Learning Download: How to Grow Stevia
Stevia is actually is an herb that produces very sweet, green leaves that can then be used as a sugar
substitute.Stevia can be used fresh, dried, powdered or as a liquid when it comes to sweetening foods or beverages.
Before Planting: The stevia plant is bushy and has high yields. Stevia is a perennial but will die back in a hard winter.
Planting: It is best not to sow stevia directly into the garden. Plant seeds indoors up to 10 weeks before the last frost. Seedlings will emerge in up to 21 days. Replant stevia each year to ensure a good harvest.
Watering: Keep the soil consistently moist, but do not over-water.
Fertilizer: Fertilize the plant regularly. If using store-bought fertilizer, follow the instructions
on how often to fertilize stevia. If using compost, apply a fresh layer around the base of the plant at least once a month.
Days to Maturity: Harvest the stevia just prior to it flowering. If the stevia plant flowers, it can create an unpleasant flavor in the leaves. (See variety for days to maturity)
Harvesting: Individual leaves can be harvested or entire branches of the stevia plant can be picked at once, but never remove more than one-third of the plant at a time. Stevia leaves can be dried by hanging plucked branches upside down in a dry room with the branches tied together.
Tips: Stevia leaves will be sweetest during an autumn harvest, when the temperatures are cooler.