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Stevia



Growing Information:

Stevia

DAYS TO GERMINATION: 7-21 days

SOWING TIME: Spring

SEEDING METHOD: Transplant

SUNLIGHT PREFERENCE: Sun/Part Shade

PLANT HEIGHT: 18-30"

PLANT SPACING: 12"

HARDINESS ZONES: Zones 9-11

Habitat and Description


Growing Stevia
CULTURAL REQUIREMENTS

While tolerant of most soil types, Stevia prefers a sandy loam or loam. Any well-drained soil that produces a good crop of vegetables should work fine. Incorporating organic matter is the best way to improve heavy, high clay soils. A rich compost made with leaves, grass, hay, kitchen waste, manure, and other organic residues will improve soil structure and supply nutrients. Finished compost may be tilled, disked, or spaded into the soil before planting or used as a mulch later on. A "green manure" crop the previous year such as oats, rye, or legumes will also improve heavy soils. Stevia occurs naturally on soils of pH 4 to 5, but thrives with soil pH as high as 7.5. However, Stevia does not tolerate saline soils.

Plant your stevia so that it has about 18 inches of bed to call its own. In the loose, loamy, well-drained soil that the plant prefers, it will grow 1 to 3 feet in height, depending on the length of your growing season. Wait until after all danger of frost is passed before planting. Feed with compost or Bonnie's Herb and Vegetable Plant Food as directed on the label. Mulch to prevent the plant from drying out on hot summer days. Container-grown plants will benefit from the same fertilizer and mulch.



Stevia


The benefits of Stevia

Traditional uses of stevia are: lowers elevated blood pressure (hypertension), digestive aid that also reduces gas and stomach acidity, and for obesity. The herb acts as general tonic which increases energy levels and mental acuity.

Stevia has been shown to inhibit the growth and reproduction of bacteria that cause gum disease and tooth decay, making it an excellent addition to tooth pastes and mouthwashes. Many people have reported improvement in their oral health after adding stevia concentrate to their tooth paste and using it, diluted in water, as a daily mouthwash.

Stevia is useful in healing a number of skin problems. Whole stevia concentrates may be applied as a facial mask to soften and tighten the skin and smooth cut wrinkles. Smooth the dark liquid over the entire face, allowing it to dry for at least 30-60 minutes. A drop of concentrate may be applied directly to any blemish, acne outbreak, lip or mouth sore. Stevia concentrate is also effective when used on seborrhea, dermatitis, and eczema. Reportedly, cuts and scratches heal more rapidly when stevia concentrate is applied.

Stevia concentrate added to soap eliminates dandruff and other scalp problems and improves the health and luster of the hair, also helping to retain natural hair color.





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