Propagating Stevia from Cuttings

There are some plants that are tricky to propagate but stevia isn’t one of them! Stevia rebaudiana is an herb used as a substitute sweetener for sugar.  It isn’t reliably hardy here in Tennessee even though I did have a plant come back one year.  Since then I’ve kept a plant in a pot to bring indoors for the winter.  I’ve tried to grow stevia from seed but had a lot of difficulty in getting good germination which is why I turn to cuttings.  Taking a cutting of stevia is as simple as it can be.  I trim a stem or branch just above a set of leaves, leave two leaves on the top of the cutting and stick the bottom end of the cutting in moist sand. Rooting hormone is not necessary.

I kept the cuttings moist for about 3-4 weeks and found the root system to be very well developed at that point.  It’s covered in sand in the picture which I don’t ever worry about removing.  I potted this cutting and a second one in 4″ pots to grow a little larger.

I kept my cuttings under a fluorescent light, nothing fancy just your typical shop light, and a heat mat.  The heat mat helps keep the temperatures consistent in the spring. It’s set at around 70 degrees.

We don’t use stevia a lot around here but some people like use it as a substitute for sugar. On occasion we’ll mix it with fresh mint and use it in tea.  It is sweet to the taste but does tend to have a slight bitter flavor to it.  I’m propagating these for the local farmer’s market.

3 Replies to “Propagating Stevia from Cuttings”

  1. Thanks Dave! I will be trying this later on this week. We dehydrate Stevia and use it in powder form to sweeten coffee or tea or whatever and it has no effedt on insulin levels (my wife is a health enthusiast).Several folks i work with have asked for some powdered Stevia. Didn't know it was so easy from cuttings.

  2. Danny, what process do you use to turn it into powder? Have you determined an equivalent measure to sugar? Have you tried baking with it?

  3. Thanks for taking the time to write this article. I just got a small plant from a nursery in Va that I brought home to GA. I would like to propagate it and have several. I tried taking small shoots at the bottom growth and planting in a starter mix to no avail. I'll try your method. I live on an island and have plenty of sand. Thanks again. – Michael

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