Common name: Candyleaf, Sugarleaf, Haa Jhee. It has been used for over 1,500 years by the peoples of South America to sweeten teas and medicines, and as a sweet treat. It has recently become popular worldwide as a near-zero calorie alternative to sugar and does not raise blood insulin levels.
Stevia plant is small, sweet, leafy herb with slender, branched stems and flourish. Fantastic fast growing herb plant that makes a very good house plant. It has very sweet scented and flavoured leaves.
GROWING: Germination slow and erratic. Grow best in rich, well-drained soilless potting mixes incorporated with organic fertiliser and peat moss. Do not cover seeds as they are very fine and light is required for germination. Seedlings emerge 7 to 21 days. When seedlings are large enough to handle, you can transplant them into 8 – 10cm diameter pots. Stevia grows well in full sun, with afternoon shade in hot climates. Do not over water. It is best to harvest stevia plants just prior to flowering, as the flower can impart an unpleasant flavour to the leaves.
SOWING: Stevia can also be sown in Jiffy. When the roots of the plant start to emerge through the Jiffy, place the whole Jiffy and plant, into its permanent position.
- OVERVIEW: Grow stevia in pots or in the vegetable garden.
- Stevia is herbaceous perennial shrub grown for its leaves.
- The Stevia leaf extract is a plant-based zero calorie sugar alternative.
- The growing worldwide demand for high potency sweeteners, particularly natural sweeteners has of late attracted people’s attention to grow the herb.