Stevia (seeds) (Organic)

SKU: hstv $2.00
Stevia is a green leafy herb that is sweeter than sugar but does not contain any sugar at all, and does not spike the glycemic index. Some studies have shown it lowers high blood pressure but does not lower normal blood pressure. Start indoors in early spring. MUST use a heat mat to start. Soil must remain evenly moist for germination. Press seed to soil surface. Stevia takes 2-4 weeks to germinate, and has 60-70 percent germination. Approx. 12 seeds per pack. Annual outdoors, perennial indoors. Young plants must be kept moist. Transfer outside after last frost. Stevia will not thrive in hot summer weather but will suddenly grow rapidly in the fall. Cut plants to about two inches tall and dry leaves for kitchen use. Bring the plant indoors to overwinter on a sunny windowsill, and this plant will be perennial. About 20 seeds per pack. Medicinally, stevia is taken internally as a weight loss aid, for treating diabetes, contraception, hypertension, heartburn, lowering uric acid levels, and as a cardiotonic and diuretic. In foods, stevia is used as a non-caloric sweetener and flavor enhancer. (medical usage data: Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database; NaturalDatabase.com). Free shipping on orders over $26.

Question: I am having trouble getting from seeds to plants. I would love some better instructions for this.

Answer: We STRONGLY suggest using a seed-starting heat pad (available at garden stores). Stevia seeds be kept wet to germinate. Once the seeds sprout, the roots stay at ground level for a week or two -- a very strange thing in the plant world. Even letting the soil dry out for a hour can kill the seeds once they germinate. The soil must be 70+ degrees for germination. Seedlings must have high humidity for the first three weeks, which means that you must grow them in a covered container of moist soil. Plants prefer full to partial shade in the heat of summer, and the soil must not be allowed to dry out. To plant, press seed to soil surface. Stevia takes 2-4 weeks to germinate, and has a natural germination rate of 40-70 percent, which is much lower than most seeds. Stevia seeds do not age well. Germination begins to fall rapidly if the seeds are older than 1-2 years. Transfer outside after last frost. Stevia will not thrive in hot summer weather but will suddenly grow rapidly in the fall. To harvest, as soon as flowers buds appear, cut stems to about two inches tall and dry leaves for kitchen use. Stevia must be harvested before frost. The flowers are very small white flowers. Stevia must have a group of several hundred plants for pollination to produce viable seeds, so home seed-saving is not recommended. Bring the plant indoors to overwinter on a sunny windowsill, and this plant will be perennial. One common reason that people think their stevia plants, whether indoors or outdoors, are “dying” is because stevia is only a root perennial. This means that all stevia plants die back completely in winter. If the roots freeze, the plant will die. If the plant is indoors, and dies back, the plant is not dead, it has just gone seasonally dormant. You must continue to regularly water your indoor stevia plants even after they die back, and you must leave the plant in a sunny window. The plant is not dead and will produce new shoots and leaves in spring. In the author’s home, stevia dies back in December or January and produces new shoots and leaves in late February or early March. It is natural for indoor stevia plants to look straggly and appear to be “dying” in the autumn and early winter because they are preparing to go dormant for winter. Free shipping on orders over $26 or add "U.S. Shipping" to cart for orders less than $26.


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