Latin name: Stevia rebaudiana
🌱 Days to Sprout: 14-21
✂️ Thin to: 3 plants per yCube
🍅 Days to Maturity: 40-60
💡 Gardyn Location: Center
📏 Plant Size: 1 ft
💚 Care Level: Beginner
Native to Paraguay, Stevia has long been used as an herbal sweetener. The Guarani people used Stevia in hot maté to cut the bitter flavor as early as 500 AD.
Stevia is said to be 200-300 times sweeter than sugar, so a little goes a long way! Unlike table sugar, Stevia has no carbohydrates or calories. Its green leaves are relatively small, serrated, and elongated, growing along a stem.
Stevia is most commonly used as a sugar substitute, but it is also believed to be an antioxidant and have anti-hyperglycemic, anti-hypertensive, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties. You can use the leaves fresh, or more commonly, steeped to create an extract or concentrate.
Care & Harvest
🌿 Harvest: Harvesting frequently helps prolong the plant's life. Pinch off individual leaves, or use clean shears to cut stems above growth nodes. Once the plant reaches 8 inches tall, you can begin trimming larger, outer leaves. Leave ⅓ of the plant if you want it to keep growing.
Harvest To Plate Recipe
Photo / Recipe Source: The Prairie Homestead
- Fresh stevia leaves
- Clean glass jar with lid
*NOTE: The amount of ingredients you need will depend on how much stevia extract you want to make. A small batch might be about 1 cup of vodka and a handful of chopped leaves.
- Wash the leaves and remove them from the stem. Discard any wilted or brown leaves, and coarsely chop the rest.
- Place the leaves into a clean, glass jar, without packing the leaves down.
- Fill the jar with vodka, making sure the leaves are completely covered.
- Place the lid on securely, give it a good shake, and set it aside.
- Let the leaves steep in the vodka for around 48 hours. This is a much shorter time frame than many other extracts, but if you let it sit more than a day or two, the resulting stevia extract is very bitter.
- After 48 hours, strain the leaves from the vodka. You can also give the leaves a good squeeze to get out every last bit of extract.
- Pour the extract into a small saucepan and heat it gently for 20 minutes. Do not let it boil, just warm it up to remove the alcohol and improve the sweetness. It will also thicken up a bit and reduce in volume.
- Pour your finished extract into a small bottle and store it in the fridge. It should last several months.
Our Plant Health & Nutrition Team thoroughly tests each variety we offer to bring you the most flavorful and high-quality plants. We regularly rotate our plant portfolio, so please note, availability varies.