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How to Grow and Care for the Stevia Rebaudiana Plant

Updated on June 19, 2013

About Stevia Rebuadiana

The stevia plant (Stevia rebaudiana) has a long history of use as a natural, no calorie sweetener. Stevia is native to the lands of North and South America most notably, Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil. With a genus of roughly 240 species, the more commonly known S. rebaudiana is one species in a large plant family.


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Stevia Bloom
Stevia Bloom

Growing Conditions for Stevia

Its growing requirements are simple as it is an undemanding plant that is not often attacked by pests or diseases. The leaves, stems, roots and blossoms of the stevia plant can be used as sugar substitutes—though the parts of the leaf between each vein is thought to be superior as a sweetener with little to no aftertaste.

Place stevia in full sun with well-drained soils that contain a lot of organic matter. The key is to keep the soil moist until the plant is well established. Once established, stevia is drought tolerant–though it grows better if given regular, deep waterings.

Fertilize stevia plants with organic foods such as worm castings, tea and coffee grounds, cow and chicken manure and compost teas. Avoid the use of synthetic fertilizers whenever possible. Pinch the growing tips of each branch to promote a bushier habit and more sweet-tasting leaves. Stevia is considered hardy in USDA zones 9 through 11—or 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

In areas colder than its safe zone, stevia grows well as a houseplant if placed in a sunny window and turned regularly. Use a well rotted/matured, manure and compost rich soil and feed with an organic fertilizer often. Provide good drainage while keeping the soil moist, not wet.

Purchase Stevia plants and seeds online or at local plant nurseries.

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    • profile image

      Narayan Parajuli 

      5 years ago

      I have assignment on stevia farming but I still not found the diseases and insect-pest encountered in stevia plant. Would you please suggest me about what kind of insect-pest and diseases are found in stevia farming?

    • IsadoraPandora profile imageAUTHOR

      Jocelyn 

      7 years ago from Florida, PCB

      You need to purchase a good plant. They plants vary in sweetness and taste. I was using mine and it was good. I avoided the stems and any hard part of the plant and that keeps the taste from being bitter. I forgot to overwinter mine so it probably died, LOL.

    • Sterling Carter profile image

      Sterling Carter 

      7 years ago from Indian Mound, Tennessee

      You know, I have often thought about growing Stevia but I just never got around to it. Since I have never used fresh or dried Stevia I am not certain what the taste would be. I do use Truvia however and it is great.

      I wonder if I can grow my own and have the same quality of taste?

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