How to Plant Sugar Plants From Seeds

Overview

Sugar plants, or stevia, are also known as candyleaf because the sweetness comes from the leaves of the perennial herb. According to Washington State University, stevia is 20 to 30 times sweeter than other sugar substitutes. It is popular among home growers because no special processes are needed to use sugar plants as a sweetener. Sugar plants grown from seeds require well-drained soil, nitrogen fertilizer and full sun to produce the largest number of leaves. They grow best in warmer regions. Harvest time is in the early summer through the beginning of fall.

Step 1

Fill two planting containers with 7 inches of organically enriched potting soil. This will allow space at the top of the containers for the sugar plants to grow.

Step 2

Empty a packet of stevia seeds onto a paper towel. Use the tweezers to pick up the blackest seeds. Place these seeds on top of the soil in the planting containers approximately 1/4 inch apart from one another.

Step 3

Tap the sugar plant seeds lightly into the dirt with your fingertips. This will secure the seeds in the soil without forcing them too deeply into the dirt.

Step 4

Fill an empty spray bottle with tap water. Mist the sugar plant seeds until the soil surface is wet but not soggy.

Step 5

Cover the top of the pots tightly with plastic wrap. Poke four to eight holes in the plastic wrap with a toothpick to provide air circulation.

Step 6

Place the containers in a sunny location that is at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 7

Remove the plastic wrap every other day and lightly spray the soil to keep it evenly moist. When the seedlings emerge, remove the plastic wrap. According to Purdue University, seedlings begin to show between 7 to 12 days after planting.

Step 8

Pinch unhealthy-looking seedlines at the base and lightly pull them upwards to remove them. Replant these in different containers or dispose of them if they are very weak and unusable.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not overwater sugar plant seeds. Make sure sugar plant seeds receive plenty of sunlight or exposure to artificial plant grow lights to have a higher germination rate.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper towel
  • 2 planting containers, 10 inches deep
  • Tweezers
  • Organically enriched potting soil
  • Spray bottle
  • Water
  • Plastic wrap
  • Toothpick

References

  • WSU Whatcom County Extension: Plant of the Month: Stevia
  • University of Purdue Horticulture Department: Seed Germination in Stevia Rebaudiana
Keywords: sugar plant seeds, grow sugar plant, stevia

About this Author

Lisha Smith writes for several blogs and has freelanced for six years. She has a Bachelor of Arts from UNC-Greensboro in psychology. Smith has self-published several books. Her areas of experience include gardening, cooking, home improvement, pets and mental health.