Recently Mitragyna speciosa Kratom has been successfully cultivated outside of its traditional / indigenous growing area, from seeds then, more frequently, from cuttings.
Growing Mitragyna speciosa Kratom from seed is very difficult, and it is much more recommended to start cultivation from plants or cutting, which can be bought from online merchants.
Furthermore, though this has not been looked into, growers from traditional Kratom growing areas (such as Thailand) often state that seed grown Mitragyna speciosa Kratom plants are not really reliable, with roughly half of the Kratom plants grown from seed of a good Mitragyna speciosa tree turning out to be worthless for the use of its leaves as a psychoactive.
Some plant clones are quite widespread and famous, such as the Robert Rifat clone, one of the most widely available Kratom plant clone outside of Asia. It was originally grown from seed collected from a research institution in Thailand by the Swiss scientist Claude Rifat, and has been used in several research studies (it is presumably the Chulalongkorn University tree used in the Japanese Chiba University research). Other famous Kratom clones are the KRW1, which was used in biochemical analysis work by Daniel Siebert and the Bumblebee Clone, which is thought to be of Vietnamese origin.
Mitragyna speciosa Kratom was also successfully cloned from tissue culture, grown in this manner it was then planted in February 2002 by Christian Rätsch and Claudia Müller-Ebeling (Wandjina Gardens, Australia.)
When growing Mitragyna speciosa Kratom for using its leaves as a psychoactive, it is quite clear that stress factors such as heat, humidity and exposure to the wind are also crucial in the production of Kratom’s alkaloids, which is why cultivation of Kratom in greenhouse environments is often not very successful.
Mitragyna speciosa Kratom plants grown in cold climates are also often quite weak, with limited alkaloid production, whereas plants grown in subtropical /warm climates are weak in late winter and spring, but turn potent in late summer, autumn and early winter. Mitragyna speciosa Kratom is sensitive to frost, and leaf shedding occurs when temperatures get colder, under 4° Celsius.
Whether such observations indicate a consistent relationship between temperature and alkaloid production or not has not been thoroughly or scientifically researched. Yet most empirical studies point in this direction, stressing a strong potential link between temperature, environmental stress factors and the Kratom plant’s alkaloid production.
Mitragyna speciosa Kratom can be grown in pots as house plants (but can become quite large, it is a tree in its natural environment), under fluorescent or H.I.D. lights, or outdoors under temperate climates, with rich soil and frost-less conditions and a rather high humidity level.
When Kratom growing from cuttings, the two primary difficulties are that the Mitragyna speciosa Kratom plants are either prone to fungus which attack xylem tissue or simply never put out roots.
Suggestions for dealing with these problems include: putting the cutting in water with an air bubbler to increase oxygen levels; using a small amount of fungicide in the water to ward of fungus growth; changing the water every day to reduce chances of fungus. One grower has found success using rockwool
to hold the Mitragyna speciosa cutting in moisture while still allowing air flow, changing the water every day to cut down on fungus growth, and adding nutrients (as roots start to grow).
Mitragyna speciosa prefers humus rich, wet soils: being a heavy feeder, it requires very rich fertile soil which should be lightly fertilized every few weeks indoor.
Mitragyna speciosa can also be grown hydroponically, with a bubbler or drip-based system since it thrives in wet soil, but will need a lot of aeration, and using 24/7 light is fine. HID lamps (HPS or MH) or fluorescents would work but should be kept away from the leaves, as Mitragyna speciosa Kratom is primarily a rainforest tree, and prefers high humidity and when young, a little shade.
It will take a year or two to get to the right size of leaves in a thriving Kratom plant, but alkaloid production is as previously mentioned still very much linked to environmental stress factors, notably exposition to the wind (a fanning system might be worth looking into)