Have you ever been interested in learning How to Grow Stevia?
Do you think it’s too hard?
Or are you unsure of how to start?
Or where to go for the best information?
Well, I have great news!
I have created 10 SIMPLE Tips on How to Grow Stevia so that you can enjoy this tasteful herb all year, no matter where you live.
Choose THIS Type of Stevia (Tip #1)
Are you interested in stevia for its medicinal remedies? How about as a sweetener? Or maybe to make a liquid extract
There are more ways to use stevia than you can count. But in order to have the most success with the uses of stevia, you have to identify the correct type to grow.
While there are over 200 types of Stevia, there is only one type that is sought after and should be grown.
The type of Stevia that is easiest to grow, 4 times as sweet as sugar, and has the most uses is Beronti Stevia, also known as Stevia Rebaudiana.
Bertoni Stevia is considered the darling and most sought after type of Stevia.
Stevia grows in semi-humid, semi-tropical climates where temperatures are between 20 degrees Fahrenheit to 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Because Stevia can only tolerate mild frost, this type of herb is usually planted annually. If you do take the right precautions you may be able to grow it perennially though too.
Also, you should plant your Stevia in soil that has a pH level of 6.7-7.2.
Bertoni Stevia should be planted 18 inches apart and can grow up to 3 feet tall.
Purchase the BEST Garden Supplies (Tips #2-5)
2. Purchase the Right Seed
When learning how to grow stevia from seed the seed itself is the most important supply.
While vegetables typically have numerous types of seeds like organic, heirloom, GMO, etc. stevia plants typically grow from your traditional seed or organic.
Whether you purchase organic seeds or traditional seeds you will have the same results. There is no benefit to your health and your harvest will be no different.
What is important is where you purchase your stevia seeds from.
If you want seeds that come from reputable companies at a reasonable price and with quick delivery then you want to purchase them from Amazon.
Once you purchase your seeds you will need at least 1 type of pot to start your stevia and two types of pots if you want to garden all year.
I typically don’t recommend planting your seeds directly into the soil because disease, pests, and mother nature will damage or destroy too many of them.
Instead, I recommend starting off your seed in 3-inch pots. My suggestion is GrowKo Peat Pots.
Next, you’ll want a much larger pot if you do not plan on transplanting your stevia into a garden.
The reason for this is that 3 inch pots are great for seeds and starting small plants, but cannot sustain the root growth needed for stevia leaf growth.
I recommend: Viagrow 5 Gallon Nursery Pot
4. Buy These Garden Tools
While containers and seeds are the only two essential tools you need when learning how to grow stevia from seed there are other garden tools that will make your life easy.
Of the most basic, but handiest garden supplies to have is a good sprayer.
You want to use a good sprayer because hoses and cups will flood your seed rendering it useless.
I recommend: Tolco Spray Bottle 8 oz.
In addition, it is also great to have good garden utensils to help minimize dirt and disorganization.
If you want one of the best gardening tool sets then I recommend Vremi 9 piece toolset.
And finally, you can’t grow stevia seeds inside without a good grow light. If you have access to a warm sunny area for at least 8 hours a day you won’t need a grow light.
Most of us don’t have access to that much sunlight during the winter. And sometimes even if we do a grow light is just more effective for the best results.
I specifically recommend: Hydrofarm Grow Light
5. Buy Soil & Fertilizer
Just because you have the best seeds and a pot to start your stevia doesn’t mean you’ll have success.
You want to make sure you have the correct soil and good fertilizer.
If you do not have the proper soil your seed will not fully grow and bare leaves. And while you can survive without fertilizer, a good mixture will help you get the most out of your stevia plant.
While there are lots of soil you can buy, we will want to focus on the only one you need, potting mix.
Very simply, this soil will contain the right mixture of soil, sand, and nutrients needed for your Stevia seeds to grow healthy.
I am highly recommending: Miracle-Gro Potting Mix.
I am recommending this type of soil for a couple of reasons.
Everything you need to start seeds and provide your stevia with the correct nutrients can be found in this soil.
And if you decide you want to transplant your stevia plant to another pot you will not need to purchase a different type of soil.
In addition, you want to make sure you have a good fertilizer to help your stevia grow as large and fruitful as possible.
I use and recommend Miracle-Gro Plant Food.
Why I like this type of fertilizer is that it provides everything your stevia plant needs. And you won’t have to worry about the type of mixture to use or how to use it.
Best of all is that this type of fertilizer can be used on all your vegetable and herb plants!
How to Start Seeds Indoors (Tip #6)
When learning how to grow stevia from seed you should almost always start your process indoors.
You will want to start your stevia seeds inside approximately 8-10 weeks before you plan on moving your stevia into your garden or moving your larger container.
You want to first start by filling your 3 inches pot 80% full with your potting mix.
Next, you will want to spray the soil immediately after 5-10 times. You want the soil to be damp, but not soaked. You will know the soil is damp when it turns a dark brown color.
Next, use the tip of a pencil and make a circular motion to form a tiny hole. This will be approximately 1/8 inch deep.
Then place 2 to 3 seeds into the hole and brush the soil over the seeds.
You will then spray the soil again 5 to 8 times. Moisten, but do not dampen the soil.
After planting your seeds place your pots in direct sunlight or under your grow light.
Your seeds will need approximately 8 hours of sunlight.
If you put your seeds under the grow light keep it approximately 4 inches from the bulb. Anything closer will burn the seeds. Anything further away with not provides enough heat and light.
You will also need to make sure the room temperature is around 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
If the air temperature does not stay around this temperature then your seeds will not germinate or pop through the soil.
If you don’t have an area that will stay consistently around 65 degrees, I would recommend investing in a Plant Heating Mat.
A Plant Heating Mat is the perfect way to keep your pots and seeds at a consistent temperature that we may not otherwise be able to. The best part about a heat mat is you just plug it in and you are all set.
After your initial planting, you will need to spray the soil once to twice a day. You will know it’s time to spray if the soil looks a light brown color or feels dry to the touch.
It will take approximately 14 days for your seeds to germinate or pop through the soil. Do not worry if it takes a few days later as each growing situation is different.
Continue spraying your stevia (as referred to step 4) over the next 4-8 weeks.
Once your stevia reaches 3 inches tall you will either want to move them into your larger containers or move them outside.
If you move your stevia plants into a larger container you can continue to water them twice a day until they are ready to be harvested.
You should only move your stevia plants outside if the temperature is above freezing.
While stevia plants are cold hardy plants, consistent frost will kill them.
You can view your hardy zone below to determine your first and last frost date of the year.
When transplanting your stevia plant into a garden you will want to dig a hole that is the size of your stevia plant root ball (where the roots meet the soil). Next, cover it with soil and water it for 30 seconds.
It should also be noted that you will not need to thin your stevia plant like you would with vegetables or herbs. Typically, 2-3 stevia plants can grow in one pot without any problems. This will also give you the fullest harvest.
If you learn better watching a video then I recommend watching the below youtube tutorial:
How to Care for Stevia (Tip #7)
Below are tips for caring for your Stevia throughout the summer:
- Healthy Soil & Fertilizer – Inspect your soil for fungus, pests, and weeds before you plant and throughout the summer. Remove as needed.
- Mulch – Provide mulch around your Stevia to prevent it from drying out in the summer heat.
- Water. Water once a week when planted outside. Too much water will not kill your stevia but will stunt its growth.
- Harvest Often & Early: One of the best ways to care for your stevia is to harvest it often and early. This will help your stevia to continue to grow and become healthier
How to Harvest Stevia (Tip #8)
Typically, you will harvest your Stevia in early autumn when the herb is the sweetest.
Below are critical tips to remember when harvesting stevia:
- Harvest your Stevia as soon as flower buds begin growing, but before they open and bloom.
- Cut the base of the plant.
- Harvest your Stevia in the morning when the sugar count is at its highest.
How to Store Stevia (Tip #9)
Below are critical tips to remember when storing stevia:
- After cutting the base of the plant, tie a string around the base of the plant and hang it upside down in a warm dark place to dry it.
- In a few days (when the leaves feel dry), pinch off the dry leaves you wish to use.
- Transfer your dry leaves into a plastic bag and store it into the fridge until it is ready to be used.
- Never freeze your stevia as it will minimize the positive sweetness effect of the herb.
BEST Stevia Use Ideas (Tip #10)
So planting, caring, and harvesting stevia plants is fun, but using stevia is the best part!
Below, are a few of the uses of stevia that are both easy and most enjoyable:
- Creating stevia liquid extract: Please watch the above video to learn how to use stevia as a liquid extract sweetener.
- Sweeten Tea: Use fresh leaves to sweeten your tea and water in the summer.
- Sugar Alternative: USe the leaves or extract of stevia as a natural and healthier alternative to sugar. This can help reduce blood pressure and help manage your sugar levels.
After reading this article you should now have a much better idea on How to Grow Stevia and how to have the greatest chance for success.
If you want to have the most success, I recommend these 10 SIMPLE Tips:
- Use the 1 recommended type of Stevia.
- Buy the Correct Seeds. Organic or traditional doesn’t matter as much as where you purchase them from
- Buy two different types of containers to help allow your stevia to grow to its fullest potential
- Garden tools aren’t essential, but they will make gardening easier!
- The correct soil and fertilizer can turn your stevia from good to great
- There are only 5 simple steps for starting your seed in a pot and this should take less than 15 minutes
- Proper care for your stevia will allow you to get the most harvest
- Harvest your stevia in the morning when its sugar content is at its highest.
- Dried Stevia leaves should be dried in a warm, dark place.
- There are many great uses for stevia leaves. Don’t be afraid to try different recipes
If you enjoyed this article then please read my other articles: