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Seananers
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How difficult is it to grow stevia from seeds?

I have read in books and online and I can't find just a strait up answer. So on a scale of 1-10 how hard is it to grow stevia from seeds?
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imafan26
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Re: How difficult is it to grow stevia from seeds?

Stevia seeds are very small and they have a poor germination rate, sometimes as low as 15%. It likes a well drained soil and almost neutral pH. I plant the seeds in full sun and I don't cover them. The plants like warmth but not really hot weather which makes them bolt and bloom. If they bloom before they can establish a good root system they don't come back, otherwise if the root system is developed enough the stevia will regrow and bloom in multiple cycles within a year. They can be grown from cuttings fairly easily but it is hard to get a cutting to root fast enough and it often does not come back. If you get the seeds to grow you need to put them in a large enough pot or in the ground where their roots can spread out.

I read that sometimes they have various degrees of sweetness of the leaves when grown from seed and some may not be that sweet at all.
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Seananers
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Location: Dayton OH USDA Zone 6a

Re: How difficult is it to grow stevia from seeds?

imafan26 wrote:Stevia seeds are very small and they have a poor germination rate, sometimes as low as 15%. It likes a well drained soil and almost neutral pH. I plant the seeds in full sun and I don't cover them. The plants like warmth but not really hot weather which makes them bolt and bloom. If they bloom before they can establish a good root system they don't come back, otherwise if the root system is developed enough the stevia will regrow and bloom in multiple cycles within a year. They can be grown from cuttings fairly easily but it is hard to get a cutting to root fast enough and it often does not come back. If you get the seeds to grow you need to put them in a large enough pot or in the ground where their roots can spread out.

I read that sometimes they have various degrees of sweetness of the leaves when grown from seed and some may not be that sweet at all.
So overall it extremely difficult to grow stevia from seeds. So i would be better off getting a cutting somehow? I have some 5 gallon pots. Would that be big enough for a cutting?
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applestar
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Re: How difficult is it to grow stevia from seeds?

I think it would be best to get a rooted plant from a reputable source. The initial investment is well worth it and should be only about $5-$10.

Once you have a plant and grow it through the summer, you will have a big enough plant with hardened stems that you can take cuttings from and root. I always start several cuttings (1/2 dozen to a dozen) in late summer through early fall with stems that have not started to try to bloom (not exhausted) as insurance for overwintering since I have often read about failures during winter (I give away some and lose some of the rooted cuttings -- I have 3 left -- but so far the mother plant has come back except maybe one year -- I don't remember exactly, but I did lose one of the two initial plants I bought during one winter).

So far I have not been successful in trying to grow stevia from any of my saved seeds, though I make an attempt almost every year.
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