Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana) is a remarkable plant native to South America, known for its sweet leaves that have been used for centuries as a natural sweetener. This versatile plant not only adds a delightful sweetness to your favorite dishes and beverages but also offers a range of benefits and uses that make it a valuable addition to any garden or home.

Usually available: September to March
Life cycle: Herbaceous Perennial
Height: 70cm – 1m
Position: Full sun
Soil preference: Well drained

Garden Use

Stevia is a fantastic choice for gardeners looking to add a unique and useful plant to their collection. It thrives in well-draining soil and prefers full sun to partial shade. In Australia, Stevia grows well in most regions, particularly in subtropical and temperate climates. It can be grown in pots or directly in the ground, making it suitable for gardens of all sizes.

Medicinal Use

Stevia has been traditionally used for its medicinal properties. Studies have shown that Stevia has potential anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, and anti-hypertensive effects. It may also help in managing blood sugar levels, making it a valuable plant for those with diabetes or at risk of developing the condition.

Culinary Use

Stevia is an excellent natural sweetener that can be used in a variety of culinary applications. The leaves can be dried and ground into a powder, or the fresh leaves can be used to sweeten teas, smoothies, and other beverages.

Stevia is heat-stable, making it suitable for cooking and baking as well. It is a healthier alternative to sugar, as it has zero calories and does not raise blood sugar levels.

Other Uses

Stevia has been used traditionally for oral health, as it may help prevent tooth decay and freshen breath. It can also be used as a natural skincare ingredient, as it has potential anti-aging and skin-soothing properties.

In a survival situation or for those interested in prepping, Stevia can be an invaluable plant to have on hand. Its sweet leaves can provide a source of flavor and sweetness without the need for processed sugar.

Stevia can also be used medicinally to help manage blood sugar levels and potentially reduce inflammation, which can be beneficial in a survival scenario where access to medication may be limited.

Interesting Facts and Gardening Tips

  • Stevia is approximately 200-300 times sweeter than sugar, so a little goes a long way.
  • The plant can grow up to 1 meter tall and 50cm wide, making it a great border plant or feature in herb gardens.
  • Stevia can be propagated from seed, cuttings, or by dividing mature plants.
  • Companion plants for Stevia include basil, cilantro, and chamomile, as they can help repel pests and improve the overall health of the plant.

Stevia is a must-have plant for anyone interested in natural sweeteners, medicinal plants, or unique additions to their garden. With its versatile uses and adaptability to various growing conditions, Stevia is sure to become a favorite in your garden and home.


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