Some friends of mine who know I am enjoying growing herbs and plants and vegetables left a stevia plant on my front door. Don't know where exactly or who, but I brought it is and repotted it and set it in a window that get sun from a little after noon to 6:00. It's acting strange, though. While both plants are a stalky 12" tall, they have very little leaves - one plant is very bare at the top and the other looks like it's trying to take off. Could I have a male and a female plant? I can attach pictures if it will help. The leaves are very, very sweet. I'd like to be able to grow the bush that it shows on the little picture tag that came in the pot......
As far as I know Stevia is a hermaphrodite. For growing Stevia, the soil should be laomy. it is sensitive to cold temperatures and excessive water levels. It is best to grow them inside the house. mulching and light watering is necessary for good growth of stevia, so that you dont have excess water and at the same time the mulch keeps the roots moist.
Objective now planned for this weekend
Thank you, Lilypotter - I will replant to a lighter soil this weekend and move out of the direct afternoon window light. It's a weird little plant.
One minute it's acting like it's going to take off, and then the next it retreats.
Maybe it's just very emotional. I'll add a little anti-depressant to its water and see how it responds......
My Great Uncle has been using it for several years. It is very concentrated. It is expensive. It definitely has NO aftertaste (unless you use an inordinate amount of it!).
It is a clear liquid, so it will add a little moisture whereas regular sugar is dry . . . .etc. That said, you only need a few drops.
I used it in lemon verbena tea first. Just steeped lemon verbena leaves and added a few drops of Stevia; that's it. If there were any aftertaste, I probably would have caught it there. Kind of got an idea of how much to use in relation to regular sugar.
I also used it in a carrot cake the next day. I subbed the white sugar for Stevia and put in the brown sugar. I used fresh ground oats for half the flour and added buckwheat and a little too much coconut oil, so the cake was dense, but not because of the Stevia. The color of carrot cake is already dark and I never even got to get it out of the pan before they ate it all, so I don't know about browning for cookies, etc. In fact, I didn't even get to take the cake out of the oven before they got to it!
I am not sure if there is a limit on how much you can ingest in a day. Malitol will affect your digestive tract, but I did not experience that with Stevia. But, I would watch yourself to see if you get dizzy or if it affects your innards. I had no problem.
I would ask your local health food store or herbologist store if you have concerns there.
I think politics has something to do with why it is not more widely used.
I have not yet bought some myself because I just heard of it about a year ago and haven't depleted my sugar stock yet. I don't use much sugar at all, maybe a tablespoon once a month, until Summer iced tea. It's great for that.
Pain is inevitable...suffering is optional
Last edited by backyardgardener; 12-16-2009 at 07:03 AM.
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It's come back - !
slowly, patiently - two little green sprouts have returned from the dead dormant twig that was sticking out of the pot I kept watering all winter. I pinched of a top bud in hopes to get it to spread. We'll see.
And now it's gone... sadness! I followed my wif's advice and pinched the top so it "would" bush. Well, it didn't... It looks like it went into shock and died..... unless it's got an extremely short prodcution window......