Grown for its sweet leaves and used as a sweetener or a sugar substitute. Stevia is a tender perennial and so we grow it as an “annual.” Frost will damage it, so wait until the weather is warm before planting it in the garden. One plant will produce lots and lots of leaves that you can either dry or make a stevia extract from the leaves. You’ll find plenty of recipes online. Stevia has been used as a sweetener for 100s of years in parts of South America and for more than 30 years as a widely used commercial sweetener.