Botanical Name: Stevia rebaudiana
Native: Paraguay and Brazil
Hardiness: Frost-sensitive perennial, USDA zones 10 or warmer; otherwise grown as an annual.
Plant Dimensions: 18″–30″ tall, 18″ wide
Variety Information: An upright leafy plant with brittle stems and elliptical, toothed leaves. Plants produce small, white, tubular flowers in late summer to fall.
Exposure: Full sun to part shade
Attributes: Good for Containers
When to Sow Outside: Not recommended.
When to Start Inside: RECOMMENDED. 8 to 10 weeks before your average last frost date. Optimal soil temperature is 70°–75°F.
Days to Emerge: 7–21 days
Seed Depth: ⅛” or barely cover
Seed Spacing: 18″
Row Spacing: 20″–24″
Thinning: Not required
Harvesting: Best flavor (highest stevioside content) is right before the plant flowers. Harvest in the morning after dew has dried. The entire plant can be cut or pick individual leaves or branches at any growth stage. To allow growth to continue, never remove more than ⅓ of the plant at a time. In very mild climates, plant may re-grow after cutting back to 4″–6″ above the base.