Tobacco Plant

Nicotiana spp.

Tobacco Flower, Tabakblom(Afr.)

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This is a genus of about 67 species of erect annuals, biennials, perennials and shrubs. The plants have alternate, oblong, hairy leaves. The flowers are tubular to trumpet-shaped. Some species flowers are only open at night, but most commercial species flowers remain open in full sunlight. The species vary in size and can range from 0.6m to 3m in height. Most commercially available species are bedding plants that grow up to 1,5m in height and are grown as annuals. Nicotiana is planted for its flowers and fragrance. Cigarettes are made from N. tabacum.

Planning

Difficulty

Easy

Flowering time

Summer, Autumn

Fruiting time

Winter

Harvesting

The flowers make good cut flowers and have a good vase life. Harvest in the flowering season, summer into autumn.

Propagation

Seed

Surface sow seeds in spring, germination takes 2 to 3 weeks.

Special features

Pot plant

The smaller species can be grown in pots.

Attracts birds

Attracts nectar-loving birds like sugarbirds.

Special features

Origin

America, North and South America, Australia

Natural climate

Temperate

Environment

Light

Full Sun, Partial Shade, Partial Sun

Soil moisture

Wet

Soil type

Loam

Soil PH preference

Neutral

Frost hardiness

Tender

Uses

Ornamental

Cultivated as ornamental garden plants.

Personality

Family

Solanaceae

Flower colour

Purple, Cream, Green, White, Pink

Scent

Strong

Problems

Susceptible to Aphids, Leaf Beetles and some moth caterpillars, depending on location. Nicotiana spp. are also prone to grey mould.

Companion plants