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General Information

Plant Care Instructions By Steve Brigham

Instead of just as an annual, Sweet Leaf may be grown as a perennial in the mild coastal Southern California climates where frosts seldom occur. It is grown for its leaves, which are used fresh or dried to sweeten beverages. Fresh leaves are up to 30 times sweeter than sugar; they are the sweetest just before the plant blooms in the fall.

Is Indoor Plant?

No

These month by month plant care tasks are for plants in the following zones :
Sunset Zones : 22, 23, 24
USDA Zones :
Web Link - For more information

Plant Care Instruction

  • Scroll down or click on any month for plant care instructions
    • January
    • February
    • March
    • April
    • May
    • June
    • July
    • August
    • September
    • October
    • November
    • December
    January
    1. Water

    Water regularly but lightly during dry periods. Do not overwater.
    2. Protect

    Protect from frost and cold weather.
    February
    1. Water

    Water regularly but lightly during dry periods. Do not overwater.
    2. Protect

    Protect from frost and cold weather.
    March
    1. Buy

    Buy starter plants from specialty mail-order sources.
    2. Plant

    Plant in containers or in the ground in a rich, well-drained soil.
    3. Sow Seeds

    Seeds may be planted in containers, but they are difficult to sprout.
    4. Fertilize

    Fertilize with half-strength liquid fertilizer. Do not overfertilize.
    5. Water

    Water regularly but lightly during dry periods. Do not overwater.
    6. Prune

    Cut back older plants to promote new spring growth.
    April
    1. Buy

    Buy starter plants from specialty mail-order sources.
    2. Plant

    Plant in containers or in the ground in a rich, well-drained soil.
    3. Sow Seeds

    Seeds may be planted in containers, but they are difficult to sprout.
    4. Fertilize

    Fertilize with half-strength liquid fertilizer. Do not overfertilize.
    5. Water

    Water regularly but lightly during dry periods. Do not overwater.
    6. Prune

    Cut back older plants to promote new spring growth.
    May
    1. Buy

    Buy starter plants from specialty mail-order sources.
    2. Plant

    Plant in containers or in the ground in a rich, well-drained soil.
    3. Sow Seeds

    Seeds may be planted in containers, but they are difficult to sprout.
    4. Fertilize

    Fertilize with half-strength liquid fertilizer. Do not overfertilize.
    5. Water

    Water regularly but lightly during dry periods. Do not overwater.
    6. Prune

    Tip pinch or shear lightly to encourage bushy growth and maximum foiage.
    7. Propagate

    Propagate by taking softwood cuttings.
    8. Harvest

    Harvest leaves for use fresh or dried.
    June
    1. Fertilize

    Fertilize with half-strength liquid fertilizer. Do not overfertilize.
    2. Water

    Water regularly but lightly during dry periods. Do not overwater.
    3. Prune

    Tip pinch or shear lightly to encourage bushy growth and maximum foiage.
    4. Propagate

    Propagate by taking softwood cuttings.
    5. Harvest

    Harvest leaves for use fresh or dried.
    July
    1. Fertilize

    Fertilize with half-strength liquid fertilizer. Do not overfertilize.
    2. Water

    Water regularly but lightly during dry periods. Do not overwater.
    3. Prune

    Tip pinch or shear lightly to encourage bushy growth and maximum foiage.
    4. Propagate

    Propagate by taking softwood cuttings.
    5. Harvest

    Harvest leaves for use fresh or dried.
    August
    1. Fertilize

    Fertilize with half-strength liquid fertilizer. Do not overfertilize.
    2. Water

    Water regularly but lightly during dry periods. Do not overwater.
    3. Prune

    Tip pinch or shear lightly to encourage bushy growth and maximum foiage.
    4. Propagate

    Propagate by taking softwood cuttings.
    5. Harvest

    Harvest leaves for use fresh or dried.
    September
    1. Fertilize

    Fertilize with half-strength liquid fertilizer. Do not overfertilize.
    2. Water

    Water regularly but lightly during dry periods. Do not overwater.
    3. Prune

    Remove flower buds as they form, since leaves will not be as sweet once plants start flowering.
    4. Propagate

    Propagate by taking softwood cuttings. Once rooted, these can be wintered-over indoors or in a greenhouse to insure a supply of plants for next year.
    5. Harvest

    Harvest leaves for use fresh or dried.
    October
    1. Water

    Water regularly but lightly during dry periods. Do not overwater.
    2. Prune

    Remove flower buds as they form, since leaves will not be as sweet once plants start flowering.
    3. Propagate

    Propagate by taking softwood cuttings. Once rooted, these can be wintered-over indoors or in a greenhouse to insure a supply of plants for next year.
    4. Harvest

    Harvest leaves for use fresh or dried.
    November
    1. Water

    Water regularly but lightly during dry periods. Do not overwater.
    2. Prune

    Remove flower buds as they form, since leaves will not be as sweet once plants start flowering.
    3. Harvest

    Harvest leaves for use fresh or dried.
    December
    1. Water

    Water regularly but lightly during dry periods. Do not overwater.
    2. Protect

    Protect from frost and cold weather.
  • Buy

    When's the best time to buy this plant? When can you buy these from seed (if you can)? When is it usually available? What are things to look for when you're buying it? Or anything other tidbit of information you can share!

    March

    Buy starter plants from specialty mail-order sources.

    April

    Buy starter plants from specialty mail-order sources.

    May

    Buy starter plants from specialty mail-order sources.

    Plant

    When's a good time to plant this plant or bulb? Any special planting instructions?

    March

    Plant in containers or in the ground in a rich, well-drained soil.

    April

    Plant in containers or in the ground in a rich, well-drained soil.

    May

    Plant in containers or in the ground in a rich, well-drained soil.

    Sow Seeds

    When can you plant these seeds? When's the best time? Can you start them indoors and move them out? Do they have any special requirements?

    March

    Seeds may be planted in containers, but they are difficult to sprout.

    April

    Seeds may be planted in containers, but they are difficult to sprout.

    May

    Seeds may be planted in containers, but they are difficult to sprout.

    Fertilize

    When should you fertilize this plant? Which kind of fertilizer do you recommend? Should you use different fertilizers at different times of year?

    March

    Fertilize with half-strength liquid fertilizer. Do not overfertilize.

    April

    Fertilize with half-strength liquid fertilizer. Do not overfertilize.

    May

    Fertilize with half-strength liquid fertilizer. Do not overfertilize.

    June

    Fertilize with half-strength liquid fertilizer. Do not overfertilize.

    July

    Fertilize with half-strength liquid fertilizer. Do not overfertilize.

    August

    Fertilize with half-strength liquid fertilizer. Do not overfertilize.

    September

    Fertilize with half-strength liquid fertilizer. Do not overfertilize.

    October

    Fertilize with half-strength liquid fertilizer. Do not overfertilize.

    Water

    Is there a time to reduce or increase watering? Any special requirements? Things to avoid during certain times of the year?

    January

    Water regularly but lightly during dry periods. Do not overwater.

    February

    Water regularly but lightly during dry periods. Do not overwater.

    March

    Water regularly but lightly during dry periods. Do not overwater.

    April

    Water regularly but lightly during dry periods. Do not overwater.

    May

    Water regularly but lightly during dry periods. Do not overwater.

    June

    Water regularly but lightly during dry periods. Do not overwater.

    July

    Water regularly but lightly during dry periods. Do not overwater.

    August

    Water regularly but lightly during dry periods. Do not overwater.

    September

    Water regularly but lightly during dry periods. Do not overwater.

    October

    Water regularly but lightly during dry periods. Do not overwater.

    November

    Water regularly but lightly during dry periods. Do not overwater.

    December

    Water regularly but lightly during dry periods. Do not overwater.

    Prune

    When's a good time to prune this plant? How about deadheading, pinching back, trimming or any other grooming? Any special requirements?

    March

    Cut back older plants to promote new spring growth.

    April

    Cut back older plants to promote new spring growth.

    May

    Tip pinch or shear lightly to encourage bushy growth and maximum foiage.

    June

    Tip pinch or shear lightly to encourage bushy growth and maximum foiage.

    July

    Tip pinch or shear lightly to encourage bushy growth and maximum foiage.

    August

    Tip pinch or shear lightly to encourage bushy growth and maximum foiage.

    September

    Remove flower buds as they form, since leaves will not be as sweet once plants start flowering.

    October

    Remove flower buds as they form, since leaves will not be as sweet once plants start flowering.

    November

    Remove flower buds as they form, since leaves will not be as sweet once plants start flowering.

    Protect

    When and how should you protect this plant from birds, deer, rabbits? Does this plant need be covered, or wrapped or painted or moved?

    January

    Protect from frost and cold weather.

    February

    Protect from frost and cold weather.

    December

    Protect from frost and cold weather.

    Propagate

    When's a good time to divide, take cuttings, layer or propagate this plant. Any special requirements?

    May

    Propagate by taking softwood cuttings.

    June

    Propagate by taking softwood cuttings.

    July

    Propagate by taking softwood cuttings.

    August

    Propagate by taking softwood cuttings.

    September

    Propagate by taking softwood cuttings. Once rooted, these can be wintered-over indoors or in a greenhouse to insure a supply of plants for next year.

    October

    Propagate by taking softwood cuttings. Once rooted, these can be wintered-over indoors or in a greenhouse to insure a supply of plants for next year.

    Harvest

    When's a good time to harvest this plant? What's the best way to harvest? Are there special requirements or features?

    May

    Harvest leaves for use fresh or dried.

    June

    Harvest leaves for use fresh or dried.

    July

    Harvest leaves for use fresh or dried.

    August

    Harvest leaves for use fresh or dried.

    September

    Harvest leaves for use fresh or dried.

    October

    Harvest leaves for use fresh or dried.

    November

    Harvest leaves for use fresh or dried.

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