Stevia Candyleaf Stevia rebaudiana is a plant species in the genus Stevia of the sunflower family (Asteraceae). The species is widely grown for its sweet leaves. As a sweetener and sugar substitute, stevia’s taste has a slower onset and longer duration than that of sugar. With its extracts having up to 150 times the sweetness of sugar, has attracted attention with the rise in demand for low-carbohydrate, low-sugar food alternatives.
Plant is a perennial herb native to parts of Brazil and Paraguay. The leaves of the plant have been used for centuries by the Guaraní people of South America to sweeten tea and other beverages. The plant was first formally described by the Swiss botanist Moisés Santiago Bertoni in 1899.
The plant grows to a height of 30–100 cm (12–39 in). The leaves are opposite, simple, and ovate-lanceolate, 5–15 cm (2.0–5.9 in) long and 2–6 cm (0.79–2.36 in) wide. They are green to pale green in color and have a sweet taste. The flowers are small and white, borne in inflorescences of 2–5 cm (0.79–2.0 in) wide.
The plant has been used as a sweetener for centuries. The leaves can be used fresh or dried and ground into a powder. The powder can be used to sweeten beverages or added to food.
How to care:
Stevia rebaudiana is a relatively easy plant to grow. It can be propagated from seed, cuttings, or division. The plant prefers full sun but will tolerate partial shade. It prefers well-drained soil and does not like to be waterlogged.
Once established, stevia is a drought-tolerant plant. It can be sensitive to frost, so it is best to grow it in an area that does not experience freezing temperatures.
Plant can be used in a variety of ways. The leaves can be used fresh or dried and ground into a powder. The powder can be used to sweeten beverages or added to food.
Plant prefers well-drained soil and does not like to be waterlogged. Once established, the plant is drought-tolerant.
Type of soil:
Plant prefers well-drained soil.
Plant does not require fertilizer.
Pests and diseases:
Plant is relatively resistant to pests and diseases.
Plant can be propagated from seed, cuttings, or division.
Plant can be used as an ornamental plant in the landscape. It is drought-tolerant and does not require much maintenance.