Growing and Saving the Seed Of Stevia


Latin name Stevia rebaudiana is a member of the Asteraceae family, commonly referred to as sweetleaf. The stevia plant is an herb with a wonderful flavor and many great uses! A tender perennial, it is typically grown as an annual in areas that experience frost. 


 

HISTORY

Native to Paraguay, stevia is popular among the Guarani people, who call the plant Ka'a, meaning "sweet herb." The active chemical is steviol glycoside, and it is a popular sugar substitute.

USES

  • Culinary
  • Row crop
  • Herb garden
  • Container plant
  • House plant

 

 


 

  • Sow indoors 6 weeks before last spring frost.
  • Press seeds firmly into medium; do not cover. Keep moist until germination has occurred.
  • Seeds germinate in 14-21 days.
  • Ideal germination temperature is 68-75 F.
  • Sow seeds 1/4 inch deep.
  • Plant out after spring frosts have passed.

 

  • Prefers full sun.
  • Provide rich soil.
  • Containers should be at least 12 inches across, and in the garden stevia requires 18 inches between plants.
  • Stevia thrives in containers but enjoys having space.
  • Remove spent blooms to prolong harvest.

PESTS/SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS

  • A relatively pest- and disease-free plant.
  • Provide good air circulation to prevent fungal issues.

 

  • The crisp, white flowers appear early to mid-autumn.
  • Allow plants to flower and dry, shake seeds into a bag to save.
  • Stevia seeds are extremely small, so take care not to drop them or let them blow away in the breeze!
  • Store seeds in a cool, dark, dry place.