The stevia rebaudiana It is a perennial herb that no one had heard of a few years ago. It has recently been extended by an extraordinary function : the dried and crushed leaves act as a natural sugar substitute with sweetening power twice as big than sucrose.
What is interesting is that this sugar plant it has no calories and is suitable for diabetics , a healthy solution to not give up sweetness. That is why it is now widely used in the confectionery industry, especially in confectionery.
What not everyone knows is that the stevia plant is easy to grow and can be kept both in pots and in the garden. So let’s take a look at how to grow stevia and how to produce this valuable natural sweetener from its leaves.
Stevia: the sugar plant
Suitable climate and soil
Planting or Transplanting Stevia
Cultivation, pruning and harvesting
Sugar» self-produced from stevia leaves
Stevia: the sugar plant
the plant of stevia rebaudiana belongs to the family of Compositae or Asteraceae It reaches half a meter in height. It is a perennial crop but it goes into vegetative rest during the cold months, it wakes up with the arrival of spring when it grows and sets its leaves. In the fall it emits small white flowers from which seeds can be obtained. During the winter all its aerial part dries up and enters a vegetative rest.
Adapted climate and terrain
Climate . Stevia is not very hardy: it particularly fears frost and drought. Frost can kill the plant, so it is grown in the field only when temperatures are mild, often thinking about how to protect it from the cold. This culture also requires good exposure to the sun and must be protected from the wind.
Stage. The stevia rebaudiana plant requires a fairly light and loose soil, it is not suitable for very clay soils. In order to prepare the soil for planting, it is advisable to work it very hard and deeply, mixing sand if necessary to lighten the soil. It is also essential to ensure the drainage of excess water.
Stevia seed or graft
start with the seed . Stevia is a very difficult plant to grow from seed, because it requires a mild (20-25 degrees) but above all constant temperature, as well as good humidity. The seeds are very small and often do not germinate. For this reason, the idea of sowing stevia directly in the field is unthinkable. It is better to do it in a nursery and to arm yourself with a lot of patience, knowing that the operation is often unsuccessful. Sowing in spring, from March to May.