Kratom leaf drop, how normal?

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Re: Kratom leaf drop, how normal? -

Postby zakmalados » Tue Dec 22, 2009 7:44 pm

organics wrote: I can't think of a good reason that a leaf that hits the ground for a minute dries infinitely darker than a leaf right beside it on the tree that is plucked and dried without ever hitting the ground... odd thing for sure. I just know it's not normal, so I don't risk it... )


Unfortunately, I'm one of those guys who does not grow this plant... because of my latitude. But I can see why a leaf that falls off the tree in the fall would dry darker than one that is plucked in full growth... The tree sucks out as much of the nutrients as it can, from the leaf, before it lets it fall. I don't know if the leaves turn yellow or some other colour before they fall off, or whether they just drop them green... which some tropical species of mine have done, when exposed to our fall in Canada (my area, anyway, where day lengths in winter can be as little as seven and half hours, and in summer as much as 19 hours).

The natural range for Kratom... is that pretty much equatorial? I'm not looking at a map, but I know Southern Asia is pretty close to the equator... Do they drop their leaves, in their natural range?

But either way, if it's dropping leaves, unless they froze, the plant would have stripped what it could. The chemistry would change. To unknown effect. Not something I'd rush into (especially without a history of indigenous use of dropped leaves, which of course there wouldn't be any, if in it's natural habitat, it doesn't drop leaves).

Not the latest from google, anyway... but still without any real experience with raising Kratom. It just makes sense to me. I know my Voacanga freaks me out every year; I swear I'm going to lose it... then it regrows, vigorously. Which it starts in the fall, rather than spring, so go figure that.

Could that be any part of the leaf-dropping thing?

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Re: Kratom leaf drop, how normal? -

Postby GK77 » Wed Dec 23, 2009 4:50 pm

Im not sure about wether it drops in its natural habitat or not during winter, but would love to know. The leaves dont get discolored at all, interestingly enough, before they fall (unless already unhealthy). They are a nice green, then drop and stay green for a few hours from possible chlorophyl reaction still taking place, but eventually turn brown. If one grabs them soon after they drop, however, and reduces the amount of light that they absorb, they dry almost as green as they did when they fall.
And the leaves that drop are definiatly active, so they dont suck out TOO much of the good stuff. Anyways, clone it dead and tree is holding on to the remaining leavs through temps in the high 30s-low 40s at night.
Hope she makes it this winter; a guy i trade with about an hour north of me (daytona area) cant grow kratom in the ground, but he is above (in) the freeze line, so who knows.

-G7
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Re: Kratom leaf drop, how normal? -

Postby GK77 » Wed Jan 06, 2010 1:38 pm

Man, she looks pretty sad.
What are the chances you folks give her of making it...?
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Re: Kratom leaf drop, how normal? -

Postby TheNomad » Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:49 pm

Talking with those experienced with the mature tropical trees, even they have seasonal leaf loss.

I'm sure there's a few folks here with experience (You know who I mean) =)
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Re: Kratom leaf drop, how normal? -

Postby GK77 » Wed Jan 06, 2010 4:18 pm

That I do. Leaf drop was one thing though bro, this whole limp dying look aint cool!
Live and learn. Then die. Know what I mean "M"?

Oooh, that reminds me.....

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Re: Kratom leaf drop, how normal? -

Postby organics » Wed Jan 06, 2010 6:48 pm

I'll be honest man, it doesn't look good. That's precisely what one looked like that stayed out until 40F or so when it was just a few nodes tall. It totally wilted then stiffened and the stems died and went hollow/dry. I still put its corpse inside for the rest of the winter and it did not regenerate next spring. The optimistic thing is that yours is more established than my example. I have definitely come to believe that trunk thickness has everything to do with survival in cold temps. There might be some green still inside that trunk's core...and that's hope.

If your new growth tips are browned and dead, that's a whole lot worse than simple seasonal leaf drop. Kratom definitely does shedding spurts (and seems to be most aromatic then), but not a 100% shed...they retain the newest growth and the branches do not die. I do see your tips sagging in the pic.

More hope, though...I've seen some Bumblebee clones that do complete wilt (new growth stems, too--the green ones) in low 40sF weather. When given a warm shower (literally) and placed in a humid, hot room, it perked up... Just tossing that thought out there

Maybe try to give it some covering if possible and when you hit the hottest part of the day, give it warm water. Mature trees can perk up when watered with hot water, even while wilted in 40F weather.

Citrus farmers are keeping a sprinkler/stream of warm well water on their tree trunks to keep them alive in FL right now due to the cold...

Good luck!
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Re: Kratom leaf drop, how normal? -

Postby VarjaPirate » Wed Jan 06, 2010 11:12 pm

I'd water it with a stiff dose of hygrozyme (will eat up the dead roots, of which there are certainly many/most), expose it to warm temps and bright light, keeping the soil moist. If it doesn't set out new growth in a few weeks it's a goner.
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Re: Kratom leaf drop, how normal? -

Postby organics » Wed Jan 06, 2010 11:30 pm

Just some other thoughts...

Rifat trees have been known to entirely stop growing when kept in a minimum light setting...then regenerate and continue growth when the days lengthen (more northern than FL climate growing).

I think about 5 months of shortened day length and dormancy(?) is about the maximum a mature tree could handle, and that would be pushing it...This is why you'd have to supplement with a lot of lights if you lived up north...and it's probably not cost effective if you're trying to sustain yourself with the cheap plain leaf prices...

They shed all leaves except the newest growth during this time (usually 2 sets of leaves per branch). It's amazing how there actually is life in those sleeping stems...just takes a longer day with the best light source possible (the sun!) to wake them up.

VarjaPirate, do you have any ideas on keeping an outdoor plant warm?
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Re: Kratom leaf drop, how normal?

Postby GK77 » Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:48 am

Re-reading this made me miss that plant all over again.
I'm going hunting for a new clone. I'm a tad better at growing trees, now.
;)

Cheers to any and all who read this!
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