How to Grow Stevia
If you want to grow Stevia, you can make use of these tips. It can be hard to grow Stevia from seeds so you will have to look for starter plants. These small plants can be bought from the local nursery or from the gardens of a local herbalist.
This is your chance to grow Stevia and harvest the sweet tea leaves that you can enjoy at home.
To ensure the growth of healthy Stevia, you should live in South America. The herb is a native in this place although it can also grow in diverse climate zones like that of southern Canada and Florida. Growing this herb for personal consumption is ideal so that you will no longer have to purchase the commercial ones. The only question is the potency because according to studies, the stevioside content of the Stevia can range from 81-91%. Still, having freshly grown Stevia can already augment the needed supply of the tea leaves.
If you want your garden to be free from insects, you need to plant Stevia. You see, this herb has an insect-repelling capability. With their sweet smell, bugs and aphids will want to stay away. Even grasshoppers are repelled by this amazing herb. Several years ago, it would not be possible to grow Stevia at home because of the government policies followed in the US. But today, the wrongheaded policies are now removed and you can now plant Stevia for as long as you like. Planting the seeds can be hard and the seeds that germinate can have different levels of stevioside.
Find a local nursery that sells the starter plants. You can check the herbalists in your area but most nurseries already have them today. Still, you may need to invest some time and effort in looking for the starter plants. You can use the internet to look for suppliers of these starter plants but pick the growers located near your area. The sweetness of the Stevia may vary and this will depend on the stevioside content of the herb. You should be aware that the Stevia is quite sensitive to low temperature so when transplanting, you will have to wait until the frost has disappeared.
When transplanting, you will have to keep the Stevia at least 20”-24” apart. A fully grown Stevia should be around 30 inches tall and 18-24” in width. The ideal soil for the Stevia is loamy rich soil. You need to provide extra nutrients by adding compost. Never overwater the herb or the roots can rot. Even during the summer months, light watering is advised. When buying fertilizers, choose the one with low nitrogen content so the organic fertilizer is the best choice; during autumn, you can now start gathering the leaves of the Stevia. When the frost appears, you can still harvest a few leaves in the coming weeks if you cover the herb.