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Stevia Plants

Growing Stevia
  Growing Stevia from scratch can be difficult (from seeds that is). Even if you could get the seeds to germinate, stevioside levels can vary greatly from plant grown from seeds. You should try to get Stevia plants that have been grown from cuttings of plants that where high in stevioside. Which is to say that it is best to buy "proven-sweet" starter plants. Young Stevia plants are sensitive to low temperatures, so you should wait until any chance of frost has past and soil temperatures are into the 50`s and 60`s before transplanting them into to your garden. Stevia plants should be put in to rows 20 to 24 inches apart, and 18 inches between plants. Your plants will grow a height of around 30 inches with widths of 18 to 24 inches. Stevia Seeds and Plants are available in our secure shopping cart. Stevia plants enjoy a rich loamy soil. Stevia`s feeder roots are near the surface, so it is a good idea to ad compost for extra nutrients if your soil is sandy. Stevia roots are sensitive to excessive moisture. Be careful when watering and make sure their soil drains easily. Frequent light watering is best during the summer months. Add a layer of mulch around each plant to keep the shallow feeder roots from drying out. Stevia plants prefer fertilizers with lower nitrogen content over high Phosphoric acid or potash content. Organic fertilizers like fish emulsion, cow manure, bat guano, etc., are good because they release their nitrogen slowly. Waiting as late as possible to harvest can intensify the sweetness of the plants due to cool autumn temperatures and shorter days while they evolve into their reproductive state. You should cover your plants in the early frost so you can gain a few weeks growing and greater sweetness. When it comes time to harvest, you should prune off the branches before removing the leaves. You can also cut the tips off the stems since they can also be high in stevioside. If you live in a frost free climate you can leave your plants outside but do not cut the branches to short leave around 4 inches of stem. Your second year harvest will then be more successful. You should replace the plants after 2 years with new cuttings. Cuttings must be rooted before planting. You can use commercial rooting hormones or make your own from willow tree tips made liquid in your blender. Dip cuttings in your preparation and plant in a rooting type soil for 2 to 3 weeks. Once the root system has had a chance to form you can plant in a 4.5 inch pots. Place plants in a sunny, non- drafty location until spring. You can grow Stevia indoors. Hydroponics systems work well or a 10 to 12 inch container filled with a light weight growing mix. Again, adding some much around the top for the swallow roots is always a good idea.


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