. The soil should be moist.
If your kratom plant is in a smaller pot, you may need to water it less frequently. A smaller pot has less room for roots to spread, and it can retain moisture longer.
Moreover, pay attention to the weather. If it’s rainy and humid, don’t let your kratom drench. So, you may want to water your kratom less frequently and empty the water tray. Too much humidity can result in your kratom losing some leaves.
4. Not Giving Kratom Enough Light
Not enough light can be worse for kratom than too much light. After all, it’s a tropical plant. So, consider buying some high-quality LED lights or full-spectrum halogen bulbs.
Electric Sky LED Grow Lights are some of the most economical lighting systems for plants like kratom. They can outperform even cheaper LED lights in terms of energy costs. They are also relatively lightweight.
If you do not mind having higher electricity costs, you can leave the lights on 24/7. Contrary to popular belief, red vein kratom isn’t just a type of strain. Leaves that receive the most exposure to light, even if it’s artificial, produce darker leaves with red veins. So, the same tree can produce more red vein kratom during hotter and sunnier months and more white vein and green vein kratom during the colder months of the year.
5. Growing Kratom in a Wrong Size Pot
Your kratom plant is just like Goldilocks. A pot should neither be too big nor too small. It needs to be just right. If you grow a kratom cutting, then you should transport it to a gallon pot a few days after you have purchased it. Then, the next time you change the pot should be when you start seeing kratom plant roots growing out of the opening at the bottom of the pot.
Growing a kratom plant in a pot that’s too big can result in moisture retention. This could lead to the development of mold or fungus.
A pot that’s too small may prevent a kratom plant from growing further and cause it to drop leaves. This can happen if the plant does not receive enough water and nutrients from the soil.
6. Not Feeding Regularly
Kratom plants are very heavy feeders. Therefore, the soil in which you’re growing kratom plants needs to be continuously rich in nitrogen and other minerals. You can sprinkle about a teaspoon of organic plant fertilizer for an 8-inch pot every one to two weeks. You can reduce that in the winter unless your kratom plant keeps growing quickly and steadily. Liquid plant food can work too.
In addition to that, you can also mix rock dust, kelp meal, and green sand into the soil mix. Rock dust can help kratom plants resist pests and diseases; kelp meal releases additional nitrogen and other minerals as it breaks down, whereas green sand contains a variety of trace minerals which can keep kratom plants healthy.
Are you growing a kratom plant? Have you ever been guilty of these mistakes or perhaps others that we have not mentioned? How did you cope with them?