Buying pre-processed green Kali Maeng Da (read more) is easy but not the only way to get your hands on a batch. Have you considered buying kratom seeds and producing the substance at home?
Kratom is getting increasingly popular across the globe, and more people are looking to grow it themselves. Doing so saves money, ensures a steady supply, and guarantees uncontaminated products.
Although somewhat challenging to raise, this tree can thrive in Japan’s subtropical climate. So, if you’re up for the challenge, join us to learn about kratom cultivation.
Can You Grow Kratom in Japan?
Before exploring Mitragyna speciosa cultivation in detail, let’s cover a practical aspect. Is kratom legal in Japan?
Some countries and US states prohibit this herb, and Japan is one of them. In 2016, the government classified it as a controlled substance under the Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Act.
Under the new law, you can’t legally purchase, consume, or cultivate kratom in Japan.
The World Health Organization recently reviewed kratom and found no evidence of it being a threat. This official statement might affect the leader’s stance on the plant. Like weed laws in Japan, people may also use their voices to push for change.
Growing Kratom: The Basics
Where does kratom grow, and what does it need to succeed? Mitragyna speciosa plants may stretch as tall as 100 feet in height. They’re native to tropical regions in Southeast Asia and hard to raise in non-tropical climates.
Kratom is evergreen, meaning it grows throughout the year. You should take young plants indoors in the wintertime to protect them from the chill. Mature trees hibernate during the cold season and stretch in the summer.
The Ideal Climate
The key to successful kratom cultivation is matching its preferred climate as closely as possible. It enjoys heat and lots of rain. The ambient temperature should never drop beneath 20ºC, and the humidity should be in the 60–85% range.
The Japanese summertime brings high heat and a long rainy season, making it ideal for kratom. The winters are too cold and dry, though, so you’ll need a grow room or greenhouse while your plants are young.
Seeds or Cuttings?
You can start kratom from seeds or cuttings, but both are notoriously challenging to root. Here’s what you can expect:
- Kratom seeds must be sown within days after the harvest and have a low germination rate. Even when fresh, only one in five pops and develops into a new plant.
- Kratom cuttings are hard to propagate and sensitive to fungal disease. Keep them sealed in a high-humidity space with plenty of light till you see roots.
Prioritize getting fresh seeds or cuttings for the best results. Buy five for every tree you’d like to produce to account for the low success rate.
Kratom performs best in nutrient and mineral-rich jungle soil. It should have 5.5–6.5 pH, excellent water retention and drainage, and a wealth of organic nutrients.
You can prepare the ideal medium by adding volcanic rock dust and hummus into a loamy base. It should be on the sandy side, with little to no clay, as that material can bog down the roots.
Kratom prefers powerful light throughout the day. It can survive low-light environments but grows most explosively under intense sunlight.
If growing in a greenhouse, employ partial shade while the plants are young. You can later supplement the sun with strong LED lights to promote faster growth.
Water and Nutrients
Kratom is a heavy feeder that needs plenty of water and nutrients to thrive. It suffers when kept in droughts and depleted land.
Use pH-optimized water (5.5–6.5) to avoid nutrient issues. Supply moisture when the medium feels dry while the plants are young. If you’re growing directly in soil instead of pots, generous showers are the way to go. Kratom has an extensive root system, making it near-impossible to overwater.
Nitrogen is kratom’s primary nutrient, while phosphorus and potassium support health and development. It’s best to get tree fertilizer and supply it per the manufacturer’s instructions. You can also add organic materials, like bone meal, hummus, or compost. As with water, this hungry plant is hard to overfeed.
The Vegetative Cycle
Once the seed or cutting takes root, your kratom enters the vegetative cycle and produces leaves and branches.
The plants count as young for the first six months. They’re vulnerable during this time, making it vital to maintain ideal conditions. Consider getting a greenhouse if the weather is too cold, dry, or windy.
Once you’ve established the desirable environment, kratom grows relatively hands-off. It requires only regular feedings on your part.
The tree must be relatively large before it’s valuable to kratom consumers. Pulling leaves too soon harms it and can hinder future growth. You’re looking at 3–4 years of development before the first harvest.
Harvesting and Processing
Kratom growing has one aim: collecting those alkaloid-rich leaves at peak potency. Each leaf you pick should be large, oval, crisp, and healthy-looking.
To harvest, snap the stem from the branch with sharp scissors. Make clean cuts to avoid damaging the plant limbs.
When you pick fresh kratom leaves, they remain alive for several days, and chemical processes alter their alkaloid profiles. Notably, the stimulating mitragynine transforms into the sedating 7-hydroxymitragynine. When you dry the leaf, the process ceases.
Some people let leaf chemistry occur for a day or two to make the kratom soothing. To do so, clump the leaves in a burlap sack and leave it in a warm and dark environment. If you prefer energizing kratom, move straight to drying.
Since the leaves are big and full of water, indoor drying can take longer and requires costly devices. It’s generally better to do it outdoors in the sun. In Japan, drying is the most effective in January and February when humidity is low. Choose a sunny spot with excellent circulation to avoid mold and mildew.
Then store the leaves for tea or crush them to make powder and capsules. You can de-stem them or process the vein together with the blade. The former produces more sedating teas and powders, and the latter results in stimulating products.
Kratom Could Thrive in Japan
Looking at the worldwide perspective shift, it seems like the tide might turn for kratom in Japan. If it does, cultivation could be a profitable prospect.
Even with the favorable Japanese climate, it takes quite a green thumb to make Mitragyna speciosa thrive. The key to growing it is to recreate the high-humidity, high-heat environment of its native jungles. It needs minimal care once the primary conditions are met.
While waiting for a harvest, you can get kratom from specialized vendors. Stick to reliable retailers to keep your experience safe and enjoyable.