What is Stevia? The plant itself has been grown for hundreds of years in South America and was first discovered by a Swiss botanist named Moises Santiago Bertoni when working in Paraguay. The leaves have been used traditionally for hundreds of years in South America to sweeten local teas and medicines. Growing Stevia plants.Whilst it’s possible to grow Stevia from seed we prefer to take cuttings. As a plant the germination rates are not very good from seed. At the nursery we take cuttings almost all year round resulting in good strong plants. Stevia is a plant that likes a fair bit of warmth we grow ours around 15-20 degrees making it a perfect plant for indoors. In the summer months it can be grown outside and makes a nice talking point at barbecues. When it comes to choosing compost for your plants a good multi purpose soil is ideal. Stevia enjoys a well drained open compost making sure that the plant does not sit wet. If you can find a multi purpose compost with added john innes that would be ideal. You can always add some grit or perlite to the compost yourself to help open up the soil. I like Stevia as a house plant. It’ll happily grow on a sunny windowsill or in the conservatory but make sure it gets adequate warmth over the winter (15-20 degrees centigrade). When potting your plants up make sure you bare in mind where the plant will be living. There’s no point in choosing a giant pot if it won’t fit on the windowsill. The plug plants that we grow pot on very nicely into a 9-12cm pot which can be plastic, ceramic or terracotta whichever style you prefer. Once you’ve potted the plants on it’ll take them a little while to settle into their new home but after a few days or weeks you should start seeing some fresh growth.
Some info about this plant and some of the conditions it’s happy to grow in.
Plant/pot size: Starter plants
Glasshouse / Conservatory
Indoors / Windowsill
Soil Condition: Well drained
How to grow plug plants
- Open Packaging Immediately on Receipt
- Place the plants somewhere reasonably warm. If you have a greenhouse, around 16-18°C is the best temperature. Alternatively, a kitchen windowsill is a suitable place.
- Allow the plants to settle and acclimatize for 2-3 hours.
- Water your plants with clean tap water. The best way to do this is to place them in water for a few minutes and allow them to soak it up. A saucer or dish should suffice, alternatively the opened out transport packaging makes a handy container.
- Transplant your plugs on the day you receive them if you can. Use a good quality, free draining multipurpose compost. 13cm pots (5”) are the best size to use. If you are using old pots, make sure you sterilise them first to remove any pathogens. We find Jeys Fluid to be the best, if you can’t find any, give them a good wash with warm water and soap.
- Fill your pots with compost up to about 1cm below the rim. Don’t compact the compost in the pot. Make a hole in the centre roughly the same size as the plug plant. Handle the plant gently by the leaves or root ball place in the hole, minimising compost compaction below the plug. Try to make sure the surface of the plug is not buried Firm lightly around the plug.
- Gently water-in your newly potted plants, with clean water and a fine rose, label your plants.
- Grow on your plants in a fairly warm area such as a kitchen windowsill or greenhouse.
- Start feeding your plants around 3 weeks after planting with a general feed.
- Plant out your plants into their final growing position according to the instructions received with your plants. Enjoy!