Sugarleaf - Stevia seeds
The leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana or sugar plant are used as a natural sweetener.
Other nicknames for the sugar plant are also honey herb and honey plant
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Propagating stevia plants from seed requires some experience and feeling. Stevia seeds are irregular light germinators, germinate only at 22 degrees and the soil must not dry out. The use of a (heated) greenhouse is recommended.
Stevia seeds can be pre-sown indoors from February to June. Use good sowing and cutting soil for sowing the seeds and if necessary add 1/4 part perlite/vermiculite or use coco pellets. Before sowing, moisten the soil well and press the stevia seeds against the cutting soil with the palm of your hand.
Do not cover the stevia seeds with cutting soil, use a layer of vermiculite if necessary or do not cover the seeds at all. Stevia seeds are light germinators and need sufficiently strong and long-lasting light to germinate.
Carefully spray the cutting soil and seeds again with a plant sprayer and place a lid or possibly cellophane over the cultivation tray. In this way, the seed dries out less quickly and the heat is better retained. Place the cultivation tray in a warm and light location so that the soil temperature remains above 22 degrees.
Do not let the seeds dry out and spray the stevia seeds if necessary. Do not use a watering can, the seeds simply rinse away, which disrupts the germination process. The germination time is approximately 1-3 weeks, depending on the temperature. From this moment on, water as much as possible from the bottom and ensure a constant temperature of 22 degrees.
After another 1-3 weeks, the first true leaves will appear. As soon as the seedlings have about 4-6 pairs of leaves, the small stevia plants transplant into a larger pot. Still provide enough moisture without the plant standing in water.
When to sow stevia seeds?
Stevia seeds can be pre-sown indoors from February to June. Sowing earlier or later gives a less good result because the seeds and plants only germinate and grow with sufficient strong and long-lasting light. Also make sure that the temperature is above 22 degrees and the seeds do not dry out.
Stevia plants are self-fertilizers, so the seeds are naturally irregular germinators with a low germination rate. Sometimes only 30% of the seeds germinate, sometimes more than 80%. These cross-pollinated seeds have a much higher germination rate with a better result.
In addition, both temperature and light are important. If the temperature is too low, the seeds will not germinate and/or growth will stop. Increase the soil temperature to at least 22 degrees. The same applies to the amount and length of daylight. Place the cultivation tray in a bright spot so that the seeds receive approximately 14-16 hours of daylight.
Stevia plants are perennials but not hardy. It is therefore preferable to grow stevia plants in pots and place them outside on a terrace or balcony in the spring. Overwinter the plants indoors in a cool location.
Stevia rebaudiana have many different nicknames such as sugar plant, honey herb and honey plant