Stevia - Key Growing Information

Stevia plants; following sowing, seeds must receive light exposure and be kept warm and moderately moist to germinate.
DAYS TO GERMINATION: 7-21 days at 68-75°F (20-24°C).

SOWING: Transplant (recommended): Seed should be used within 6 months of purchase. Store seed in a cool, dry location for best germination. Sow seeds shallowly 6-8 weeks before the last frost. Do not over-water. Transplant to cell flats when seedlings are large enough to handle. For bushier plants, pinch back growing tips every few weeks for the first 1-2 months. After the last frost, transplant outside 12" apart. Stevia will not tolerate temperatures below 45°F (7°C). Stevia is an ideal plant to grow in containers as a houseplant or on the patio. For container growing, choose a pot that is at least 14" across and provide soil that is well drained. Keep evenly moist.

LIGHT PREFERENCE: Sun/Part Shade. In extreme southern areas and when growing in containers, afternoon shade may need to be provided.

SOIL REQUIREMENTS:
Does best in average, well-drained but moist soil. Avoid nitrogen-rich fertilizers, as they cause the plant to produce large leaves with little flavor.

PLANT HEIGHT: 18-30".

PLANT SPACING: 12".

HARDINESS ZONES: Zones 9-11.

HARVEST: Pick in the morning and before flowering occurs for the highest sugar content. Leaves may be harvested throughout the season once the plant has become established. To dry, hang small bunches of stems in a well-ventilated, dry location out of direct sunlight. Dried leaves may be ground into powder for storage.

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Stevia rebaudiana