Stevia is a tropical plant that requires high temperatures, adequate rainfall and plenty of sunshine. It cannot tolerate severe frost, especially if it lasts for a long time. It is a herbaceous plant of height 0.6-0.8 m when native. The crop is annual in various cold regions of the world or perennial (4-6 years).
Stevia is an adaptable plant and can be planted in different soil types. According to this, the most suitable soil types are however loam and sandy loam soils with high organic matter content. In addition, the plant requires long days to achieve maximum growth before flowering. However, Stevia needs quite a long day length (sunlight), in order to develop and produce biomass. So, under certain cultivation conditions such as 13 to 16 hours of daily sunlight, the crop can increase in height between 0.6-1.0 m. before flowering.
The leaves are green, they grow in pairs and their width ranges from 2.5 to 3.5 cm while the length reaches up to 6 cm. Additionally, it is observed that they grow in stem cross and their leaves can be growth in three different sizes small,medium and large.
The flowers are normally having white color, their diameter is estimated to be about 8-15 mm and the inflorescence explants on the height of the developing sprout. Furthermore, they are hermaphrodite, and are pollinated with pollination by means of insects. Normally, it is known that the flowering occurs in autumn.
The sprouts at first are tender and then they become semi-woody.
The root system is superficial with few lateral roots developed and it cannot be tolerated either in the lack of water or under the power of strong winds.
Stevia’s matured seed is black and very small. Each plant produces besides black, brown and green seeds – with less germination. The brown seeds are non-viable seeds, which originated without fertilization. However, the black seed has no significant differences in germination among different fertilization treatments which indicates no (genetic) incompatibility.
The weight of a thousand seeds of the plant Stevia ranges between 0.15 and 0.30gr. Under given conditions the seeds that will be produced by cultivating one hectare is enough for the production of seedlings required for the installation of 200 hectares of Stevia.
The vigor of the seed and the yield are influenced by the growth conditions during fertilization and the seed stuffing. Excessive rainfall during fertilization affects both the seed yield and germination.
It is 60 to 300 times sweeter than sugar
It has low calories (up to zero)
Stevia Reduces the high blood pressure
Stevia can reduce the incidence of heart attacks and strokes
By replacing sugar with stevia, you prevent tooth decay
It has antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-aging properties and antigenic
Reduces serum uric acid
Facilitating passing urine
It is a completely natural product, coming from stevia plant
Stevia based products can be used in cooking and baking
Steviol glycosides do not increase your blood glucose