|Genus ||Stevia |
|Species ||rebaudiana |
|Item Form ||(P) Pkt of 50 seeds |
|Zone ||10 - 11 |
|Days to Maturity ||85 |
|Fruit Color ||Green |
|Habit ||Upright |
|Seeds Per Pack ||50 |
|Plant Height ||18 in |
|Plant Width ||12 in |
|Additional Characteristics ||
Edible, Flower, Herbs, Indoor Growing
|Bloom Color ||
|Foliage Color ||
|Harvest Season ||
Late Summer, Early Fall, Mid Fall
|Light Requirements ||
|Moisture Requirements ||
Heat Tolerant, Humidity Tolerant
|Soil Tolerance ||
Beds, Containers, Cuisine, Foliage Interest
Stevia rebaudiana, known as Sugar Plant, is a shrub native to Paraguay, where it has been used for more than 1,500 years by the local peoples as a sweetener, digestive aid, and topical healing agent. It was introduced to the rest of the world in the late 19th century and has been used extensively in Asian cuisine for several generations, but has only recently come into widespread use in the United States. This nutrient-rich herb offers protein, calcium, and numerous vitamins and minerals, but its biggest draw is as an all-natural, calorie-free sweetener.
Choosing to Grow Stevia
Stevia is a great alternative to processed sugar. Just drop a leaf into hot beverages or cooked dishes, grind the leaves into powder, or extract the oil. It's heat-stable to 392 degrees F and is 20 to 30 times sweeter than sugar cane, yet it has no calories, does not promote tooth decay, and will not elevate blood sugar levels. This makes it the ideal choice for diabetics and those on weight-loss regimes.
When to Start
At just a foot high and slightly wider, Stevia can be grown as a houseplant as well as a garden plant, so you can begin the seeds anytime for houseplant use. To grow Stevia in the garden, begin the seeds indoors in late winter or direct-sow them in mid- to late spring.
How to Start
Stevia is best sown indoors in the Bio Dome or seed flat. Drop a single seed in each cell of the Bio Dome or place the seeds on top of the starting medium, and keep them at a temperature of 68 to 70 degrees F. (If your house is colder than this, a heat mat is recommended.)
Outdoors, sow the seeds when the soil warms to 65 degrees F in spring.
Germination occurs in 10 to 15 days.
When the seedlings have at least two true leaves, they are ready to be transplanted into the garden. Harden them off for a few days and then transplant when all danger of frost has passed, spacing the plants 18 inches apart in full sun and sandy or light, well-drained soil.
Stevia likes to stay evenly moist, not too dry and not too wet. Make sure the soil drainage is excellent.
The FDA has declared that the sweetening agent rebaudioside in Stevia is safe, but consult a physician before using natural Stevia when pregnant or under a doctor's care.
The branches of this plant are quite brittle, so site Stevia in an area protected from foot traffic to avoid breakage. Indoors, set it away from the flow of activity in the room.
- During the first 2 months of the growing season, pinch the tips of the plant every 3 weeks. This will result in a bushier, better-branched plant. If possible, pinch in the early morning.
- After planting, do not dig up and move Stevia.
- Mulch Stevia well, to protect its shallow root system from the heat of the sun.
- Fertilize with a regular (non-lawn) plant food throughout the growing process.
- Pinch off individual leaves as you need them throughout the growing season.
- As soon as the flower buds appear, harvest the entire plant by cutting it at the base and hanging it upside-down in a warm, dry, drafty area for a few days. Do not pinch off the buds or try to postpone flowering; if you do, the leaves will lose their sweet flavor.
- Harvest in the morning, when the plant's sugar content is highest.
Pests and Problems to Watch For
Bottom-water the seedlings (the Bio Dome is ideal for this) to avoid damping off.
In the garden, use a soaker hose rather than an overhead watering system if at all possible. Dirt and other debris splashed on the leaves will affect their flavor, so take care when watering, and keep plants spaced a reasonable distance apart.
View All Know Before You Grow Topics
High germination rate
I purchased these seeds as I have just started getting into gardening. After hearing about 1% germination rates I was a bit afraid but with my jiffy peat greenhouse I saw movement on day 2 and its day 3 with sprouts and 80%. I surfaced sowed and even a couple I put under the peat poked through :D.
I grow this pots and oven can and freeze the leaves great for tea and cakes
Stevia Germination Information How to Sow Stevia:
How to Grow Stevia: Transplanting:
- Best sown indoors at a temperature of 68-70° with NO cover as light aids in germination
- Seeds can also be sown outdoors after all chance of frost is past in the spring
- Sow when the soil is warm and with barely any cover
- Indoors and out, germination will occur in 10-15 days
- It is best to start the seeds early indoors, rather than sowing outdoors, as the plants grow their best under a long, hot growing season
For seed grown types, transplant when there are at least two sets of true leaves Spacing:
Space plants 18 inches apart and in rows 20-24 inches apart Lighting:
Site in full sun Soil:
a rich, loamy, high organic matter, well-drained soil. It likes to be kept evenly moist: it will not tolerate wet feet, neither will it tolerate drought. Feed with a low nitrogen fertilizer and mulch to keep the shallow root system moist Appearance and Use:
The bright green leaves of this 30 inch tall by 18-24 inch wide plant are used as a sugar substitute. Harvest the leaves in the fall when the temperatures cool and the days shorten as these changes increase their sweetness. Use them fresh or dried. Keeping in mind that they are very sweet and a little goes a long way, grind them or crush them to release their sweetness and use them in any way that you would sugar
About Stevia: Botanical name:
Stevia rebaudiana Pronunciation:
ste’ve-å re-bod’e-on-å Lifecycle:
Asteraceae; native to Paraguay *Grown as an annual, but it will overwinter in a frost-free climate
Superior Germination Through Superior Science
Park Seed offers some of the highest-quality vegetable and flower seeds available in the industry, and there are a number of reasons for this.
First of all, we have humidity- and temperature-controlled storage, and we never treat any of our seeds with chemicals or pesticides. Nor do we ever sell GMO's (genetically modified seeds), so you always know the products you're buying from us are natural as well as safe for you and the environment.
Superior Standards - University Inspected
To make sure we are providing the best seed product possible and that our customers will get the highest number of seedlings from every packet, we conduct our own germination testing and have quality-control measures in every stage of our seed-handling operation. We hold ourselves to standards that are at or above federal and state standards, including testing specific crops more frequently than recommended by federal guidelines. And in order to maintain our organic certification, we welcome Clemson University to inspect us annually to make sure our organic seeds, which are stored and processed separately, are being handled properly.
Hand Packed By Experienced Technicians
Park Seed has been handling and packing vegetable and flower seeds for 145 years, a history that has given us a great understanding of how each variety should be cared for and maintained throughout every step of theprocess, from collection to shipping.
When packing our seeds, the majority are actually done by hand (with extreme care!), and we often over-pack them, so you're receiving more than the stated quantity.
The Park Seed Gold Standard
And many of our seeds are packed in our exclusive Fresh-Pak gold foil packets, which are lined to keep moisture out, so the seeds stay fresher for longer. We carefully pack very tiny or fragile seeds in crush-proof vials to ensure safe delivery to your home. Some of the small seeds are also offered as "pellets" (have a clay coating) to make sowing and growing easier.
When it comes to the kinds of seeds we offer, we are constantly seeking something new and provide many unique and hard-to-find varieties from all around the world. Our on-staff horticulturists are ready and available to share their expertise to help you with the success of these seeds, so you can grow a beautiful and productive garden!
Does Park sell GMO's or treated seeds?
It is important for our customers to know that Park Seed does not sell GMO or treated seed. We do buy a small amount of traditional hybrid seed from Seminis, a division of Monsanto Co., but that is all we purchase from them.
What are the differences between organic, heirloom, and hybrid seed?
Basically, organic seeds are seeds that are produced without the use and exposure to artificial/chemical fertilizers, insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, and other chemicals. They have to be grown, harvested, stored, and handled under very strict organic rules and procedures. All of our organic seeds are USDA 100% certified organic through Clemson University and the certificate has to be renewed yearly.
Heirloom Seeds are open-pollinated -- they are not hybrids. You can gather and save heirloom seed from year to year and they will grow true to type every year, so they can be passed down through generations. To be considered an heirloom, a variety would have to be at least from the 1940's and 3 generations old (many varieties are much older -- some 100 years or more!).
Hybrid seed are the product of cross-pollination between 2 different parent plants, resulting in a new plant/seed that is different from the parents. Unlike Heirloom seed, hybrid seed need to be re-purchased new every year (and not saved). They usually will not grow true to type if you save them, but will revert to one of the parents they were crossed with and most likely look/taste different in some way.
What are pelleted seeds? Why do you use them? How do I handle/sow them?
Extremely small seed such as Petunias and Pentas are shipped as pelleted seed to make them easier to handle and sow. Pelleted seed are coated, usually with clay, to make them larger in size. After sowing, the coating will dissolve when wet and the seed will germinate. Pelleted seeds are shipped in vials placed inside seed packets, which protects them from being crushed. When sowing, be certain to use thoroughly moistened soil, to be sure that the clay coating absorbs enough moisture to dissolve. For sowing pelleted Petunia seeds, place the seeds directly on the soil surface and do not cover with soil, as light aids in the germination.
What is ideal temperature to germinate most seeds?
The ideal temperature to germinate most seeds is approximately 70 degrees F; give or take 1-2 degrees either way. This would be a good germination temperature for most flower and vegetable seeds and would be the most practical and feasible temperatures achieved for gardeners starting seeds in the home. You will notice for some seeds that it is recommended to use alternating day (warmer), night (cooler), temperatures, which is fine if one can provide such conditions. But most people are unable to provide those temperatures in a home setting, so just use the overall 70 degree F recommendation and the seeds should germinate well.
How long should grow lights be kept on per day and how close to the plants should the light be kept?
For germination and seedling/plant growth, you want to simulate the natural day-night cycles, and as a general rule, grow lights should be on 8-12 hours per day and off at night. You can vary this timing, as some seeds such as tomato, pepper, petunia, impatiens, and others, benefit from 14-17 hours of light per day (and the remainder of the 24 hour period in darkness). The most common grow lights used are fluorescent; using cool white, warm white, and wide-spectrum fluorescent tubes. These lights work well for germination and for growing plants up to a transplantable size. Fluorescent lights should be kept close though, 3-6 inches above the soil or the growing plants, adjusting the height as the plants grow.
How long will seeds keep in storage?
Park Seed stores seed in a special temperature- and humidity-controlled storage facility, which keeps seeds in excellent condition. Our seeds should be good for at least 1-2 years on average. Seed viability and storage time will vary depending on the seed item; some will keep a shorter time and some will keep longer. Seeds should be stored in a cool, dark, dry place. A basement will do (if not too humid), or a cool, dark room or closet. We recommend the best way to extend seed storage life is to store them in something air tight, such as a plastic zipper storage bag or canning jar, and place it in the refrigerator. This will extend the life of seeds for many years.
What is the best way to store seeds over a longer time period?
We recommend the best way to extend seed storage life is to store seeds in something air tight, such as a plastic zipper storage bag or canning jar, and place it in the refrigerator. This will extend the life of seeds for many years.
What depth should I sow various seeds?
When sowing seed outdoors, we recommend a maximum planting depth of 4X the width of the seed. When sowing seed indoors, the planting depth can be less, depending on the seed being sown, so it is always best to check specific directions. Here are some general guidelines concerning planting depth in relation to seed size: Tiny, dust-like seeds need to be sown on the surface of the growing medium or soil, uncovered, as they need light to germinate. The planting depth for small seed can be anywhere from barely covering, to 1/8-inch deep, to possibly 1/4-inch deep, depending on the recommendation. Medium seed should be planted at 1/4- to 1/2-inch deep, depending on the recommendation. Larger seeds can be planted 1-inch or deeper, depending on the recommendation.