Stevia is native to South America. The greatest challenge with Stevia is germination. Sweetleaf is famously difficult crop from seed. Once plants are established, they will grow well in hot weather, and are good candidates for summer containers. Continue reading below for some tips on how to grow Stevia from seed.
Easy after germination
Season & Zone
Season: Warm season
Exposure: Full sun
Sow indoors 8-10 weeks before last frost, or direct sow in late spring. Seeds should sprout in 10-16 days.
Sow seeds on the surface of damp, sterile seed mix, and use bottom heat. Warmth and bright light are necessary for germination. Be advised that germination is challenging. The germination rate shown on our packaging reflects laboratory conditions. Without the use of bottom heat, few or none of the seeds will germinate. We highly recommend using a heat mat
Grow using the same methods as growing basil. Grow in well drained soil in a warm spot in the garden, or in large containers in full sun. Water regularly in hot, dry weather. In very hot climates, Stevia benefits from afternoon shade. Space plants 60cm (24") apart, and pinch growing tips once or twice to encourage bushy growth.
Clip leaves or branches as needed throughout summer. The leaves dry fairly well for fall and winter use as an all purpose, low calorie sweetener.