Stevia Harvest, Overwintering, Taking Cuttings, Extracting Flavour
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Gail Hickie
Posted on: September 30, 2009

I have four stevia plants. We live in Saskatchewan, Canada, so I can’t leave them out over winter. I have heard that taking slips is a good way to propagate. If I took slips in the fall and left them in water until I planted them in potting soil in Feb or March, would that work? Or, should I just put them in pots and put in the basement and take slips later in the winter?

Stevia is a tropical plant and you are right that it would not survive the winter out of doors in any temperate climate. Fall is not a good time to take cuttings and putting them in water would most likely result in them rotting. They are not easy to overwinter! We always lose some plants ourselves! Keep them cool, bright and not too wet. They will die down and are very vulnerable to rot while they are dormant. Once they start to sprout in the early spring, then you should have an easier time to make cuttings. Rooting them in damp sterile sand is better than in water.

I have a dehydrator. Would it be ok to dry the leaves that way?

Yes.

I have heard that you can make liquid stevia by adding water to the dried, crumbled leaves. Do you know a recipe for making liquid stevia?

I am only guessing , but crumbling the stevia leaves, without any stems (they are bitter) is the first step. Adding enough hot water to cover and letting it soak in the fridge for at least a week and then filtering the liquid out, would be the standard method to make a liquid extract.

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