How to Grow and Care for Nicotiana
Gardeners who enjoy growing Nicotiana, enjoy great, fragrant perfume.
It's a flower that is grown for it's fragrance. Plants are native to warm
tropical and sub-tropical areas of North and South America. Nicotiana is
a member of the tobacco family.
Nicotiana plants are easy to grow. Flowers begin to appear and bloom
in the early summer. The plant will rebloom all season. Flowers open
up in late afternoon, and are on fragrant display all evening. Five pointed
florets are trumpet shaped, with red, white, rose, pink, yellow, and lavender
colors. Different varieties grow one to three feet tall, and produce flowers
on slender stems.
Did you Know? It should come to no surprise that Nicotiana is also
called Tobacco Flower, or Flowering Tobacco. And.....yes, Nicotiana has high
concentrations of nicotine.
Nicotiana looks good in mass plantings as bedding plants, or in clumps. You
will want them to grow in groups, to enjoy their fragrance. They are best
placed towards the middle of the flower garden. Try some
on or near your patio or deck. Make sure to locate some under a window of
your house. When the plants are in bloom, their fragrance can waft in through
an open window. They can be grown in pots and containers, too.
Nicotiana attract hummingbirds to
their trumpet shaped flowers.
Important Note: Plants are poisonous , if swallowed. Keep away from
children or pets.
Nicotiana are grown from seeds. Nicotiana seeds can be directly seeded into
your flower garden, or seeded indoors for transplanting later. An early,
indoor start, translates into an earlier bloom. Sow seeds early in the season
and cover lightly with 1/8" or less of fine garden or seed starting soil.
Seeds germination period requires two to three weeks. For indoor starts,
try a seedling germination mat.
Do not set out seedlings until after the last frost date your area. Plants
are susceptible to frost. Ideal plant spacing is twelve inches apart.
How to Grow Nicotiana Plants:
Nicotiana is easy to grow. Plants flower and bloom best in partial shade
to full sun. Plants prefer a rich, well draining soils. Mix a healthy dose
of compost into the soil prior to planting.
Plants like a lot of water and nutrients. While they like lots of water,
they do not like wet soil. Keep soil moist, not wet. Add fertilizer when
planting and every month during the season. Use a high phosphorous formula
just before the first blooming period.
These plants have "sticky" leaves. Debris can be captured on the leaves and
stick. It can be difficult to remove without damage to the
leaves. Be careful when weeding or applying compost and mulch.
Nicotiana will begin to bloom in early summer. After each set of blooms,
prune plants as needed. Pinch or deadhead
spent flowers to promote reblooming.
Plants are annuals that are very susceptible to frost. Cover them up whenever
cold temperatures are expected.
Nicotiana are good "re-seeders". They will drop lots of tiny seeds for next
year's crop. Mark off the area, and allow new plants to grow in the
spring. Do not disturb the soil until seedlings have begun to grow.
Thinning will likely be needed.
Insect and Disease:
Aphids, gnats, and other insects can pose a problem. Treat with insecticide
or repellents, as needed.
Fungus diseases can occur. Use a general purpose fungicide in humid weather,
and when problems appear.
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