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The Plant Guide

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Flowering tobacco

Nicotiana sylvestris

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This thick-stemmed annual or short-lived perennial reaches 5 to 6 feet tall, forming a large basal rosette of dark green leaves to 36 inches long. Lightly fragrant, long and tubular white flowers dangle in dense clusters from atop the tall stems. This plant starts blooming in late July or August. Flowers close in full sun.

Noteworthy CharacteristicsIdeal for the mixed border or semi-wild garden. Foliage may irritate skin.

CareBlooms well in part shade. Grow in fertile, moist but well-drained soil. It may need staking. Provide a dry winter mulch where hardy.

PropagationFrom surface-sown seed in mid-spring.

ProblemsMosaic, vein banding, etch, and ringspot viruses. Stem rot, stalk rot, downy mildew, damping off, root rot. Aphids, caterpillars, leaf miners, and spider mites.

  • Genus : Nicotiana
  • Plant Width : 1 to 3 feet
  • Plant Height : 3 to 6 feet
  • Plant Type : Annuals
  • Characteristics : Fragrant Flowers, Showy Foliage
  • Light : Full Sun to Partial Shade
  • Moisture : Medium Moisture
  • Bloom Time : Summer
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Summer Interest
  • Flower Color : White
View Comments


  1. jo_mit 05/26/2017

    I've grown these for years and have never needed to stake one. They grow fast, have huge, almost tropical looking leaves. They will reseed, babies look like lettuce seedlings. Great plant.

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