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 STEVIA CULTIVATION  

 

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.  Stevia Seeds 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 stevia seeds 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.  Since seed 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 preparation

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. 

Soil Type

Stevia requires 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. 

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Disclaimer: The information provided on EverStevia.com is for educational purposes only and IS NOT intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.