A plentiful and productive herb garden often includes at least one stevia plant. Stevia is a natural sweetener for cooking and baking. Stevia grows easily in a sunny location and will thrive happily throughout the summer. Watch the stevia plant for indications it is beginning to bloom. When the plant begins to bloom, harvest the stevia leaves as soon as possible because they will be at their strongest and sweetest at this time.
Trim stevia stems and leaves from the plant as you need them throughout the growing season. Cut the stems just above the crown. While these leaves will not be quite as sweet as the leaves you harvest at the end of the summer, they will be sweet enough to use.
Use the scissors or pruning shears to cut the entire stevia plant down approximately 1 inch above the crown when the flowers appear. This is usually in the late summer or early autumn.
Tie the stevia stems together in bunches of five or six and hang them upside down in a warm and dry location to dry. Drying usually takes two to four days. The stems are dry when they feel brittle to your touch.
Things You Will Need
- Stevia plants
- Scissors or pruning shears
- Deadheading a stevia plant to prolong the growing season is not effective with stevia. As soon as you see the first blossoms appear, it is important to harvest the entire plant because the blossoms will turn the stevia leaves bitter if you allow the plant to continue to grow.