Propogating Stevia from cuttings

angelady777 (was angelady on GW) - Zone 6(6)October 11, 2008

Okay, I've read a lot here and don't see this specific answer. I have gratefully received some stevia cuttings that were my biggest want on my list, and I don't want to mess this up.

I haven't had any problems rooting anything before this, but I'm still very new. I have them potted up, but their leaves are all dying... I'm sure this is okay, but since it's ALL their leaves (they had tons when I got them) and it's all 6 of the cuttings, now I'm scared I'm gonna kill all 6 of them... any advice? Please, help!

Blessings,

Angela

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Daisyduckworth(Aust)

Cuttings should be taken in summer. The plant is climatically suited to climates from temperate to sub-tropical where temperatures range between 21-43°C, with an average of 24°C, but it will also grow in the tropics, where it prefers shade and will also grow in cold climates with winter protection. Plants in the ground have been noted to take minimal frosts. It is a somewhat temperamental plant and may be slow to grow at first. Even in ideal conditions, it is not uncommon for plants to die suddenly or to lose their leaves. As long as the roots are alive, the plant may regrow. Poor, loose, well drained soil is recommended.

To be perfectly honest, I have NEVER had any success propagating stevia from cuttings! And goodness knows, I've tried often enough!

Try chopping off their heads. I have found that tip cuttings are very delicate and the top few leaves almost invariably die. If the leaves are large, I usually cut them in half, too. This reduces transpiration, and encourages the plant to put a lot of energy into growing roots. Dipping the cut end into PURE honey will also encourage root development and prevent microbial attack.

I actually prefer to take cuttings from further down the stem, even quite woody parts (I am speaking generally, not specifically about stevia), and I find them far more reliable to strike.

Make sure to use a good quality potting mix (a propagating mix is ideal because it's more porous), and keep it just barely moist. Obviously, this plant needs some heat. A bottom heating pad would be ideal for it, but a plastic cloche (or tent) over the entire pot would simulate hot-house conditions for it.

It's one plant not to give up on, however. If any roots have formed, it could well survive, even though the above-ground bits are as dead as doornails. With stevia, you just never know! Good luck!

    Bookmark   October 11, 2008 at 9:31PM
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angelady777 (was angelady on GW) - Zone 6(6)

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I guess there is hope yet. I am going to lighten up the water and let it almost dry and up the heat. It's also interesting that you haven't had any luck with stevia cuttings yet. Thank God she sent me a small rooted plant, too, but it's also becoming dry like it's dying. Uggggh... I am being careful with all 6 of them, but the most careful with the rooted one.

I really must have this plant alive and thriving in and around my home.... just about everywhere... I use Stevia all the time and have wanted it as a plant long before I ever thought about taking up gardening!

Blessings,
Angela

    Bookmark   October 12, 2008 at 2:49AM
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