Tender perennial shrub. Heat-dependent germinator. Sow in summer or in warm greenhouse. Sow seed on surface and press in. The plants thrive in rich garden soil, full sun to part shade, high temperature and humidity and plenty of water. The dried leaf is used for sweetening drinks and is 250 times sweeter than sugar. Medicinally, stevia is a flavoring agent, a wound healer, and a digestive aid.