Stevia Stevia rebaudiana

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Not blooming
🍪 Edible
‍🌱 Easy-care


Stevia rebaudiana, commonly known as stevia, is a small perennial herb distinguished by its sweet-tasting leaves. The leaves are the primary feature of stevia, as they contain compounds that can be up to several hundred times sweeter than sugar. These leaves are typically a bright green color and grow in opposing pairs along the stems. The leaf shape is lanceolate to oblong, and they sometimes possess a toothed margin. The plant produces small, white flowers in clusters, which are composed of florets, during the blooming season. These flowers are quite delicate and tubular, lending a soft, feathery appearance to the plant when in bloom. The stems of stevia are slender and branched, bearing a smooth surface and a light green to pale brown hue. Stevia often has a bushy appearance, with the stems and leaves creating a somewhat dense foliage. This lush greenery contributes to stevia's visual appeal and makes it easily recognizable among other green leafy plants in a garden setting. The overall form of the plant can be rounded to slightly sprawling, depending on its growth conditions and environment. Moreover, the plant is known for its hardiness and can adapt to a myriad of growing environments, which can somewhat influence its appearance in terms of leaf density and branching patterns. However, its most distinctive trait remains the sweet leaves, which have garnered worldwide attention for their use as a natural sweetener.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Sweetleaf, Sugarleaf, Stevia, Candyleaf.

    • Common names

      Eupatorium rebaudianum Bertoni, Stevia rebaudiana (Bertoni) Hemsl.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Stevia is generally considered safe for human consumption and is not known to be toxic. It is widely used as a natural sweetener and has been evaluated for safety by various health authorities including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). As a sweetener, Stevia extracts (steviol glycosides) have been granted GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) status by the FDA. However, consuming Stevia in very large amounts may lead to adverse effects such as gastrointestinal discomfort, but typical usage as a sweetener does not pose any significant health risks.

    • To pets

      Stevia is not known to be toxic to pets. It is often used as a sugar substitute in many human foods, which may be shared with pets in small quantities. There is no significant evidence to suggest that Stevia, in the amounts typically used for sweetening, is harmful to pets. However, as with any non-pet food item, it is recommended to be cautious and not give large amounts to pets, as it could potentially cause an upset stomach or an allergic reaction in some animals. Generally, Stevia is considered safe and is not associated with poisoning in pets.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      1-2 feet [30-60 cm]

    • Spread

      1-2 feet [30-60 cm]

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      South America


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Zero-Calorie Sweetener: Stevia rebaudiana is widely known for its sweet leaves that are a natural, no-calorie alternative to sugar.
    • Sustainable Substitute: Growing stevia requires less land and water compared to sugarcane, making it a more sustainable option for sweetening.
    • Soil Adaptable: Stevia can be grown in a variety of soils, making it accessible for cultivation in many regions.
    • Drought-Resistant: The plant has a strong tolerance to drought conditions, which is beneficial in arid climates.
    • Minimal Pest Issues: Stevia naturally has a lower susceptibility to pests compared to many other crops, reducing the need for pesticides.
    • Economic Potential: Stevia’s increasing popularity in the food industry provides economic opportunities for farmers and countries looking to export a high-value crop.
    • Home Gardening: Stevia can be easily cultivated in home gardens for personal use, providing a convenient and cost-effective sweetening option.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • Anti-hyperglycemic: Stevia may help to lower blood sugar levels in individuals with diabetes.
    • Anti-inflammatory: Components in Stevia have shown potential in reducing inflammation in the body.
    • Antioxidant: Stevia contains compounds that may help to protect cells from oxidative stress.
    • Anti-caries: Stevia extracts have been researched for their ability to reduce bacterial formation in the mouth, potentially helping to prevent tooth decay.
    • Antihypertensive: Some studies suggest that Stevia might have a beneficial effect in lowering high blood pressure.
    • Anti-diabetic: Stevia may aid in improving insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism.
    • Weight control: As a non-nutritive sweetener, Stevia can contribute to reduced calorie intake for weight management.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Natural Sweetener: Stevia is widely used as a zero-calorie sweetener in various foods and beverages, replacing sugar for those looking to reduce carbohydrate intake.
    • Home Gardening: Stevia plants are often grown at home in herb gardens and used to sweeten teas and other beverages directly from the leaf.
    • Eco-Friendly Pesticide: Stevia extract has been experimented with as an eco-friendly alternative to chemical pesticides due to its ability to deter certain pests.
    • Flavor Enhancer: Outside of its sweetness, stevia can be used in cooking to enhance the flavors of various dishes without adding extra calories.
    • Water Retention in Baking: Stevia can be used in baking to help retain the moisture in baked goods better than sugar does.
    • Soil Amendment: The dried leaves of stevia can be composted and mixed into garden soil as a natural amendment that benefits plant growth.
    • Hummingbird Attractant: Stevia plants can attract hummingbirds to a garden, adding to the aesthetic and contributing to local biodiversity.
    • Crafting Sweet Extracts: Hobbyists use stevia leaves to create homemade liquid extracts that can be added to beverages, homemade syrups, and other edibles.
    • Low-Carb Diet Aid: As a sugar substitute, stevia is incorporated into meal plans for those following ketogenic, paleo, or other low-carb diets.
    • Culinary Education: Stevia is used in educational settings as an example of how natural products can be used as an alternative to processed ingredients in cooking and baking.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    Stevia is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    Stevia is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Sweetness: The most straightforward symbolic meaning of Stevia relates to its sweetness without the caloric downside of sugar, making it a symbol for guilt-free pleasure or innocent enjoyment.
    • Healthy Alternatives: As a natural sugar substitute, Stevia often symbolizes the search for healthy alternatives in diet and lifestyle, representing awareness and conscientious choices.
    • Purity: The purity of Stevia's sweet taste without the negative effects of sugar can symbolize purity or cleanliness, reflecting an untainted or wholesome quality.
    • Healing: Stevia has been used in traditional medicine. This relation to health might make it a symbol of healing or therapeutic properties.
    • Guiltlessness: Because it doesn't raise blood glucose levels like regular sugar, Stevia may represent guiltlessness or 'no consequences,' akin to indulging without negative repercussions.

Every 2-3 days
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every year
Spring-Early Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    Stevia, more commonly known as sweetleaf or sugarleaf, requires consistent moisture but does not do well with waterlogged roots. Water the plant when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch, which generally means watering once or twice a week, depending on the environmental conditions. It's best to water in the morning to avoid excess moisture on the foliage overnight, which can lead to fungal diseases. When watering, aim to use approximately one gallon of water per plant, ensuring it is applied directly to the base and absorbed into the soil, avoiding direct contact with the leaves and stems.

  • sunLight

    Sweetleaf thrives in bright, indirect light if grown indoors and full sun to partial shade if planted outdoors. When choosing a spot for your Stevia, opt for a place where it will receive at least six hours of sunlight daily. Not enough sunlight can cause the plant to grow leggy and produce less of its characteristic sweet-tasting compounds.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Sweetleaf prefers a warm climate and does well in temperatures between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. It can survive minimum temperatures around 50 degrees Fahrenheit but will not tolerate frost. It's ideal to provide a growing environment that avoids temperature extremes to ensure healthy growth.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning sweetleaf is essential to maintain a bushy, compact growth and to encourage the production of more leaves, which are the sweetest part of the plant. Lightly prune the plant every few weeks by pinching back the tips of the stems, but avoid heavy pruning. The best time for pruning is just before the plant blooms in late summer or fall.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    The best soil mix for Stevia, commonly known as sweetleaf or sugarleaf, should be rich, loamy, and well-draining with a pH of 6.7 to 7.2. A mix containing one part garden soil, one part compost or well-rotted manure, and one part perlite or coarse sand is ideal to ensure proper drainage and nutrient content.

  • plantRepotting

    Sweetleaf should be repotted every 12-18 months or when it outgrows its current pot. It's essential to choose a container with ample drainage holes and use a fresh soil mix to encourage healthy growth.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Sweetleaf prefers moderate humidity levels. Indoor humidity levels of around 40-50% are ideal, but the plant can tolerate a range from 30-60% without major issues, as long as the soil moisture is maintained appropriately.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place Stevia in a bright spot with indirect light and water when topsoil is dry.

    • Outdoor

      Plant Stevia in full sun to partial shade and water when soil feels dry.

    • Hardiness zone

      Stevia is suited for 9-11 USDA hardiness zones.

  • circleLife cycle

    Stevia rebaudiana, commonly known as Stevia, begins its life as a seed which, upon germination, develops into a seedling with a pair of true leaves. As it matures, it enters the vegetative growth stage, forming a bush with numerous branching stems and leaves which are harvested for their sweetener properties. Stevia thrives in warm temperatures and ample sunlight, continuing to grow until it reaches its full size, generally within a few months. Flowering occurs typically in autumn when daylight hours shorten, resulting in small white flowers if pollination happens. After the flowering stage, if seeds have developed, they can be harvested and dried for propagation, though Stevia is often more effectively reproduced through cuttings. Finally, the plant enters a period of senescence, withering after it completes seed production or at the onset of frost, as it is not frost-tolerant.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-Early Summer

    • Stevia rebaudiana, commonly known as sweetleaf or simply stevia, is most commonly propagated through stem cuttings. This method is popular because it maintains the genetic purity of the plant and ensures that the sweet-tasting compounds are consistent in the progeny. To propagate stevia from cuttings, a grower would typically take a 2- to 8-inch (5 to 20 cm) stem segment from a mature plant during the spring or early summer. This cutting should have several leaf nodes, and the leaves on the lower half should be removed. The base of the cutting can then be dipped in a rooting hormone to enhance root development and planted in a moist potting mix. With proper warmth and humidity, roots should begin to form within a few weeks, at which point the new stevia plant can be transferred to its final growing location.