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Stevia Growing Tips, Techniques, Ideas, and Secrets

Introduction to Stevia Growing Tips, Techniques, Ideas, and Secrets – Stevia is a natural sweetener and even sugar substitute derived from the leaves of the plant species Stevia rebaudiana, it is native to Brazil and even Paraguay. The active compounds are steviol glycosides, which have 30 to 150 times the sweetness of sugar and they are heat-stable, pH-stable, and not fermentable.

A Guide for Stevia Growing Tips, Planting Techniques, Ideas, and Secrets

Growing stevia is a fun and very easy process. You need to buy seedlings from a nursery and plant them in a very warm and well-drained area. The plants are fairly very low maintenance and only need to be watered when the soil is dry to touch. Watch your stevia transform from a seedling into an 18 in or 46 cm bush.

Basic Growing Tips for Stevia Plants

During the primary 2 months of the season, pinch the leaves of the plant every 3 weeks. This may end in a bushier and better-branched plant. If possible, pinch within the early morning.

You need to mulch Stevia well, to guard its shallow root age against the warmth of the sun.

Fertilize with a daily (non-lawn) fertilizer throughout the growing process.

Pinch off individual leaves as you would like them throughout the season.

As soon as the flower buds appear, harvest the whole plant by cutting it at the bottom and hanging it upside-down during a warm, dry and drafty area for a couple of days. Don’t pinch off the buds or attempt to postpone flowering; if you are doing, the leaves will lose their sweet flavour.

Harvest within the morning, when the plant’s sugar content is high.

Basic Secrets for Growing Stevia Plant

Secrets for Growing Stevia Plant
Secrets for Growing Stevia Plant (Image credit: pixabay)

Water within the wild, stevia plants often grow near bodies of water like ponds and even lakes, so make certain to stay the soil in your garden consistently moist for best results.

Prune almost like herbs like cilantro and even basil, once stevia plants grow flowers, the flavour of their leaves starts to diminish or maybe develop a bitter aftertaste. To avoid letting your plant lose its sweetness or turn bitter, pinch off flower buds as they form, or trim stems to encourage the expansion of the latest stems and leaves instead of flowers.

Prepare for winter – Stevia is often grown as a perennial and left outside throughout the winter. To guard your plants, you need to use a row cover or mulch around the plant to retain soil warmth. In colder climates, bring your stevia plants indoors during the winter, or just pull them up at the top of the season and plant more next spring.

Soil Preparation Ideas for Growing Stevia Plant

Soil preparation: Grow stevia plant in a well-drained and loamy soil. Add aged compost to the planting bed and switch it under before planting. Stevia grows well and best when soil pH ranges from 6.7 to 7.2.

Stevia grows well in a rich loamy and even well-draining soil or maybe in general-purpose garden soil. Stevia will not grow in salty soils. Add some coarse river sand within the potting soil to form it free-draining.

Tips for Sowing Stevia Seed Indoors

You need to sow stevia seeds indoors 8 to 10 weeks before the last frost in spring.

Sow seeds ¼ inches deep in seed-starting formula. Sow double or triple the quantity of seed you always would for other plants because the germination rate is often less than for other seed varieties.

Seedlings will emerge in 14 to 21 days.

As soon as seedlings emerge, provide much light on a sunny windowsill or grow seedlings 3 to 4 inches beneath fluorescent plant lights turned on 16 hours per day, off for 8 hours in the dark. Raise the lights because the plants grow taller. Incandescent bulbs won’t work for this process because they’re going to get too hot. Most plants require a dark period to grow, don’t leave lights on for twenty-four hours.

Seedlings don’t need much fertilizer, feed once they are 3 to 4 weeks old employing a starter solution (half strength of an entire indoor houseplant food) consistent with the manufacturer’s directions.

Be sure to not overwater, water when the soil surface is dry.

If you’re growing in small cells, you’ll need to transplant the seedlings to three or four-inch pots when seedlings have a minimum of 3 pairs of leaves before transplanting to the garden so that they have enough room to develop strong roots.

Before planting within the garden, stevia plants got to be “hardened off”. Accustom young plants to outdoor conditions by moving them to a sheltered place outside every week. Make certain to guard them against wind and hot sun initially. If frost threatens in the dark, cover or brings containers indoors, then take them out again within the morning. This hardening-off process will toughen the plant’s cell structure and then reduces transplant shock and scalding.

Tips for Growing Stevia from Seeds

Choose the location. Stevia needs full sun to thrive, so pick a site that receives a minimum of six hours each day of direct sunlight.

Prepare the soil bed. Stevia grows best in soil or even potting mix rich with good organic matter. You need to avoid chemical fertilizers when planting stevia since these can affect the sweetness of the leaves.

Sow the seeds. Sow the stevia seeds three inches apart, and then a few half-inch deep.

Water immediately after planting, water the worlds gently to assist the soil settle. Keep the soil evenly moist because the seeds germinate.

Thin if you propose to transplant the seedlings, you’ll need to thin them once they reach a minimum of two inches tall. Thin the seedlings back until they’re a minimum of six inches apart to offer them room to grow within the garden. To grow the seedlings in indoor pots, thin the seedlings to 2 to 3 plants per large pot to offer them additional room.

Transplant them once the weather outside is warm enough, transplant your stevia seedlings into the garden, allowing a minimum of 18 inches of space between plants.

Tips for Planting Stevia from Stem Cuttings

To grow your own stevia plant from stem cuttings follow these tips:

Choose the location: Stevia needs full sun to thrive, so pick a spot with a minimum of six hours of sunlight per day.

Prepare the soil bed: In terms of soil quality you use, stevia grows well and best in soil rich with organic matter. Better avoid chemical fertilizers when planting stevia, since these can affect the sweetness of the leaves.

Select and prepare the stems: If you’re cutting from a long-time stevia plant, cut stems that are six to eight inches long, from slightly below a node of leaves. Strip the leaves from the lower third of every stem. For the fastest results, dip rock bottom of every stem in rooting hormone to encourage root growth.

Plant the cuttings of the plant: you need to plant each cutting by burying the lower inch of the stem in potting soil.

Keep moist: While the new plants are establishing roots, then keep the soil evenly moist.

Transplant to the garden: After four to five weeks, your cuttings will have grown roots. You need to transplant each cutting into the garden, by spacing each plant 18 inches apart for room to grow.

Stevia Watering Secrets

Water the plant when the soil feels dry. It’s really important to not overwater the stevia plant as this will kill it. Touch the soil around the roots of the plant and if it feels too dry, lightly water it. Avoid creating puddles of water within the soil.

If you reside in a hot climate, you’ll need to dampen the soil every few days.

The stevia plant features a root age near the surface, so it’s going to dry call in summer and needs frequent shallow watering. But note that excessive moisture or over-watering can adversely affect the expansion. The plant is going to be benefited by putting a layer of compost or mulch on the plant, specifically for pots.

You may also check this: How To Grow Rose Flowers In Greenhouse.

Stevia Plant Fertilizing Ideas

Add organic or compost to the soil once per annum. Stevia plants grow best once they are given many nutrients. Follow the instructions on the packet and add the quantity of fertilizer or compost suggested around the base of your plants. It’s important to not add more fertilizer to the soil than the instructions suggest as this will harm the stevia.

Purchase organic and compost from your local gardening store. Organic fertilizers will work best because they release nitrogen very slowly.

If the instructions tell you to combine the fertilizer or compost into the soil, use a trowel or spade to mix it into the soil.

Common Problems and Solutions to Grow Stevia

When you grow stevia, you typically run into one among two problems. These are what they see:

  • Stevia dies due to frost

If you reside in a colder climate, don’t be surprised if your stevia gets chilled to the bone and dies off completely. This happens sometimes.

That’s why we recommend bringing the plant in to overwinter it, or to hide it from frost until the plant falls dormant.

Then, it’ll hopefully come next year. If not, then plant stevia as an annual. You’ll need to start it from seed per annum to assist curb the value.

  • Stevia dies due to soggy soil

Stevia must be planted where the soil is well-drained. The rationale is that an excessive amount of water will rot the roots of the plant.

If this happens, your plant will die. You want to use quality soil that’s loose and well-drained to stop this from happening.

Stevia Pests and Diseases Controlling Techniques

Stevia doesn’t suffer from too many diseases or pests, but there are a couple of that you simply should remember.

  • Alternaria Leaf Spot

This disease causes reddish, round, small spots with white or grey centres on the leaves and midrib. Sometimes, the lesions encircle the stems of the plant, causing the plant to wilt. It gets worse in warm or humid weather.

Make sure that you simply don’t get water on the foliage and always remove infected plant parts. Keep the plants apart for air circulation.

  • Botrytis

This is a nasty fungus that results in grey mould forming on the stems, leaves, flowers, and all parts of the plant. It loves cool and wet weather.

If you notice this fungus developing, remove all affected parts of the plant and don’t water in the dark.

  • Damping Off

This is one of the foremost common problems once you start the plants from seeds. At first, the seedlings look healthy; on the other hand, they wilt all of a sudden. Damping-off may be a fungus that typically appears when the soil is just too wet otherwise you have an excessive amount of nitrogen in your soil.

You must keep seedlings moist but avoid overwatering. Never over-fertilize your seedlings and you need to quickly thin the seedlings to avoid overcrowding. Also, wash containers before you reuse them, and add a touch of bleach o the containers to kill the remaining fungus.

  • Aphids

Aphids are tiny little insects that will be red, black, green, yellow, brown, grey, or peach scored. They will suck on the leaves, typically clinging to the underside of the leaves. Then, they leave a sticky residue that draws ants.

You can knock aphids off of the leaves with a good jet of water from your hose. a choice is to use insecticidal soap on the leaves.

  • Slugs

They leave big holes within the foliage or eat the whole leaf. You’ll find slime trails within the morning; slugs are more active, eating in the dark.

At night, enter your garden and check out to handpick them off of your plant. Try attracting them to traps made from either cornmeal or beer.

Stevia Plant Harvesting Techniques

In case if you miss this: Easy Growing Flowers In Apartments.

Stevia Flowers
Stevia Flowers (Pic source: pixabay)

The most important tip for harvesting your stevia plant is to select the leaves before the tiny white flowers appear. Once the plant starts putting energy into flowers, the leaves will subside sweet.

You can pick leaves as required, or cut the plant back by half in midsummer and even early fall. If you would like to stay with your plants over winter, you need to leave a minimum of 6 inches of the plant intact to permit regrowth.

You need to cut back plants to force foliage growth if you see any signs of flowering. When growing stevia plants inside (or outside because the days shorten), but 14 hours of daylight per day is probably going to trigger flowering.


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