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Stevia Seed - Naturally Produced
Stevia has been used for centuries in other countries as a no calorie sweetener. It is very low on the glycemic index so is suitable for use by diabetics. It has been estimated that it is 200 times as sweet as cane sugar.
It has finally gained popularity in the US, and now you can easily grow it in your own garden!
Stevia is classified as a tender perennial, and should be treated as an annual in most areas of the United States. I grow as a perennial in NC Zone 7b.
Start your stevia seed indoors about 6 weeks before thje last frost due date for your area. Transplant into an area of your garden with rich soil, or work organic compost into your soil to amend it. Make sure your area is very well drained.
Plants will grow to between 3 and 4 feet tall, and about a foot in diameter. They make nice edging plants for your flower or herb garden as they have very nice green foliage, and will produce clusters of small white flowers at the end of the season. Allow the flowers to produce seed, and let the seed dry on the plant. Remove the fully dried seeds to grow your own plants again for the next years garden!
You can use fresh leaves of your stevia plant for tea (add fresh mint leaves for a very nice cold summer drink). The dried leaves can either be powdered or tinctured for home use. If making tincture, do not let infuse for more than 36 hours or will be bitter. Let the alcohol evaporate and use the remaining brown liquid as your sweetener.
One packet = min 20 fresh seed