Posted by John Minton | Posted in Stevia | Posted on 26-04-2011
I got my Stevia plant just a month ago at my local Home Depot for less than $4. It looks like something that would grow in a field of weeds, though it will flower! Stevia is a slightly delicate but it grows fast. Stevia is easy to grow, I associate it’s growth and growing conditions with Mint. Basically plant Stevia in well drained soil, don’t let it dry out, don’t over water and bring it indoors in the Winter. It can go outside in the Spring when it warms up.
Stevia is a pretty neat plant, you can pick the leaves right off and chew them, they are sweet! (with a bit of “planty” taste too). The Stevia sweetener is literally just dried out and ground up Stevia leaves, something you can do at home. I can imaging that it would go excellent with any variety of home grown mint teas!
Stevia will go to seed though I read they have a low chance of germinating, and like fruit trees some Stevia offspring taste better than others. In this aspect it may be better to propagate Stevia by Layering or by rooting cuttings of well established good tasting adults.
There are about 240 different variety of Stevia, the one we most commonly use for sweetener is Stevia Rebaudiana. According to a number of websites besides being a great no calorie sweetener, Stevia also lowers blood sugar, lowers blood pressure, dilates blood vessels, kills bacteria, kills fungi, kills viruses and reduces inflammation.