Stevia Blooming in November

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Stevia blooms longing for a pollinator. “hey buddy….where did all the bees go?”

tWe have decided, perhaps foolishly, to try overwintering a couple dozen stevia plants on our seed starting racks in the office this winter. After giving up on starting them from seed, we mail ordered two plants this spring. The plants arrived healthy and responded quickly to being potted. They grew so fast that we were rooting wind damaged branches within a couple of weeks (Stevia is a very brittle plant once the main stalk begins to get woody). Seeing how easy they were to root, I began to make cuttings to keep them in check. The next thing I knew I had a heck of a lot of stevia on my hands. We were able to sell a few at the market for a good price, but it was a little too late in the season for selling the lot. Much of it was dried for later processing into a sweetener, a fair portion was fed to the chickens, and the remainder was cut up and rooted to go into winter. Some of the plants had started to bloom so I brought them in without cutting them just to see what they would do. So far they are doing well and continuing to grow and set blooms. The goal is to make a bunch of cuttings off of these plants for sale in the early spring. Green thumbs crossed.

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