Stevia is a wild plant that grows naturally next to ponds and streams in Paraguay and Brazil; they employ this plant as a flavor.


Brazil and Central Paraguay are the native home of stevia (Stevia rebaudiana). Stevia, a wild plant is known around the world for its leaves, which have useful qualities like a significant quantity of sweetness in them.

One of the main sources of high potential natural sweeteners for the planet in the next days is thought to be stevia. Stevia is a wild plant that grows naturally next to ponds and streams in Paraguay and Brazil; they employ this plant as a flavor.

Stevia was first introduced to Japan at the beginning of the 15th century and since then it has spread around the world due to its distinctive and significant qualities. Although the Stevia group contains 230 species, only 80 are economically farmed worldwide.

Stevia plants can reach heights of 60 to 100 cm and are regarded as perennials. Plants have sessile leaves that are oppositely oriented.

There could be 40–45 leaves per plant. The typical classification of stevia is as a humid subtropical plant that prefers temperatures between 20-30 °C. The best soil for growing stevia is sandy, well-drained and rich in organic materials. According to soil specialists, stevia should not be grown in saline or sodic soils.

As stevia, wild plant has no calories, diabetic patients can consume it without risk. Moreover, stevia is employed in the field of bottled sodas like Pepsi plan. Cavities are not fostered by stevia. Stevia reduces blood pressure and stabilises blood sugar levels.

Due to the high calcium content in stevia, which guards teeth against bacteria and cavities, stevia is also used to produce toothpaste. Particularly in women and kids, stevia’s calcium content can protect us all from the bone problems including osteoporosis, bone infections, faulty osteogenesis and osteonecrosis.

Most of the world’s stevia is grown in nations including China, Brazil, Japan, India and Paraguay. Yet, stevia is not produced commercially in Pakistan despite the country’s present sugar difficulties and the usefulness of the plant. One of the main ingredients employed in residential settings to create foods for daily intake is sugar. But medical professionals believe that sugar made from sugarcane is bad for your health.

Fine tilth is very important to grow the crop. Deeper the soil is soft, more deep will be the plant goes in search of nutrients and ultimately the yield is high. For growing stevia commercially there is a need to prepare nursery, after that transplanting the nursery in filed.

Nursery can be prepared by seeds directly sown, and to fulfil the purpose good quality dark brown seeds are employed. The germination percentage is low because of inadequate environmental conditions. For sowing of seeds plastic bags, glasses and containers can be used.

Two to three seeds per pod are best for good quality seedlings. Water the nursery at least twice a week. The nursery transferred to the field after two months of sowing.

Stevia nurseries are established through stem propagation and tissue culture and typically the top third to fourth of the stem or 3 to 4 inches is chosen. Soil and organic material packed inside polythene bags. After that stems are put in the bags so that 1-2 stems of stevia are submerged in the soil. The appropriate temperature for nursery establishment is 15-20oC while the perfect temperature for nursery transplantation is 25-30 oC.

For the autumnal crop, the nursery is planted in June and July and it should be moved to the fields in August and September. The nursery is planted in December and January for the spring harvest, and it should be moved to the fields in February and March.

Weeds can hinder the growth of stevia plants in fields because they compete with the plants for space, nutrients, light, water and other resources. Raised beds make it simple for workers to carry out cross-cultural operations.

There are no pests or illnesses that affect stevia crops. Yet, if a plant illness does arise, you can treat it biologically. Because chemicals that are sprayed could end up on leaves and ultimately affect consumers. The most effective method for managing the infections is thought to be neem oil mixed with water.

Cut your sugar crop before the crop starts to bloom. Before flower initiation, leaves have a sweeter taste because all of the components they have formed are transferred to the reproductive part.  The stevia crop is harvested when it is at its vegetative growth peak to prevent damage.

Manual harvesting of the stevia crop involves removing 10 to 15 cm of the plant’s bottom. After harvest, stevia crop leaves are typically placed in shady spots to finish drying out. Stevia powder is created following dry and used in tea or to prepare various dietary items.

In its raw form, stevia is thirty times sweeter than sugar; after being refined, it is 250–300 times richer. The University of Agriculture Faisalabad is working on different cultivars of stevia. Due to its god-given sweetness and zero calories, its future is promising in Pakistan.

By Muhammad Majid Islam

I am an Agronomist At university of Agriculture Faisalabad. My field expertise are to enhance yield and promote major crops and alternative group of crops in Pakistan.