How to Transplant and Acclimate Your Kratom Seedling
Updated: Oct 15, 2019
If you are set to receive one of our kratom seedlings, this is the single most important article you can read to prepare for her arrival. Even if you are an expert at caring for adult specimens, you should still read this article, because seedling-specific care techniques apply. If someone dropped an adult guest off at your house, the steps you would take to care for her would be different than if someone dropped a brand new baby off. Take time to learn the following steps, and your experience will be smooth and delightful.
To transplant your kratom seedling you will need:
1 gallon plastic pot with adequate drainage, ideally with a drip tray to collect water
Pro-Mix Premium Potting Mix, Fox Farm Happy Frog Soil, or Fox Farm Ocean Forest Soil (do not use Ocean Forest unless you are an experienced gardener, as the high content of organics encourage problems like mold, root rot, etc. when overwatered or improperly maintained. Things can go wrong quickly, and while an experienced gardener can catch on and adjust promptly, someone new to gardening may not, so it's better for the first-time grower to avoid these issues if possible. Happy Frog and Pro-Mix are forgiving, and make an excellent medium for cultivating this species.)
Mycorrhizae (included with your seedling)
Spray bottle set to fine mist
Water (ideal pH is 5.8)
Plastic wrap or one of those lightweight plastic bags from the produce section of the grocery store
How to prepare for transplant
When you receive your seedling she will be carefully wrapped in moisture barriers and sealed inside a humidity bag. Have your transplant tools immediately on hand when you are ready to open her.
Before removing her from the humidity bag, fill your 1 gallon pot three-quarters full with the soil of your choice (our agricultural clients most often opt for Happy Frog). Use room temperature water to completely saturate the soil, digging and mixing with your transplant spoon to ensure there are no dry areas. The water will compact the soil so the pot settles to be half-way filled with wet soil.
How to transplant your seedling
Using your transplant spoon, dig a hole 3-4 inches deep in the wet soil. Sprinkle the mycorrhizae contained in the small baggie inside the hole. This will create beneficial fungal growth within the soil that will nourish the root system once your transplant is complete.
Gently remove your seedling from the baggie and discard the moisture barriers around the leaves and the root ball. Immediately use your misting bottle to gently spray her leaves, stem and roots. If she is growing inside a hydroponics square, do not remove her roots from the square. There may also be some hydrogel on her roots. Allow that to remain in place. Lower the roots into the hole you made in the soil of the pot. Gently fill in any gaps to secure your seedling in her new home. Finally, cover the mouth of the pot with plastic wrap after once again generously misting your seedling with pH 5.8 water. If you cannot pH adjust your water, use distilled water.
How to acclimate your seedling
You will acclimate your seedling by putting her in a humid bathroom area with plenty of indirect light. After a few hours, try removing the plastic wrap. Immediately mist her gently and observe her. If her leaves begin to curl upward or droop down limply, this is what we call humidity curl or humidity droop. Mist her generously again and cover her back up with plastic wrap. If she is curling and does not flatten out after 30 minutes under the plastic, you can use your fingers to gently straighten her leaves and then put the plastic back --- but only after (yet again) misting her generously. The leaves must be adequately hydrated before you attempt to touch them. There is a protective waxy layer of cuticle on the leaves, and if you are not careful when touching, you can very easily damage this layer. Cuticle damage is not the end of the world, but it's avoidable. If you remove the plastic and she starts drooping, keep your hands off and put the plastic back on.
Repeat this process until you can leave the plastic wrap off your seedling without her curling or drooping. Some seedlings will acclimate after a few hours. For others it may take several days. Be patient with your seedling. And gentle. You are setting the energetic tone for your plant-human relationship.
NOTE: Once your seedling is acclimated, and thrives uncovered for five to seven days without curl or droop, you will want to raise up the soil level so she gets plenty of light from the side. That means scooping her up and lifting her root ball out of the soil, adding more soil, and planting her again up higher in the pot. When you do this, scoop around her roots and lift her up with plenty of soil around the root ball. That way she won't even know you moved her. You can also modify this protocol to fill the pot all the way with soil the first time, plant her, and then use wooden bbq skewers and a lightweight plastic bag (like the kind from the produce section at the grocery store) to make a tent over her. Be sure to mist the inside of the bag as well as the specimen before putting it on. With nutrient dense soil like Ocean Forest, you will need to burp the bag every day so no mold grows. Remember the goal is not to leave the specimen covered, but to get her tolerant to your atmosphere. Transition her out of the bag in a timely fashion.
What if she looks a little weird?
When you unwrap your seedling, she will likely have acquired an awkward shape from her package. Her leaves may be wrinkled or cocked at weird angles. Plants grow in the packaging -- some more than others -- and they can have bent tops at first from outgrowing the wraps during transit. These issues are entirely cosmetic and no cause for concern. Your seedling will grow out of any such awkwardness. If you follow this transplant and acclimation protocol, expect it to take about a week and a day for your specimen to be standing up straight and looking photo-ready. If you forget to do this transplant and acclimation protocol, it's going to take longer... but it'll be okay, as long as you take the right steps as soon as possible.
Sometimes mistakes are made. Maybe you didn't read this before your seedling came. Now she's limp or her leaves look like wet crumbled up toilet paper. You may have accidentally rubbed off some of her waxy cuticle layer during initial handling, and now parts of her leaves have lost their rigid integrity. It'll still be okay. Even legitimate physical leaf damage is something they will grow out of. Read the article linked below and be forgiving of yourself. Remember that when you buy a seedling from us, you are really buying the start of an incredible tree. It's okay if they look awkward at first. They can even sustain damage that makes them look ugly at first. They will outgrow all of that, and are forgiving of even the worst mistakes, so long as you correct them in a timely fashion.
We are always here to help, so don't be afraid to reach out ---- we want to guide you to victory. Have patience, follow the protocols, come to us to support and in a few months you'll be looking at a beautiful tree and feeling proud of yourself for nurturing her to success.
Now don't you dare skip this next link.... it's proof that you can turn even severe problems around by following our protocols...
More required reading: how to cure humidity curl/droop in mitragyna speciosa seedlings
It is helpful to give your seedling a mission to awaken her powers and set the stage for the potent magick she will develop. As you desire comfort from her, provide that same level of compassion as her caregiver. She will reflect your level of commitment.
Giving her a name will help you commune with her plant spirit. Sit alone with her and allow her to take you deep into the rainforest. If you seek to commune with her, she will be there. Her magick and her medicine are her birthright. You will have the great honor of nurturing her as she develops her powers. For this, your reward will be great.
More required reading
If you are purchasing a seedling, here is more required reading. It is very important that you are fully prepared to properly care for your new little green being. So study up next on how to cure humidity curl in mitragyna speciosa seedlings. This information matters!
If you want to get in on the ground floor of an emerging revolution and become a part of the new wave of American kratom growers, contact us now for top tier kratom genetics and learn everything you can about growing and cultivating your own kratom.
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