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Kratom Plants & Seeds

By Richard Hoyt ; Updated September 21, 2017

Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is a tropical evergreen that grows up to 50 feet high with a spread of 15 feet. It is indigenous to the rainforests of Thailand, although species also grow in other parts of Southeast Asia and in Africa. Kratom contains alkaloids that have narcotic and other effects when the leaves are chewed.


The Kratom is a tropical evergreen, even though its dark, glossy green leaves shed and are replaced. The oval-shaped leaves grow during the rainy season and drop more frequently during drought. They also will fall if the temperature drops below 39 degrees F.

Growing conditions

Kratom likes wet, rich, fertile soil. It can’t tolerate drought and is sensitive to frost. In the United States, it can be grown in parts of Florida and Southern California.

The wind is said to trigger increased levels of psychoactive substances in Krakow trees. If you are growing them at home, use a fan to simulate the wind and keep a humidifier next to the plant.


Although it's easiest to grow Kratom from seedling you have purchased, they can be propagated from seeds. The seeds are tiny, black slivers and many are needed to ensure adequate germination. The seeds are grown in rich potting soils in warm conditions.

If you plant seedlings, you can harvest Kratom leaves in about a year. The leaves are most potent in late autumn just before they fall off.

You can propagate from cuttings, but they don’t root well and are subject to disease. If you want to grow a tree from a cutting, select a straight branch or your tree will be gnarled.

Another seed, Mitragyna parvifolia, has been sold on the Internet as the Kratom seed.


There are two types of Kratom, which can be distinguished by the color of the veins in their leaves. The variety with green veins is said to be stronger when chewed for euphoric or narcotic effect. Australian growers report that both red and white veins appear on the leaves at different times on different plants.


Chewing Kratom leaves can be habit forming. Chewing them is illegal in Thailand, Malaysia and Australia, but is legal in the United States and Europe. They should not be chewed on a daily basis, in combination with other drugs or by pregnant women.