Stevia Seed Germination
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Chris Biesheuvel
Posted on: January 30, 2002

I would like to try to grow stevia but like to have more information on how to start the seeds etc. In your catalogue you write that seed needs light to germinate and that the germination is slow and erratic. Does it need a cold treatment?

We don’t know if a cold treatment improves germination, but we suspect not.

The problem with stevia is that seeds do not form properly under natural conditions. Since plants are self infertile, there is a lot of infertile seed produced and seems to account for the 10 to 15 percent germination rate observed in seeding trials, with seed produced away from its endemic range. The main problem occurs at the stage when the flowers are pollinated: under natural conditions only a few of the flowers actually get pollinated properly and thus only a few go on to produce viable seeds that will germinate.

Of the viable seeds, it seems that they are not evenly formed and some germinate faster than others, which accounts for the erratic germination.

What is the best germination temperature.

We have results at 20 to 25 degrees Celsius, at least as good as we have been able to get.

How many days between seeding and germination?

It takes 3 to 21 days for germination to start.

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