Sweetness without the guilt – that’s what stevia offers. This medicinal herb contains zero calories and no artificial additives, making it a healthier and more sustainable alternative to traditional sugar. But growing stevia is no easy feat – the plant requires specific care and attention to thrive. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know to cultivate your own supply of this natural sweetener, from planting tips to harvest methods. Get ready to discover the sweet secrets of stevia.
Benefits of Growing Your Own Stevia
Benefits of growing Stevia at home:
- Provides an alternative to artificial sweeteners
- Contains no calories or carbohydrates
- May help regulate blood sugar levels
- Can be grown in pots or containers
- Requires minimal maintenance
- Leaves can be dried and used as a natural sweetener in recipes
- May have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties
General Information About SteviaPlant Family: Asteraceae (also known as the daisy or sunflower family)
Plant Latin Name: Stevia rebaudiana
Plant Variations AvailableStevia is a natural sweetener that has been used for centuries in South America. It is derived from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana plant and is said to be up to 300 times sweeter than sugar. One of the benefits of Stevia is that it does not affect blood sugar levels, making it an ideal sweetener for diabetics.
There are different variations of Stevia available in the market, and they differ in their composition and taste. Here are some of the variations:
1. Stevia Leaf Powder: This is made from the dried and powdered leaves of the Stevia plant. It has a greenish color and a slightly bitter aftertaste.
2. Stevia Liquid Extract: This is a concentrated form of Stevia that is made by boiling the leaves in water or alcohol. It is available in various forms, such as clear drops, flavored drops, and spray bottles. Liquid Stevia is a convenient and popular option, as it can be easily added to drinks, smoothies, and desserts.
3. Stevia Sweetener Blends: Some manufacturers combine steviol glycosides (the sweet compounds in Stevia) with other sweeteners such as erythritol or xylitol. This results in products that have a more natural sugar-like taste and texture.
4. Stevia Granular Sweeteners: These are granulated forms of Stevia that are used as a sugar substitute. They are used in baking and cooking, and also to sweeten beverages.
5. Flavored Stevia: Some Stevia products are available in flavored versions such as vanilla, chocolate, and caramel. These are more palatable than regular Stevia and can be used for various recipes, including baking.
It’s important to note that while stevia is a natural sweetener, many commercial products may contain additional ingredients such as fillers or artificial flavors. When purchasing Stevia, always check the label for any additional ingredients and opt for pure and unadulterated stevia products.
In summary, Stevia comes in various forms, including Powder, Liquid Extract, Sweetener Blends, Granular Sweeteners, and Flavored Stevia. Each variation has its own taste and pros and cons. Whatever your preference, Stevia is an excellent natural alternative to sugar and artificial sweeteners.
Preferred ZonesIf you’re considering growing Stevia, you’re on the right track. It’s a beautiful, herbaceous plant that can provide natural sweetness to your food and drinks. The good news is, Stevia isn’t particularly picky about where it’s grown, and can thrive in a range of conditions. However, some zones are better than others for outdoor growing of Stevia.
Stevia is native to South America, where the climate is warm and humid. If you live in a similarly warm, humid area, Stevia will love it. Ideally, Stevia prefers a climate with temperatures in the range of 70-85°F, and with high humidity. This makes Stevia perfect for zones 9-11, which includes parts of Florida, California, Texas and the Southeastern states. In these zones, Stevia can be grown as a perennial, meaning it will come back year after year.
If you live in a colder zone, don’t worry, you can still grow Stevia. But, you’ll need to treat it as an annual, and either start new plants every year or bring them indoors during the winter. Stevia can be grown in Zones 6-8, but depending on the severity of the winter in your zone, the plant may struggle to survive the cold.
Stevia needs full sun to grow and produce the sweetest leaves, so make sure it gets at least six hours of sun each day. The soil should be well-draining and rich in organic matter to ensure proper growth.
Overall, if you live in warm, humid zones 9-11, you’ll have the best luck growing Stevia outdoors as a perennial. But, with a little extra care, you can grow Stevia in colder zones as well. Remember to provide lots of sun, well-draining soil, and enjoy the natural sweetness Stevia provides!
Sowing InstructionsIf you’re looking to grow your own naturally sweet leaf alternative, then sowing stevia is a great way to start! Here are some of the best methods and procedures for sowing stevia:
First off, let’s talk about the ideal conditions for growing stevia. This plant thrives in warm, humid environments, and it requires well-draining, nutrient-rich soil. It is best to sow stevia seeds indoors, in a location that receives plenty of sunlight. Germination usually takes between 7-14 days.
When sowing stevia, the first step is to determine the best planting time for your region. Generally, you should aim to sow seeds a few weeks before the last frost date in your area. This will give the seeds enough time to sprout and grow strong before being transplanted outside.
Once you’ve determined the planting time, it’s time to prepare the soil. Begin by cleaning the area and removing any debris or weeds. Then, turn over the soil to a depth of at least 6 inches, and add compost or organic matter to help enrich the soil. Remember to keep the soil moist, but not overly wet.
When sowing the seeds, there are a few different options to consider. You can either plant directly into the soil, or you can use seed trays to germinate the seeds before transplanting them outside. If using seed trays, ensure the soil is kept moist, and transfer any seedlings that emerge into individual pots once they have grown their second set of leaves.
As your stevia plants grow, make sure to keep an eye on the soil moisture levels, and use a balanced fertilizer to provide necessary nutrients. In general, stevia thrives in full sun or partial shade and requires regular watering.
To sum up, sowing stevia seeds is a simple process that requires some careful planning and attention to detail. By choosing the right planting time, preparing the soil, and providing the right amount of water, light, and nutrients, you’ll be able to grow your own delicious and healthy stevia plant. Happy sowing!
Preparation AdviceIf you’re interested in growing Stevia, it’s important to prepare properly in order to ensure a bountiful harvest. Here are a few methods and pieces of equipment that will set you up for success:
1. Location, location, location – Stevia plants thrive in warm, sunny climates with well-drained soil. If you live in an area with harsh winters, you may want to consider growing Stevia indoors or in a greenhouse.
2. Soil preparation – Before planting your Stevia seeds, make sure to prepare the soil properly. Stevia requires well-draining soil with a pH level between 6.7 and 7.2. Incorporate compost or other organic matter into the soil to help with drainage.
3. Seed selection – When choosing Stevia seeds, make sure to select a variety that is appropriate for the climate in which you live. Some varieties are better suited to colder climates, while others thrive in hot, humid conditions.
4. Watering – Stevia prefers consistently moist soil, but be careful not to overwater. Watering once a week is usually sufficient, although this may vary depending on your climate.
5. Fertilization – Stevia plants benefit from regular fertilization to encourage healthy growth. Organic fertilizers are a great choice, as they provide nutrients without the risk of chemical buildup in the soil.
6. Harvesting – Stevia leaves can be harvested as soon as the plant reaches maturity, typically around 90 days after planting. Make sure to harvest the leaves before the plant flowers, as this can affect the sweetness of the leaves.
7. Drying – After harvesting, the Stevia leaves should be dried before use. Spread the leaves out in a thin layer in a dry, warm place with good air circulation. Once the leaves are completely dry, they can be stored in an airtight container for future use.
In terms of equipment, you’ll need basic gardening tools such as a trowel, watering can, and pruning shears. Depending on your climate, you may also need a greenhouse or indoor grow lights. Consider investing in a quality organic fertilizer to nourish your Stevia plants and promote healthy growth.
With a little bit of preparation and some basic equipment, you’ll be well on your way to growing your own Stevia plants and enjoying the natural sweetness they provide. Happy gardening!
Germination Tools and EquipmentIf you’re looking to grow stevia plants from seed, there are a few tools and equipment you’ll need to ensure that your germination process is successful. Here are some of the best items to invest in for a healthy crop:
1. Seed Starting Mix: Stevia seeds require a light, airy, and well-draining soil mix for successful germination. A high-quality seed starting mix will help to provide these conditions while also providing the necessary nutrients and moisture for the seeds to sprout.
2. Seed Trays: Using seed trays is a great way to organize your seeds and keep them in one place as they start to grow. You can use plastic, or biodegradable trays, but if you’re looking for sustainable option go for biodegradable trays made from materials like coir.
3. Heat Mats: Stevia seeds require warm temperatures to germinate correctly, between 70°F and 85°F, which is often difficult in cold climatic conditions. A heat mat is an excellent tool to ensure even temperatures and can speed up germination time.
4. Grow Lights: A sufficient amount of light is crucial for seedlings’ growth, and having grow lights can help provide a consistent light source to aid in photosynthesis. LED grow lights are an excellent investment for indoor home growers as they consume less energy compared to traditional lights and can be adjusted for different stages of plant growth.
5. Misters or Spray Bottles: While germinating stevia seeds, you need to ensure that the soil is constantly moist but not waterlogged. It can be challenging to maintain the correct level of moisture with watering cans or pipes, making misters or spray bottles your best tool for watering your seeds.
6. Plant Markers: As you begin to sow more seeds, it gets harder to keep track of what you’ve planted, where it’s planted, and when it was planted. Labeling each planting container with a marker before sowing seeds can be tremendously helpful to keep your planting organized.
By using these tools and equipment, you’ll be well on your way to successful stevia seed germination, which is the first step to a robust and healthy crop. With patience, love, and a little bit of extra care, you can expect to have a good harvest of sweet, natural stevia crops in a few months’ time.
Light RequirementsStevia is a herb that has been gaining popularity as a natural sweetener. If you are planning to grow Stevia indoors, you need to pay attention to its lighting requirements to ensure optimal growth and a healthy harvest.
Stevia requires about six hours of direct sunlight daily, or an equivalent of 1,000 to 1,500 foot candles. If you are growing Stevia indoors, you should place it in a south-facing window where it can receive adequate sunshine. If you don’t have access to a sunny window, you can use artificial lighting to supplement the natural light.
LED grow lights are the best option for growing Stevia indoors because they emit the full spectrum of light that plants need for photosynthesis. You should use LED grow lights that are between 4000 and 6500 Kelvins and keep them on for about 18 hours per day during the vegetative stage, and 12 hours a day during the flowering stage.
It’s also essential to keep the light source about a foot above the plant to prevent burning the leaves. Finally, ensure that the Stevia plant receives an adequate amount of darkness, as this is also crucial for its growth.
In conclusion, Stevia requires adequate light to grow and thrive. By providing the proper lighting conditions indoors, you can cultivate your very own fresh Stevia plant and enjoy the benefits of its natural sweetness.
Temperature RequirementsStevia, also known as sweet leaf, is a natural sweetener that has gained popularity in recent years as a healthier alternative to sugar. If you are looking to grow your own stevia plant, it is important to understand its temperature requirements for optimal growth.
Stevia plants are native to warm and humid regions, so they prefer a temperature range of between 60 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit (15 to 30 degrees Celsius). These plants do not tolerate cold temperatures well, and too much heat can also be a problem. If the temperature drops below 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius), stevia plants may start to die off.
To achieve the best growth, it is important to provide a consistent temperature for the plant. A location with temperatures ranging between 68 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit (20 to 25 degrees Celsius) is ideal. Stevia plants can be grown indoors or outdoors, and they can be grown year-round in warmer climates.
One way to ensure that your stevia plant is growing in optimal temperatures is to place it in a location with good air circulation and ample sunlight. Stevia plants need at least six hours of direct sunlight per day, so make sure you are placing it in a spot that gets plenty of natural light.
In addition to temperature, stevia plants also require well-draining soil and regular watering. Make sure the soil is moist but not overly wet, and avoid letting the soil dry out completely. With the proper care and temperature management, your stevia plant can thrive and provide you with a healthy, natural sweetener.
My Favorite Tools For Growing SteviaTo care for and maintain healthy Stevia plants, there are a few essential tools and equipment items that you will need to have on-hand.
First and foremost, you’ll want to invest in a good quality pair of pruning shears. These will come in handy for trimming back your Stevia plant when it begins to grow too large or becomes too dense. You will also need a good quality watering can with a long spout that will allow you to water the base of the plant without getting water on its leaves.
To keep your Stevia plants healthy and free from pests, it’s a good idea to invest in some natural bug repellent. There are many different types of insect repelling sprays available on the market, but we recommend using a natural, organic formula that won’t harm your plant or the environment.
You’ll also want to have a good quality soil mix on-hand that is rich in nutrients and organic matter. Stevia plants require well-draining soil that has plenty of vitamins and minerals to support their growth, so be sure to choose a mix that is formulated specifically for herbs and vegetables.
Finally, a good quality grow light or sun lamp can be incredibly beneficial in helping your Stevia plant thrive. Whether you’re growing your plants indoors or outside, a supplemental light source can help ensure that they are getting the right amount of light and heat to encourage healthy growth.
Investing in these essential tools and equipment items can help ensure that your Stevia plants stay healthy and strong, and provide you with a bountiful harvest of sweet, natural sweetener to enjoy year-round.
Preferred Soil TypeStevia is a delectable natural sweetener that has been gaining popularity in the health food scene. To cultivate strong, healthy Stevia plants, it’s essential to ensure that they have the proper type of soil to grow in.
Firstly, it’s essential to select well-draining soil that retains moisture, yet doesn’t become waterlogged. It’s critical to provide adequate drainage for your Stevia plants, as they are prone to rot in damp soil. Slightly acidic soil is ideal for growing Stevia plants, with a pH range between 6.5 and 7.5.
Next, ensure that the soil is rich in organic matter, such as compost and peat moss. Organic matter will help the soil retain moisture and supply your Stevia plants with necessary nutrients such as Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium.
Stevia plants require regular watering, but the soil should not stay too damp. It’s important to keep the soil adequately moist without over-watering, which can lead to root rot.
Additionally, Stevia plants love sunlight and require at least six hours of direct sunlight per day. Be sure to plant them in a spot with plenty of morning or afternoon sun exposure.
In summary, Stevia plants thrive in slightly acidic, rich, and well-draining soil that contains plenty of organic matter. They require regular watering without over-saturating the soil and must have plenty of sunlight exposure to grow correctly. With proper soil care, your Stevia plants will flourish, providing an abundant source of natural sweetness.
Watering RequirementsIf you’re interested in growing Stevia, then you’re probably already aware that this sweet herb requires a bit of extra TLC when it comes to watering. Fortunately, with a little bit of effort, you can ensure that your Stevia plants thrive and flourish.
Firstly, it’s important to note that Stevia plants are native to subtropical and tropical regions, which means they prefer warm, humid conditions. This also means that they require more water than some other herbs. Ideally, you should aim to keep the soil evenly moist, but not waterlogged. Overwatering can lead to root rot, which can kill off your plants quickly.
One way to ensure that your Stevia plants get the right amount of water is to use a drip irrigation system. This will allow you to deliver water directly to the roots without saturating the soil. Alternatively, if you’re watering by hand, you can use a watering can with a fine nozzle to avoid disturbing the soil too much.
In general, you should water your Stevia plants about once a week or whenever the soil feels dry to the touch. If you live in an area with hot, dry weather, you may need to water more frequently. On the other hand, if you have a lot of rain, you may need to cut back on watering to avoid over-saturating the soil.
Finally, don’t forget to check the soil regularly to ensure that it’s not too dry or too wet. If you notice any signs of wilting or yellowing leaves, it may be time to adjust your watering schedule accordingly.
By following these tips, you can help your Stevia plants grow strong and healthy, producing plenty of delicious, low-calorie leaves for you to enjoy. With a little bit of care and attention, you can create your own herb garden filled with all your favorite flavors!
What You Need To Know About Fertilizing SteviaStevia, a sweet and highly in-demand natural sweetener, is a plant that requires certain fertilizing techniques to grow healthy and produce sweet leaves for consumption. Here are some helpful tips on fertilizing Stevia:
1. Soil preparation: Stevia plants require a well-draining soil rich in organic matter like compost or vermiculite. The soil pH should be between 6.5 to 7.5, which is optimum for Stevia growth. Before planting Stevia, work the organic matter well into the soil to provide the necessary nutrients for the plant.
2. Nitrogen: Stevia plants require a good amount of nitrogen to grow, but too much nitrogen can hinder the plant’s sweetness. You can use a slow-release nitrogen fertilizer like blood meal or cottonseed meal to provide the necessary nitrogen for Stevia.
3. Potassium: Potassium is another essential nutrient for Stevia growth. It enhances sweetness, improves water uptake, and strengthens the plant’s resistance to disease. Use a balanced fertilizer like 10-10-10 to provide the necessary potassium for Stevia.
4. Phosphorus: Phosphorus is an essential nutrient for plant growth, especially in root and flower development. It helps Stevia plants to develop strong root systems and increase their yield. Use a fertilizer like 5-10-5, which is high in phosphorus to provide the plant with the necessary nutrients.
5. Organic fertilizers: If you prefer to use an organic approach, you can use organic fertilizers like manure, bone meal, or fish emulsion. They are rich in nutrients, which provides Stevia with the necessary ingredients for healthy growth.
In conclusion, applying the right fertilizer and following proper fertilizing techniques is vital for growing healthy Stevia plants. A well-balanced fertilizer that provides Stevia with necessary nutrients, specifically nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus, will allow your Stevia plant to thrive and produce sweet leaves. Apply fertilizers judiciously and remember less is more when fertilizing Stevia.
My Favorite Fertilizers For SteviaIf you’re growing Stevia, using the right fertilizer is key to producing healthy and delicious leaves. Stevia requires a pH range of 6.5 to 7.5 and requires a high nutrient level. With that in mind, here are three fertilizers that can help:
1. Fish emulsion: This organic fertilizer is excellent for Stevia because it is high in nitrogen and phosphorus, which are essential nutrients that promote healthy and robust growth. It is also pH balanced and gentle, making it great for sensitive plants.
2. Compost: Composting provides a rich source of nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, making it an excellent choice for fertilizing Stevia. Additionally, compost adds organic matter to the soil and encourages healthy soil biology that can improve plant growth.
3. Liquid kelp: Liquid kelp is an excellent fertilizer for Stevia because it is high in potassium, which promotes strong and healthy root systems. It also provides a broad range of other nutrients that are essential for plant growth, including nitrogen, phosphorus, and trace minerals.
When fertilizing Stevia, it’s best to use these organic fertilizer options in moderation. Starting small and working your way up gradually ensures the plant gets the nutrients it needs without overloading it. By fertilizing with these organic options, you can boost your Stevia plant’s growth and create a thriving, healthy plant.
Time To MaturityStevia is a popular plant known for its natural sweetness and health benefits. If you’re interested in growing Stevia, you may be wondering how long it takes to go from sprouting to maturity. Well, the good news is that Stevia is a relatively fast-growing plant and can reach maturity within a few months.
When you first plant Stevia seeds or cuttings, you should begin to see sprouts in about one to two weeks. These sprouts will continue to grow and develop over the next few weeks, eventually reaching a height of about four inches. At this stage, you can begin to transplant your Stevia plants into larger containers or directly into your garden.
Once your Stevia plants have reached maturity, they will typically be about two to three feet tall and will have a bushier appearance. This usually takes between three to four months, but it can vary depending on growing conditions such as temperature, humidity, and sunlight.
With proper care and maintenance, Stevia can continue to produce sweet leaves for several years. However, it’s important to note that Stevia is a relatively delicate plant that requires consistent attention, so be sure to research the best growing practices to ensure that your plants remain healthy and vibrant.
In conclusion, Stevia can go from sprouting to maturity in as little as three to four months with proper attention and care. So if you’re interested in growing this sweet and healthy plant, get started today and enjoy the benefits of fresh Stevia leaves in no time!
Harvest InstructionsHarvesting Stevia: A Guide
Looking for a natural sugar alternative that’s sweeter than sugar and calorie-free at the same time? Look no further than Stevia! This herb has been used for centuries by the Guarani people of South America and is now widely popular thanks to its sweet taste and various health benefits. But how do you reap the goodness of Stevia without losing its sweet goodness? Here’s a quick guide to harvesting and preparing the herb:
When to Harvest:
Stevia plants should be harvested once they have reached their maximum height, which usually takes up to 4 months. The ideal time to harvest is in the early morning hours, just after dew has evaporated but before the sun has started to beat down. Make sure that the plant is dry and that there has been no rainfall in the last few days.
How to Harvest:
Start by trimming the top third of the plant using pruning shears. This stimulates new growth and ensures that the plant continues to produce sweet leaves. After trimming, cut off the remaining branches from the stem at the bottom, leaving the plant about 6 inches tall.
Next, remove the leaves of the plant. You can either pinch them off individually or pull off an entire stem and use your fingers to strip the leaves off. Once you have the leaves, separate them according to their color. The green leaves (which have lower levels of sweetness) can be used to make a herbal tea, while the white leaves (which have a higher level of sweetness) can be used to make Stevia powder or liquid extract.
How to Dry:
After separating the leaves, it is time to dry them. Spread them out evenly in a single layer on a paper towel or a baking sheet. Make sure the leaves are not overlapping. Leave them in a cool, dry place for about 24 hours. You can also place them on a wire screen or hang them in an area with good air circulation. Once the leaves are completely dry, they will be crispy and brittle.
How to Store:
To store your Stevia, you can either keep the dried leaves in an airtight container or grind them into a powder to preserve freshness. For long-term storage, keep the leaves or powder in a cool, dry place, away from sunlight or moisture.
Voila, now you have harvested your Stevia and have a delicious, natural sweetener that you can use in your favorite foods and drinks. Happy harvesting!
My Favorite Tools For Harvest TimeStevia, a natural sweetener, is a popular crop among health-conscious individuals. To ensure a successful harvest, you’ll need a few essential tools and pieces of equipment.
1. Pruning shears: These are crucial for trimming the leaves off the stevia plant. Look for a sharp, high-quality pair that can easily cut through the plant’s tough stems.
2. Harvest basket: Once you’ve trimmed the leaves, you’ll need a container to collect them in. A sturdy, lightweight basket works well and makes it easy to transport your crop from the garden to your kitchen.
3. Gloves: Some people may be sensitive to the sap that stevia plants produce, so it’s a good idea to wear gloves during the harvest. Look for gloves made from breathable materials that can protect your hands without causing them to overheat.
4. Sunscreen and hat: Depending on where you live, the sun can be intense during the harvest season. Protect your skin by wearing a hat and applying sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.
5. Drying rack: After you’ve harvested your stevia leaves, you’ll need to dry them out before use. A drying rack with plenty of airflow is essential. Look for one that’s easy to clean and won’t take up too much space in your home.
These essential tools and equipment will help you to harvest your stevia crop with ease and ensure that you have a bountiful supply of this natural sweetener to use in your cooking and baking. Happy harvesting!
End of Season & Overwintering
Stevia, the natural sweetener, is a tender perennial that is native to South America. Growing stevia in your garden can be a rewarding experience as you can harvest the leaves and use them to sweeten your beverages or food. However, with the coming of fall and winter, it is important that you know how to care for your stevia plant to ensure its health and longevity.
Firstly, before the temperature drops below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, harvest all the remaining stevia leaves from the plant. You can use them fresh, dry them or freeze them to use later. Once you have harvested all the leaves, prune the plant back to about 6 inches from the ground. This will help the plant conserve energy during the winter months.
Next, prepare the soil by adding a layer of compost or well-rotted manure around the base of the plant. This will help add nutrients and protect the roots from the harsh winter months. Cover the plant with a layer of straw or mulch to help insulate it from the cold. Be sure to remove the mulch in the spring when the temperature warms up.
If you live in an area with extreme winter weather, you may need to consider moving the plant indoors. A sunny windowsill is ideal for this. Water sparingly, as overwatering can lead to root rot.
Lastly, monitor your stevia plant throughout the winter months. If the leaves start to wilt or turn yellow, it may be a sign of overwatering or insufficient sunlight. Adjust the water and light accordingly.
With these tips, your stevia plant should survive the winter months and continue to thrive in the following season. Happy growing!
Final Thoughts on Stevia
Congratulations, you have completed the comprehensive guide to germinating, growing, and harvesting Stevia! With this knowledge, you can now confidently grow your own natural sweetener at home, free of any artificial additives.
Through the germination process, you learned how to carefully and effectively prepare the Stevia seeds for planting. By following the proper growing techniques, you also discovered how to ensure the plant thrives in optimal conditions with regards to water, nutrients, and light.
As the plant grew, you watched as the leaves developed into a beautiful green, and as you approached the harvesting stage, you learned the best time to pluck them to achieve the perfect balance of sweetness and flavour.
We hope that you now have a deeper appreciation for the Stevia plant and the process of growing it. Enjoy the significant benefits of having your own supply of natural and healthy sweetener right at your doorstep!
Frequently Asked Questions About Growing Stevia
Q1: What kind of soil does Stevia grow best in?
A1: Stevia grows best in well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. Ideally, the soil should have a pH level between 6.5 and 7.5. It is important to ensure that the soil is not overly wet, as Stevia does not tolerate poorly-draining soil.
Q2: How much water does Stevia need?
A2: Stevia requires regular watering, especially during hot and dry periods. However, it is important not to over-water, as Stevia is susceptible to root rot. As a general rule, it is best to water Stevia deeply once or twice a week, rather than giving it frequent, shallow watering.
Q3: When is the best time to harvest Stevia?
A3: The best time to harvest Stevia is in late summer or early fall, just before the first frost. At this point, the leaves will be their sweetest. To harvest Stevia, simply cut the stems with a pair of sharp scissors, leaving about 2-3 inches of stem on the plant. The plant will then grow back the following year, providing another harvest.
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