How to Grow Nicotiana Flowers

Tree Branch, How to Grow

About Growing Nicotiana Plants in Your Home Flower Garden

Gardeners who enjoy growing Nicotiana flowers enjoy great, fragrant perfume. It’s a flower that is grown for its fragrance. Plants are native to warm tropical and subtropical areas of North and South America. Perennial Nicotiana plants are members 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 the 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 as 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 such 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 flowers attract hummingbirds to their trumpet-shaped flowers.

Flowers Bloom: Through Summer

Plant height: 20″ – 24″

Other Names: Flowering Tobacco, Jasmine Tobacco, Sweet Tobacco, Tobacco Flower

Important Note: Plants are poisonous if swallowed. Keep away from children or pets.

Perennial, Nicotiana Alatal

Perennial Nicotiana Plant Propagation

Nicotiana plants 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 in your area.  Plants are susceptible to frost. The ideal plant spacing is twelve inches apart.

Final Plant Spacing: Space plants 12 to 14 inches apart.

Days to Germination: 7 – 14 days.

About Seed Germination

How to Grow Nicotiana Flower Plants

Nicotiana is easy to grow. They are tender perennials that are often grown as annuals.

Plants flower and bloom best in partial shade to full sun. Plants prefer rich, well-draining soils. Mix a healthy dose of compost into the soil before 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. The leaves and stems capture debris and is unsightly. 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 plants 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 seedlings as necessary.

Ideal Soil pH: 5.5 – 6.5.

Also, see:

Plant Problems – Identify the causes and find the cures.

Insects and Plant Disease

Aphids, gnats, and other insects can pose a problem. Treat with insecticide or repellents, as needed.

Fungus diseases can occur. Thus, use a general-purpose fungicide in humid weather, and when problems appear.

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