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Stevia Rebaudiana - Plant

Note: The image is for reference purpose only. The actual product may vary in shape or appearance based on climate, age, height etc.
Stevia is a sweetener and sugar substitute extracted from the leaves of the plant species Stevia rebaudiana.
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Description for Stevia Rebaudiana

Stevia is a tender perennial native to parts of Brazil and Paraguay that favors humid, wet environments, although the root does not tolerate standing water. Stevia is widely grown for its sweet leaves, which are the source of sweetener products known generically as stevia and sold under various trade names.

Common name Flower colours Bloom time Height Difficulty
Candyleaf,sweetleaf or sugarleaf. White Mid-Autumn. 1 to 2 feet Easy to grow

Planting and care

It would be difficult, at best, to start a stevia patch from scratch — that is, by planting seeds. Even if you could get them to germinate, results might well prove disappointing, since stevioside levels can vary greatly in plants grown from seed.
Keep in mind that not all stevia plants are created equal in terms of stevioside content, and, hence, sweetness. It’s therefore a good idea to try to determine if the plants you’re buying have been grown from cuttings whose source was high in stevioside.

Sunlight Soil Water Temperature Fertilizer
Full Sun Well drained soil Medium 20 to 30 degrees C Apply any organic fertilizer

Caring for Stevia Rebaudiana

  • Stevia plants do best in a rich, loamy soil — the same kind in which common garden-variety plants thrive. Since the feeder roots tend to be quite near the surface, it is a good idea to add compost for extra nutrients if the soil in your area is sandy.
  • Besides being sensitive to cold during their developmental stage, the roots can also be adversely affected by excessive levels of moisture.
  • So take care not to overwater them and to make sure the soil in which they are planted drains easily and isn’t soggy or subject to flooding or puddling.
  • Frequent light watering is recommended during the summer months. Adding a layer of compost or your favorite mulch around each stevia plant will help keep the shallow feeder roots from drying out.
  • Stevia plants respond well to fertilizers with a lower nitrogen content than the fertilizer’s phosphoric acid or potash content.
  • Most organic fertilizers would work well, since they release nitrogen slowly.

Typical uses of Stevia Rebaudiana

Special features:

Ornamental use: The plant is used for ornamental purpose

Medicinal use: Stevia herb parts are very low in calories. Parts by parts, its dry leaves possess roughly 40 times more sweetness than sugar. This sweetness quality in stevia is due to several glycoside compounds including stevioside, steviolbioside, rebaudiosides A-E, and dulcoside.

Stevioside is a non-carbohydrate glycoside compound. Hence, it lacks the properties that sucrose and other carbohydrates possess. Stevia extracts, like rebaudioside-A, are found to be 300 times sweeter than sugar. Besides, being a near-zero calorie food ingredient, stevia extracts have several unique properties such as long shelf life, high temperature tolerance, non-fermentative.

References

    http://www.stevia.net/growingstevia.htm http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/stevia-plant.html http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=e489

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