- Height: up to 3 ft
- Habit: mounded
- Flower color: red, pink, white
- Type: flowering annual
- Light Requirements: full to partial sun
- Beneficial Characteristics: attracts butterflies, very fragrant, supports honeybees
To get the most out of your flowering tobacco plant, plant is near a sitting area. A place that you spend enjoying a cool summers eve. After the sun goes down, new flowers will open and the fragrance is nothing less than heavenly. The fragrance will also attract nocturnal moths for pollination. The leaves are thick, oval shaped, pale green in color and are coarse and fuzzy to the touch. Each leaf can be up to 10 inches in length, forming a mounded looking plant close to the ground. The flowers are funnel shaped and can be 2 or more inches long and 1 inch across. This annual offers great contrast in planting bed because of the texture and form. Plant in mass plantings, with different colors of flowering tobaccos they have a great roller coaster effect.
When to plant
Spring after the last frost, usually around Mid-May
Where to plant
Rich organic soil, moist but well drained in full to partial sun
Initially if you are planting nursery or garden center stock plants, remove all flowers and pinch back 1/4 of the stem and apply 2 inches of mulch around the base. Fertilizer every 14 days while they are blooming. Remove dead flowers and pinch back occasionally to promote bushier growth. Water regularly, sometimes daily in extremely hot weather.
Seeds can be started indoors, 8-10 weeks before outdoor planting if you have proper lighting sources, heating mats and a sterile growing medium. You can also sow outdoors when the weather is suitable, but be prepared for a slow process.
Another common name for this plant is Jasmine Tobacco. This plant is a member of the tomato family and the species name alatameans “winged.”
There is also another good variety called Nicotiana alata ”Grandiflora.” It has white night blooming flowers that have a sweet, powerful fragrance. The newer varieties are usually not very fragrant.