Stevia is an herb native to South America, but it can grow almost anywhere that has moderately warm conditions. The leaves of this herb are extremely sweet and are often used as a substitute for sugar. Like many other herbs, stevia is simple to grow and requires little maintenance during the growing process. To use the leaves to their full potential, you must know how to properly harvest and process them.
Cut the stevia plants at the base of the soil with a pair of sharp scissors. Plants should be harvested as flower buds are beginning to form, according to Herbal Advantage, Inc.
Put the branches in small bundles, about a handful each, and wrap rubber bands around the ends of the bunches to keep them together.
Hang each bundle in a warm, dark area for two to four days or until dry. When the leaves feel dry and brittle, they are ready to use.
Rake your hand down the branch to remove the dried leaves. Hold a paper bag directly beneath the bundle to catch the leaves. Repeat for any additional bundles.
Remove any small twigs or branches from the leaves. Put the leaves in a coffee grinder for 30 seconds or until they turn to powder.
Store the powder in a sealed jar. It is best when used within a year.