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Author Topic: Advice needed on harvesting Kratom leaves please!  (Read 4124 times)

bluekangaroo

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Advice needed on harvesting Kratom leaves please!
« on: August 18, 2018, 11:23:30 pm »

Hello everyone,

I am growing an Indo Kratom tree, and it's doing quite well, however I don't know when I am supposed to take the leaves off in order to turn them into tea. Am I supposed to wait for them to fall off? Should I take leaves from specific spots on the tree? Will it harm the tree if I take too many?

Also, is there a kind of "curing" procedure that I should use once I do harvest the leaves that would make for better tea?

I would appreciate any help/advice on this, thank you!!
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MeanGreen

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Re: Advice needed on harvesting Kratom leaves please!
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2018, 11:36:18 pm »

Usually you want to harvest leaves at the end of the season before bringing your plants inside (unless you live somewhere it can grow outside all year round). It will 90% of the time go deciduous when brought inside anyway. Only harvest the fully developed leaves and leave the new growth alone. Kratom also sometimes drop a few leaves during the growing season, when a leaf is ready to go by itself it will detach from the slightest touch.

However you can definitely harvest a few leaves here and there when you need them. I highly recommend plucking a leaf, folding it in the middle to easily remove the main stem, and chewing the leaf. Keep it in your mouth for at least 30 minutes. It is better bang for your buck than tea or dried leaf imo, I have quite a big kratom habit and one large fresh leaf is definitely noticeable whereas dried it would probably be 0.3-0.4g which is less than a tenth of the dose I take 5+ times a day.

No curing needed for dried leaf, just air drying works fine. Some Indonesian suppliers do heap-ferment kratom to create the variety known as "Bentuangie" though, definitely an interesting variation both in taste and effects.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2018, 11:39:47 pm by MeanGreen »
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bluekangaroo

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Re: Advice needed on harvesting Kratom leaves please!
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2018, 10:44:19 pm »

Thank you SO much MeanGreen!!! I am so excited to try this out! :D
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JMZ

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Re: Advice needed on harvesting Kratom leaves please!
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2018, 05:53:16 pm »

That is an excellent question, I’ve wondered that myself. I believe that it’s probably best to harvest a little bit here and there during the growing season. Last Fall I picked off nearly all of the leaves just before I brought them in for the winter. I also severely pruned several of them just so they would fit through the door. I lost several large kratom plants during the winter, and that’s never happened before. The surviving plants didn’t thrive last summer like they usually do. However, I also opened the air vents in the room that I overwinter my plants, so it was a little warmer and drier. I typically do neglect my plants in the winter, but I never lose very many, and certainly no large plants. Also, I just had way too any plants in that room, I couldn’t even walk around in there. I have since thinned out my plants by nearly 50%. So it’s hard for me to say if it was the neglect or the extreme harvest/pruning that was so detrimental to my plants. Either way, I do not recommend doing a massive end of the year harvest, even though most of your leaves will probably dry up and fall off during the winter. Maybe taking 50% is OK, but don’t pick them nearly clean like I did. BTW, it was the good old Bumble Bee variety (and one Green Malay) that survived. Even though they are all (except GM) very similar, Bumble Bee is the best for us in the Northern Hemisphere. It grows the fastest, is easiest to root cuttings, and tolerates adverse conditions the best. Keep an eye out for spider mites this winter, I get them every winter like clockwork. I’m going to overwinter mine in the garage this year where it’s colder. I’ve done it successfully with a large Bumblebee before, it went dormant quickly and completely, it never got spider mites, and it bounced back next Spring.
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Shamichael

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Re: Advice needed on harvesting Kratom leaves please!
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2018, 12:47:46 am »

That is an excellent question, I’ve wondered that myself. I believe that it’s probably best to harvest a little bit here and there during the growing season. Last Fall I picked off nearly all of the leaves just before I brought them in for the winter. I also severely pruned several of them just so they would fit through the door. I lost several large kratom plants during the winter, and that’s never happened before. The surviving plants didn’t thrive last summer like they usually do. However, I also opened the air vents in the room that I overwinter my plants, so it was a little warmer and drier. I typically do neglect my plants in the winter, but I never lose very many, and certainly no large plants. Also, I just had way too any plants in that room, I couldn’t even walk around in there. I have since thinned out my plants by nearly 50%. So it’s hard for me to say if it was the neglect or the extreme harvest/pruning that was so detrimental to my plants. Either way, I do not recommend doing a massive end of the year harvest, even though most of your leaves will probably dry up and fall off during the winter. Maybe taking 50% is OK, but don’t pick them nearly clean like I did. BTW, it was the good old Bumble Bee variety (and one Green Malay) that survived. Even though they are all (except GM) very similar, Bumble Bee is the best for us in the Northern Hemisphere. It grows the fastest, is easiest to root cuttings, and tolerates adverse conditions the best. Keep an eye out for spider mites this winter, I get them every winter like clockwork. I’m going to overwinter mine in the garage this year where it’s colder. I’ve done it successfully with a large Bumblebee before, it went dormant quickly and completely, it never got spider mites, and it bounced back next Spring.


How do you treat for spider mites?
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MadPlanter

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Re: Advice needed on harvesting Kratom leaves please!
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2018, 01:29:29 pm »

A good old Dr. Bronners castille soap spray will work for the mites most of the time. However if you've got to get crazy on them Spinosad and azamax are good go to lessly toxic alternatives that certainly work very well.
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Shamichael

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Re: Advice needed on harvesting Kratom leaves please!
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2018, 03:49:03 pm »

I used neem oil effectively last year, but this year I have so many more plants and I always get mites so I'm a bit worried about them.
Thanks.
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Bach

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Re: Advice needed on harvesting Kratom leaves please!
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2018, 03:23:40 am »

I seem to recall reading somewhere that the oldest leaves have the best alkaloid profile, so end of the season sounds like a winner.

I've been known to top my Rifat to fit it in the garage for the winter. It goes dormant and has come back reliably so far. Last year it was 17 feet tall before I topped it.  :o I usually try to keep a couple leaves on it so I can gauge how it's feeling, but keeping the soil on the dry side when it is cool seems to suit it well enough.
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bluekangaroo

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Re: Advice needed on harvesting Kratom leaves please!
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2018, 10:39:30 pm »

"A good old Dr. Bronners castille soap spray will work for the mites most of the time. However if you've got to get crazy on them Spinosad and azamax are good go to lessly toxic alternatives that certainly work very well."


So do you spray straight Dr. Bronner's soap onto the leaves of your plants to get rid of spider mites, or do you use a water-soap mixture that you find works best? Do you only spray this on your plants if the spider mites are actually present, or do you do this regularly to prevent them from becoming a problem? Also, would using Dr. Bronner's present a health hazard of some kind? Should the leaves just be washed first after harvesting them? Thanks!! :)
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nobody

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Re: Advice needed on harvesting Kratom leaves please!
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2018, 01:10:12 pm »

A week or so before picking leaves it is a good idea to stress them. For large plants using a strong fan for a few days (or a couple days of high winds), for smaller plants or those that are delicate, stress them like Phalaris by cutting the ends of the leaves. Locals in kratoms home area widely regard the trees growing near beaches as the strongest since they are subjected to the constant winds from the sea.


nobody  :)
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MeanGreen

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Re: Advice needed on harvesting Kratom leaves please!
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2018, 08:12:15 pm »

Very nice info I'm gonna try this out, thanks nobody!
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JMZ

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Re: Advice needed on harvesting Kratom leaves please!
« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2018, 11:28:00 pm »

Someone asked about treating the  spider  mites I get every winter. I’ll spray with neem or a soap solution but it was impossible to get 100% coverage. The mites go away once they go outside anyway. This year my Kratom have looked terrible and have had ants! They will spend the winter in my garage this year. I hope the cold temps keep the bug population down. I have far fewer Kratom trees now, and that number will probably go down again. I’m finding that growing large tropical rainforest trees in north Georgia isn’t such a practical hobby. My space and efforts can be better spent on other plants.
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Mangrove

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Re: Advice needed on harvesting Kratom leaves please!
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2021, 05:41:56 am »

A good old Dr. Bronners castille soap spray will work for the mites most of the time. However if you've got to get crazy on them Spinosad and azamax are good go to lessly toxic alternatives that certainly work very well.

How would one go about making a soap spray from dr. Bonner's? Which variety, dilution factor etc. Do you recommend? What are your thoughts on using neem oil with the soap?
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MadPlanter

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Re: Advice needed on harvesting Kratom leaves please!
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2021, 01:24:10 pm »

Any Dr. Bronner's soap will work but most people using it on peppers and such I've met are using peppermint scent due to peppermint being discouraging to bugs as is. As long as you don't over mix the soap it won't hurt your plants and also apply when the plants won't be in full sun at least a few hours. I randomly mix by eye but a teaspoon or two in a quart or 2 tbsp in a gallon sprayer or whatever will do. It's a contact kill so try and cover every nook and cranny you can on the plants. Neem is really good too. For small things like spidermites the mechanical action of the oil gumming them up will kill shortly after application. However for bigger insects like stink bugs etc it will not kill them right away. Neem acts by disrupting the neurotransmitters of the insect and causes them to quit eating and breeding until they die of starvation. It will collapse full blown infestations if used properly. Must be applied 3-5 times minimally once a week or so to cause the desired population collapse of your pests. I've used it many times and it does work. But a one time application will only effectively infect only those that got direct contact or fed off a plant that was treated within a few days of application. Any bugs that didn't get exposed in that application will replace those that were effected quickly as if nothing happened. Good thing about neem is the mechanical action of the oil itself as a direct kill for small pests but also will take out bigger pests effectively if applied correctly. It doesn't have to be a contact kill at all though. If applied topically feeding insects will get exposed biting on a sprayed plant for a few days but if used as a drench for the soil the plants will literally uptake the active constituents too and have effect without topical application at all. It also seems to effectively ward off fungal diseases too and boost the immunity of the plants in general.
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Psylocke

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Re: Advice needed on harvesting Kratom leaves please!
« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2021, 03:21:01 pm »

I’m with MeanGreen. Chewing fresh leaf gives more bang for the buck compared to tea or dried and powdered. It also makes harvest easier since you can just pick a few leaves off the tree and don’t have to fry and store. If you still have a surplus on the tree at the end of season, pick off the older leaves and air dry them for tea.
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