Stevia or Sweetleaf –
Stevia rebaudiana (latin)
Area of origin: Paraguay.
Adult dimensions: 60 - 80cm (23.5" to 31.5").
Foliage: Evergreen in its country of origin, deciduous in Europe if planted outside.
Type of soil: All types if well drained.
Hardiness: Growth if temperature is above 10°C; stagnation at 7°C, mortality at -6°C.
Exposure: Full sun or semi-shade in its country of origin.
Characteristics and features:
In our part of the world, the stevia lends itself well to pot culture, completely bio, either indoors or in greenhouses. This plant cannot support droughts and requires lots of light: seeds need 16 hours of light per day in order to germinate, after having been soaked in cold water for 24 hours.
Once germinated, the stevia needs little looking after and light watering every two to three days. Once mature, it is easily propagated.
Flowering is from August to September: if new flowers are not removed regularly, the stevia will die within a few weeks.