The kratom plant has the scientific name of Mitragyna Speciosa. This plant, native to South Asia and Thailand, can grow into tree size in its native habitat but rarely reaches above shrub height in non-tropical regions. The kratom plant can grow from seeds but only in moist soils with warm or tropical climates.
The kratom leaves are oval, and a dark, glossy green. The kratom plant blooms with spiny, yellow blossoms that look similar to spiky dandelion blooms. Kratom trees are evergreen and never have a dormant period. They shed continuously; leaves fall most often during the dry period in the tropics.
In the book "Malay Plant Names," published in 1897, author Henry Nicholas Ridley stated the kratom plant could be used as a drug to wean opium addicts. The book "Planta Medica," written by P. Tantivatana and others and published in 1967 stated the people of Thailand used kratom as a stimulant. Since then, consuming the plant has become illegal in Thailand.
If conditions are right, the plant is not difficult to grow. The kratom plant will grow poorly away from tropical regions, even in a greenhouse. The plant requires humus-rich soil that is very moist--almost swamp-like. The plant quickly consumes most of the nutrients from surrounding soil, and the nutrients must be replaced to keep the plant healthy. A regular 10-10-10 fertiliser applied once a month should provide enough nutrients to the plant. Seeds must be fresh or else they will not grow.
Consuming the leaves of the kratom plant can produce symptoms such as a high-like feeling, which can lead to dangerous situations or even death. Kratom should be grown for gardening purposes only.
While the kratom plant can be grown from seeds, they are very difficult to sprout. Some online retailers will sell the seeds for the plant Mitragyna parvifoli instead of the real kratom plant seeds. Many seeds must be planted at once, and few germinate. It might be a better idea to purchase a sprouted kratom plant rather than seeds.