Multiplication and culture
From the spring and almost to mid-August you can go reproduciento plants by cuttings (similar to geraniums case). A Stevia plant regrowth in spring can be produced from 200 to 500 new plants through this system, esquejando all the time that the plant is vegetating. You have to watch not to plant an outbreak runs in bloom, because never come to ground. Normally spring and summer outbreaks have rarely flower. We can say that these flowers do not produce seeds would eventually power of germination. Hence reproduction should be done by cuttings, not by seed. Thus if we start from a good variety always we retain its medicinal properties. To ensure that an outbreak of Stevia without roots can root well, follow these steps:
1 - will fill the pot or pot with peat paid can be found in any garden, and will water until it is soaked.
2 - In an outbreak of Stevia with 20 cm. long, 10cm cut off. end (making sure that does not end in bloom). Of these 10 cm. stem (scion), we will remove lower leaves 2-3 to facilitate buried in the peat. We will nail the outbreak in the peat and will press strongly with alredededor cutting fingers so that there is good contact with moist peat. Among the outbreak is cut and ground must not be long. It is better to cut and plant immediately or keep outbreaks water as if they were cut flowers.
3 - We will put the pot in a shady place to prevent the sun dry the outbreak, and will water 3 times a day (early, at noon and at the end of the day). Note: a shady place means a greenhouse or a location outdoors where never in direct sunlight. If outdoors also will place the plant in a place sheltered from the wind to prevent excessive dehydration. A shady spot does not mean inside a storage room or in low light.
4 - At 25-30 days the outbreak of Stevia begin to sit up and notice when starting out a new sheet and can put the plant in an area with more sun, where no longer will stop growing. When the transplanted bud begins to take new leaves, we will stop watering 3 times a day and will water only once in the morning.
5 - After 2 months of transplanted an outbreak without roots to a small pot, we transplant them for the second time to the final location, which can be outdoors, in a garden, orchard or greenhouse, inside a greenhouse or also in a flowerpot pot or large enough to facilitate maximum plant growth. A greenhouse allows advance production a few weeks in spring and delay the decline of the plant in autumn. The greenhouse for the strongest summer months can shade a little to avoid extreme heat and simulate the tropical climate where Stevia is native. Nevertheless, outdoors in full sun Stevia it will develop well.
6 - When the late autumn we note that the plant has no more desire to grow and is filled with flowers, it is time to cut leaving it with about 10 cm plant. tall and take the opportunity to dry the leaves from the stems cut.
7 - To dry the leaves during the summer correctly, we will try not to touch them in direct sunlight, in order to preserve all the medicinal properties. With the leaves last minute when we cut the plant for the winter, dry in the sun is unavoidable or if we have small amounts can dry them inside the house where there will be better temperature. Logically, these guidelines vary according to the area in which we find ourselves.
Planting framework (soil culture)
The planting depend epacio we have, the width of the terraces, etc. If we do not have space problems, we can put the separated about 30 cm or more so they can grow freely plants. Usually in large - scale cultivation plantation frames are 50 cm between rows (to pass) and 20-30 cm between plants within the row.
Stevia is a plant of tropical climate and does not tolerate drought. In the days of strong dry heat wilted leaves see how lean half due to heavy perspiration, and as the sun goes slackening see that the leaves gradually return to normal. This gives us an idea of the water needed in summer because during this season, always depending on the area in which we are, it is necessary to water almost every day, but in spring and autumn we will wait to water when the land, contact hand, do not give wet feeling. To prevent excessive evaporation of soil water we can apply a mulch with straw or organic material at the base of the plant and irrigation and water are saved. During the winter, stop being ground, water them little to prevent root rot of these have to sprout new plants in spring since. In any case, Stevia does not tolerate excessive moisture and if the soil is waterlogged or poorly drained, the roots will rot. It is therefore necessary balance and we must learn to have adequate moisture without happen to us.
Stevia is a subscriber undemanding plant. With compost no problem if we had a dose but with mineral or chemical fertilizers have to be careful not to apply too much because the plant suffers greatly and may even die. If we use mineral or chemical fertilizer, begin to apply two months after transplantation, in small amounts but frequently (every 30 days). Mineral fertilizer must be greater than potassium phosphorous and nitrogen, and also should be enriched with microelements. With a good organic manure once a year is enough, at the beginning of the spring if the plant is on the ground. If you are in pot, add 20-30% of the volume of peat.
Stevia is a very resistant to insects and fungi plant if not abuse of irrigation or nitrogenous chemical fertilizers. In that case, some aphid or whitefly, we recommend treatment with extracts of garlic, neem oil or other products authorized in organic farming. If we observe a caterpillar, it is not necessary to treat. If the caterpillar attack is very strong, we will deal with preparations Bacillus thuringiensis (organic insecticide is a term that does not require security). You have to watch the snails and slugs, which Stevia want them much. In this case, we can pick them up by hand or we will use the natural ferric phosphate is an authorized molluscicide in organic farming. With these treatments will ensure a pickup leaves no toxic products and we can get all the medicinal properties containing the plant.