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Propagating stevia plant cuttings in your own home

Stevia plant cuttings are considered the best way of growing stevia plants, because unfortunately, the seeds of the sweet leaf plant have a relatively poor propagation ratio.

 

I'm going to assume that if you're reading this page, you're already in possession of a mature stevia mother plant to harvest your cuttings from. If you don't, you can always get plants or seeds from your local gardening center.

Okay, let's get to it! For optimal results, stevia cuttings are best taken in the second half of summer. To harvest stevia plant cuttings properly, do the following: take your garden scissors out and carefully cut off a small branch of leaves of about 4 to 5 inches (12 to 15cm) long. There should be 4 or 5 leaves on there as well. If the leaves are very long, you should snip off their tips to about half of their original size, in order to stimulate root growth. 

In all, you can safely detach up to a dozen of these cuttings from a single mother plant, but be careful not to remove more than 30% in total. Pruning the mother plant is beneficial, even when you don't intend to take cuttings from it, because it will result in boosting the plant into further growth.

stevia plant cuttingsYou can grow the cuttings in a pot of course, but they will root faster and have more chance of survival if you put them in a jar of water for about three weeks. Small roots should have started to form by then, and you can transfer the cuttings to a bigger pot, to give the roots some space. The use of a fertiliser as a catalyst might give your stevia plant an extra edge. 

Keep the plant cuttings indoors for the time being. Sweet leaf plants, especially baby plants, are fragile and should be kept inside the house until spring if you're living in a mild climate. Even inside, they will need a lot of warmth, light and water in order to survive the winter. With a bit of luck, you will have a new mother plant next spring. Fingers crossed!

Once the stevia plant is mature, you have a number of options on how to proceed: you can either choose to harvest the stevia herb in early autumn, or you can let it grow flowers so it will produce new seeds.

 

You should note that stevia plants die after they blossom, so if you want to keep your sweet leaf plant, you should snap the white flower buds off as soon as they start to appear. 

 

Doing this will also stimulate the growth of new branches and leaves. If for any reason your plant still dies, don't worry. Keep watering the pot, and there is a good chance that new growth will appear from the base of the seemingly dead plant. Because stevia plants grow very slowly, don't be surprised if you start to see results up to a year afterwards.

For some more general tips on growing stevia, be sure to check out the page on how to use stevia seeds to grow the sweet leaf as well, since it's always better to have a complete picture!




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