Stevia has the reputation of being difficult to grow, and the truth is, it is just picky about germination. It can take a number of seeds to get one or two to sprout.
Unlike most seeds, stevia needs the light to germinate. To plant, just lay the seeds right on top of your seed starting mix and place it in a warm, bright spot. Of course, keep it moist. It should take 2-3 weeks before you see any sprouts.
We only got this one plant, started January 12th., but it is growing slow and healthy. A little fertilizer helps, and now it is about ready for its final transplanting.
Stevia leaves can be used fresh or dried, or you can make a liquid infusion instead. It has no calories, and can be used in many of the same ways you would use sugar or commercially packaged Stevia. A little goes a long way. It also doesn’t contribute to tooth decay, how neat is that!
Once we have room in our now overflowing seed starting area, we intend to try a few more seeds. How wonderful to be able to use a plant to sweeten our home grown tea.
The less dependent on others we can become, well you might say, it is a really sweet deal.
Botanical name: Stevia rebaudiana Note there are different varieties, with varying appearance.
Days to Maturity: 120
Growth habit: Perennial if kept away from frost.
Height: Up to 2 ft.
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