Young kava seedlings can be grown from root or stem cuttings.
Once your kava plant has sufficiently matured, you can also take stem cuttings to make new kava seedlings. These are areas along kava’s aboveground stem, usually near the nodes, where new leaves branch off on daughter stems called pikos. To make sure your plant is mature enough, wait until the stem is tough enough that you can’t easily penetrate its skin with a thumbnail. Use a clean blade to remove greenwood stem cuttings from the stalk, and pot up the cuttings in a loose mixture of organic compost and vermiculite or coconut coir. Place the cuttings in a greenhouse ( to create humidity) or a heated propagator. You can also place a loose plastic tarp over the cuttings and mist the inside periodically to maintain humidity .
Harvesting Your Kava Root
Ah, now we get to the part you’ve all been waiting for! Growing kava is a project that takes patience, not least of all because you must wait 2 to 5 years for kava to fully mature before harvesting its roots. Harvesting kava before at least one year of age (ideally two or more) could kill or seriously harm the plant. This will also give time for the accumulation of kavalactones in the roots, making for a stronger kava brew ! Luckily, kava kava is easy to harvest: simply pull the roots gently from the soil, wash off the rootstock, and snip off a few lateral roots. These are the roots growing along the soil. Lateral roots are generally considered to be higher in kavalactones and have a better flavor than the vertical root . After repotting your plant, examine the harvested roots and discard any that have mold on them. Cut the fresh roots into small sections, and freeze or sun dry any that you don’t plan to use immediately. Now you have your very own supply of exquisitely fresh, potent kava root. Yum! Mahalo, Kava Guru REFERENCES 1. “Kava Plant for Sale”. Buy Kava Direct. Accessed June 2nd, 2014. http://buykavadirect.com/kava-plant-for-sale/. 2. Green, Jenny. “How to Grow Kava Kava”. eHow. Last updated May 29th, 2014. http://www.ehow.com/how_4421053_grow-kava-kava.html. 3. “Kava Plants”. Kona Kava Farm Accessed June 6th, 2014. http://www.konakavafarm.com/kava-plants.html. 4. “Growing Piper methysticum– Kava Kava”. Plot55. Accessed June 5th, 2014. http://plot55.com/growing/p.methysticum.html.