Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana)

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Stevia is a perennial herb widely cultivated for it's unique sweet leaves which are used as a natural sweetener.  Stevia, also known as Sweet Leaf, Candy Leaf, or Sugar Leaf, is a related to sunflowers and is native to Brazil and Paraguay. 

Although the common Stevia sweetener that we see in the grocery store is made from a Stevia extract, leaves from the plant can be picked fresh and simply crushed and added to your teas or smoothies. Leaves can also easily be dried and ground into a powder.  With Stevia, it's easy to grow your own natural sweetener at home!

Helpful hint: as a sweetener, 1/4 of ground leaves is equal to 1 tsp of sugar. 

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How to Grow Stevia

Plant Type: Perennial Herb, Shrub 

Harvest Season: Blooms late Summer. Harvest in the Fall and year-round

Mature Size: 1-2 ft. tall and wide.

Soil & Moisture: Medium moisture, good drainage; thrives in sandy loams. Consider raised beds as a way to facilitate drainage. 

Exposure: Full Sun, Part Shade

Zone Hardiness: 9-11. Will grow as a Perennial in Zone 8 with frost protection. Grow as an Annual north of Zone 8.

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