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I’ve grown nicotiana from seed very successfully from seed for the last few years. When I say very successfully, I mean that from one small sowing of seeds, I managed to get 45 seedlings! They grow very easily from seed and grow on steadily after pricking out. They’re definitely an annual worth considering. They can provide good height to a border if they’re fed well, and come in a variety of colours, including bold jewel shades and pastels. They smell absolutely divine in late evening, so I would recommend planting them somewhere you’re likely to smell them at that time.
Given that they grow so well from seed, I think everyone should give them a go. They grow into a plant that looks pretty and smells gorgeous, and you could get hundreds of plants for the price of a pack of seeds.
Other Names for Nicotiana
Nicotiana is widely known as the Tobacco Flower. The name “Nicotiana” came from the French ambassador to Portugal who sent it as a medicine to the court of Catherine de Medici.
This is a plant that does well in full sun, but will tolerate partial shade. I give them a good feed each week once they begin to flower, using tomato feed.
They don’t tend to do so well planted in containers. I’ve found they grow larger and healthier when situated in the ground, but I have had a few self seed into pots and I just left them there (as they were a freebie!) but they didn’t grow as tall as the plants in the ground, or produce as many flowers.
They are fairly easy plants to keep in the garden once they’re there. Just let them get on with it. Although this is a tobacco flower, do NOT ingest the leaves as they are likely to cause harm and discomfort.