How to Grow Nicotiana Plants

Guide to Growing Tobacco

Members of the Nicotiana genus are normally grown as half hardy annuals in the garden.

They bloom in the summer with attractive trumpet shaped flowers, usually of pink, but also of green, white, yellow or red.

These plants are often used for research into plant development by researchers.

Tobacco picture

Common names for Nicotiana include Tobacco and Flowering Tobacco.

Nicotiana sylvestris
Nicotiana sylvestris – Woodland Tobacco by Anniesannuals; creative commons.

Nicotiana glauca
Nicotiana glauca – Tree Tobacco by Giopuo; creative commons.

Quick Nicotiana Growing and Care Guide

Common Names: Tobacco: Flowering; Manyflower; Jasmine; Winged; Tree; Shrub; Indian.
Life Cycle: Hardy annual. Half hardy perennial commonly grown as a half hardy annual by gardeners.
Height: 40 to 80 inches (100 to 200 cm).
Native: Americas, Southern Africa, Australasia.
Growing Region: Zones 2 to 10. As a perennial in zones 8 to 10.
Flowers: Summer.
Flower Details: White, pink, red, yellow, green. Tinged. Tubular. Some species flower at night and/or are fragrant.
Foliage: Oblong-elliptic through oblong-lanceolate.
Sow Outside: Surface. Following last frost. Spacing 12 to 28 inches (30 to 70 cm).
Sow Inside: Germination time: one to two weeks in the light. Temperature 75°F (24°C). Seven or eight weeks before expected last frost. Transplant outdoors following the last frost.
Requirements: Full sunlight or light shade. Soil pH 6 to 7. Provide support. Regular watering. Deadhead.

How to Grow Tobacco, and other Nicotiana Plants in your Garden

Tobacco is a very easy plant to grow and look after, the seeds should be sown on the soil surface following the last frost of spring. They are able to grow in lightly shaded or partially shaded areas and grow in most soils (for best results grow tobacco in a slightly acidic soil).

Tobacco can be grown indoors first. The seeds germinate in the light at 20 to 25 degrees Centigrade, and take about two weeks. Allow to grow for about 5 weeks then transplant the tobacco plants into the garden following the last frost about 45 cm apart.

Caring for Tobacco plants

Once growing tobacco should be watered in prolonged dry periods, and their trumpet flowers removed before they start setting seeds to encourage more flowers. It is best to grow Nicotiana species from seed if you require further plants.

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