Stevia is an herb that has recently gained popularity in the United States as being sweeter than sugar. Native to South America, stevia is a tropical herb that can only be grown as an annual in most parts of America, as any temperatures lower than 50 degrees Fahrenheit will damage or kill the herb. Stevia, which features lime-green leaves and small, insignificant yellow flowers, can grow up to 18 inches tall and wide. Although the herb is rather plain looking, the leaves are incredibly sweet in taste.
Plant your stevia in moist, well-draining soil. Stevia can be planted in the ground or grown in a container, where it can be moved indoors when cooler weather arrives. If planting outside, wait until there is no danger of frost and the ground has completely thawed.
Place your stevia in a location where it will be exposed to partial sun. Morning sunlight followed by afternoon shade is best, because the hot afternoon sun can sometimes scorch the leaves of this herb.
Keep the soil moist but not soggy. The best way to water stevia is to let water slowly drip onto the soil until it is saturated. This is best done with a drip hose.
Mulch around your stevia plant with 3 to 4 inches of mulch. This will help retain the moisture in the soil and inhibit weed growth. Do not let the mulch touch the stem of the plant. Extend the mulch out to 2 feet around the plant.
Pinch back new growth each spring to encourage bushier plants. Otherwise, you will have a lot of tall flowers with sparse leaves, and it is the leaves of the stevia herb that are useful.