Annual Overview: Nicotiana




Nicotiana Stats at a Glance

Botanical Name: Nicotiana alata

Common Name(s): Flowering tobacco, jasmine tobacco, ornamental tobacco

Height: 1 to 3 feet

Soil Conditions: Well-drained, rich, moist soil

Sun: Full sun/partial shade


Best use: Mixed flowerbeds, short-lived cut flowers

Starting Nicotiana from Seed

To start indoors, fill individual peat pots with a fertile commercial soil starter and moisten.  Sprinkle the seeds on the surface of the soil, as they need light to germinate. Place in a room with a constant temperature of 70-75°F.  Cover with clear plastic wrap to maintain the soil moisture and temperature.  Keep the soil moist.  When seedlings appear, remove the plastic wrap and move to a sunny location.


When to Start Seeds: 6-7 weeks prior to threat of last frost in spring.
Time to Germination: 10-15 days

Light/Dark Requirement: Light


When to Plant Nicotiana

Transplant seedlings or purchased plants in the garden as soon as the last threat of frost has passed and the soil reaches 70°F.

Soil Temperature: 70°F

Where to Plant Nicotiana

Plants prefer full sun to partial shade in rich moist soil.

Do not over water. Nicotiana plants do not perform well in wet soil.

Nicotiana Plant Spacing

12-14 inches

Nicotiana Care and Maintenance

Plants thrive in heat and humidity as long as they are watered well.

Shear leggy plants in midsummer to encourage flowering.

Remove spent flowers to encourage flowering.

Over fertilizing will result in larger plants at the expense of blooms.

Nicotiana Diseases

The most common diseases associated with nicotiana include bacterial leaf spot, botrytis, gray mold, and pseudomonas leaf spot.

Nicotiana Pests

The most common pests associated with nicotiana include aphids, flea beetle.

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