Flowering or jasmine tobacco (Nicotiana alata) is mainly grown as an ornamental plant (you're not going to harvest actual tobacco from this!).
Numerous cultivars and hybrids are derived from it, but before you choose some fancy new variety, know that hybrids and red-flowerd types have little or no scent. Old-fashioned, white-flowered types of flowering tobacco, on the other hand, tend to be quite fragrant, especially at night.
Here's what you need to know to grow flowering tobacco in your own yard or garden.
(Whether you're starting your first garden or switching to organic, Rodale’s Basic Organic Gardening has all the answers and advice you need—get your copy today!)
Height: 18-36 inches Spread: 12 to 14 inches Shape: Plant form lush rosettes of broad, oval to pointed, green leaves and many-branched stems; both the stems and leaves are sticky and hairy. Color: White, pink, red, purple Bloom time: Spring, summer Light needs: Full sun to partial shade Soil: Average to moist, well-drained soil with organic matter.
Buy nicotiana transplants in the spring, or grow your own by starting seeds (you can buy them right on Amazon) indoors 6-8 weeks before your last frost date. Don't cover the fine seed; just press it into the soil and enclose the pot in a plastic bag until seedlings appear. Set seedlings out 10-12 inches apart after the last frost date. Water during dry spells. Cut out spent stems to prolong the bloom season. Plants may self-sow.
Excellent as a filler or accent in beds and borders. Grow some in the cutting garden for fresh flowers. Plant fragrant, white-flowered types around outdoor sitting areas for evening enjoyment. Try compact types in containers.
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