When to bring Stevia in?

gvozdika(8 OR)October 8, 2013

Hello, I have a Stevia plant, it was sown in the beginning of July and is about 9'' tall now. How much cold can it take? When should I bring it inside? I read that -6C is the min temperature for them. I would like to overwintering it and, at the same time, would like to keep it outside for as long as possible. It seems happy there for now. Thank you!

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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

Cut it back and mulch it. (possibly protect from too much rain ?!).
It should overwinter fine in zone 8 OR. I grew some in ATLANTA, GA some years ago and they overwintered. I am sure Atlanta, GA has more severe winters than zone 8 OR(Portland, eg). It can go down to mid teens.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 6:59AM
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gvozdika(8 OR)

Good to know it might survive mid teens :) thanks! My plant is in a small pot. I really don't want to cut it. It is not even 3 month old.
This plant comes from the only one out of five seeds that sprouted. I still have 5 more seeds. Should I try to germinate them now? Or is it ok to wait till spring? I've read how quickly Stevia seeds loose their viability. Thank you.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 8:18PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

Since it is in pot you might want to take it inside. If you leave it outside the top will be killed by frost anyway.
I would burry the pot to protect the roots from cold. In the winter ground is much warmer than air.

In case it does not survive, not to worry. You can buy plants from Lowes, HD and other nurseries, for about $3.50.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 12:19AM
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gvozdika(8 OR)

I garden on a balcony and don't have any safe place to put it in the ground. It seems pretty happy right now. I buy only plants that can't be propagated by seed or I can't get the seeds for (can't miss the fun of growing something myself :) gonna hold on to this one :)
I have another question. My Stevia Plant looks different from what I've seen at the stores. It has way bigger leaves. I was afraid it won't grow big enough before the winter and I fed it with worm castings. Did I overfeed it?
Thank you.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 6:45PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

Well , of course it is fun and interesting to start from seed. But I tried this ones, it took like for eternity.

Right now Stevia should stop growing. It it getting too cold. Obviously, mature plant can have bigger leaves and can get over two feet tall. Especially overwintered ones can get huge.

I used to even dry the stem, grind them in coffee mill and mix with coffee and brew it. But I like it mostly just fresh, like a snack.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 11:00AM
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gvozdika(8 OR)

Thanks! The weather is very nice right now and it is still growing. Looking forward to use it next summer :)

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 11:33PM
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