Stevia Seeds & Cultivation
Stevia Cultivation: Stevia grows best in sub-tropical
climate. Stevia plants needs rich garden soil,
full sun and partly shade, humidity, high temperature, and plenty of water.
are best sown in summer or in a warm greenhouse, and should be lightly
pressed into the soil but
Not covered with soil. The reason why it may not germinate if seeds
are covered all over by soil. The
need sunlight for the germination process. In Canada, it can be grown
as an annual outdoors or year-round in a greenhouse.
The plant prefers a lightly
textured, well-drained soil to which organic matter has been added. It needs
ample water so that the soil is consistently moist, but not wet. In hot,
sunny climates it will do best in semi-shade. Propagation is from seed sown
in spring. Plant
seedlings out once all danger of frost is over. Leaves
are best harvested just before flowering. The plants will also grow from
cuttings, which are best taken in late winter. The
concentration of stevioside in the leaves of Stevia increasing when the
plants are grown under long day condition.
While, cultivating stevia on a large scale, it can be grown in well-drained
red soil and sandy loam soil. The soil should be in the pH range of 6.5-7.5.
Saline soils should be avoided to cultivate this plant.
germination rate is sometimes poor, it is propagated vegetatively. Though stem
cuttings are used for vegetative tissue culture plants
have proven to be the best planting material for Stevia. Tissue culture
plants of Stevia are genetically pure, free from
pathogens and have excellent vigour. The tissue culture plants can be
planted throughout the year, except during peak summer. An ideal planting
density is approximately 30,000 plants per acre with spacing of 30x60 cm in
a raised bed system. The soil can be enriched
with a basal dressing of 25 tons of well rotten farmyard manure/hectare.
Land should be
ploughed initially with a disc plough or harrowed to break down the colds.
Fine tilth is required. One to two times ploughing
has to be done after harrowing. Around 25 MT of FYM/Ac has to be applied as
a basal dressing during the last ploughing
to incorporate the manure with soil.
very good drainage any soil that retain the moisture for very long period of
time are unsuitable for Stevia cultivation and
should be religiously avoided. Similarly black cotton soils with very heavy
clay content should also be avoided. It is
mandatory that before planting, each and every soil sample should be
properly tested and analyzed by an expert. Red
soil and sandy loam with a 6-7 pH are best for the cultivation of Stevia.