How to harvest Stevia
Harvest young fresh leaves in mid-summer by cutting back half the plant. Harvest leaves for drying in late Summer by hanging the whole plant upside down, and stripping the leaves off when ready after a few days. Harvest seeds when heads are fluffy and before they blow away.
How to propagate Stevia
Sow very shallow in Spring.
The best method. In late Summer, make 5 to 10 cm stem cuttings with a few leaves on them; keep moist in a warm area until roots develop. Transplant seedlings in raised beds at least 20cm apart.
Special features of Stevia
Attracts useful insects
Small bees are attracted to its small flowers.
This is a small species that grows well in any pot larger than 15 cm.
This plant originates from wet areas, but it doesn't like the roots sitting in water.
Other uses of Stevia
It is said that stevia can lower the blood sugar level and lower the insulin level after a meal. Chinese use it to treat allergies, cholesterol and cancer.
The leaves can be used fresh, cooked, as a liquid extract or dried; in food and drinks. One teaspoon of dried Stevia powder is about the same as one cup of sugar, but extremely low in calories.