Growing Guide
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Annual Flower

Also known as Tobacco, Flowering , Jasmine Tobacco, Ornamental Tobacco
Nicotiana alata
Solanaceae Family

A very popular and fragrant summer annual that flowers profusely well into fall. Flowers are star-shaped and red, pink, white or pale green.

Site Characteristics
  • full sun
  • part shade

Soil conditions:

  • requires well-drained soil

Special locations:

  • outdoor containers
Plant Traits

Lifecycle: annual

Ease-of-care: easy

Height: 1 to 4 feet

Spread: 0.75 to 1.25 feet

Bloom time:

  • early summer
  • mid-summer
  • late summer
  • early fall
  • mid-fall

Flower color:

  • red
  • yellow
  • green
  • white
  • pink

Various shades and combinations of these basic colors. Blooms open at night. Flowers remain open only on cloudy days.

Foliage color: dark green

Foliage texture: medium

Leaves are covered with fuzzy hairs.

Shape: cushion, mound or clump

Shape in flower: flower stalks with upright spikes

Flowers borne on stems rising above the mound of foliage.

Special Considerations
  • frost
Special characteristics:
  • aggressive - Self-seeds readily if not deadheaded.
  • non-invasive
  • not native to North America - Native to South America.
  • fragrant - One of the most fragrant of all night-blooming annuals.
  • butterflies - Night-blooming flowers attract moths.
  • hummingbirds
Special uses:
  • cut flowers - Use taller varieties.
  • direct-seeding
Growing Information
How to plant:

Propagate by seed - Sow outdoors where desired after frost danger has passed, or indoors 6 to 8 weeks before the last spring frost. The seeds need light to germinate. The plants self seed.

Germination temperature: 70 F to 75 F

Days to emergence: 10 to 21

Maintenance and care:
Deadhead to prolong flowering and reduce self-seeding. Water when dry. May need staking.

More growing information: How to Grow Annuals

When choosing varieties, look for different flower colors and markings and heights.

'Nicki' Series: shorter than most varieties (1.5 feet tall). Very fragrant. Red, pink, white or pale green flowers. Not used as much as a cut flower because of compact growth habit.