17 Plant Characteristics. Tobacco is a very easy plant to grow and look after, the seeds should be sown on the soil surface following the last frost of spring. There are several other Nicotiana species and cultivars to welcome into your garden. N. sylvestris has fragrant white flowers on tall "cobs," and can get six feet tall. Noteworthy CharacteristicsSilvery-blue foliage, fast growth, semi-evergreen. Everywhere else, a very large annual. Plant Profiles Tree Tobacco Leathery steel-blue leaves, and on a plant you can grow as an annual, a perennial, a shrub, or a tree. How to Start Tobacco Seeds Put seed-growing mix or a mixture of fine soil and sand in a shallow container. Gardeners looking for tall flowering tobacco varieties should stick with heirloom types, as newer compact varieties are bred to flower while still growing in nursery six-packs. Allergic to bees? The plant is used for a variety of medicinal purposes and smoked by Native American groups. It's "tree" tobacco, Nicotiana glauca, a South American species that really is (at least in the subtropics) a small tree. Tobacco bush is a densely woolly shrub or small tree to 4 m high. The other way to harvest tobacco leaves originated in the nineteenth century. It favors disturbed ground and desert washes. The plant bears yellow flowers if given a long enough growing season. Tree tobacco is native to South America but it is now widespread as an introduced species on other continents. Plant Name. It is a common roadside weed in the southwestern United States, and an invasive plant species in California native plant habitats. In my experience, the foliage is largest when Tree Tobacco is grown as an annual, but it's strikingly steel-blue at any size and on plants of any age. In truly mild climates—Zones 8 and above—where Tree Tobacco can grow large enough to live up (literally) to its "tree" name, experiment with pruning and pinching to get the canopy denser. The light and airy habit of nicotiana are welcome in any sunny spot in the flower garden. Tobacco is a very easy plant to grow and look after, the seeds should be sown on the soil surface following the last frost of spring. Sprinkle seeds very lightly over the soil (but don't cover them with dirt). Arizona Native Status: Introduced. The large velvety, oval leaves (10-35 x 3-15 cm), are grey-green on the upper surface, and white to yellowish underneath with prominent ‘ears’ (25mm) at base which clasp the stem. Tree Tobacco Nicotiana glauca ia naturalized in Texas and other States and is considered an … But Tree Tobacco really is woody and tree-like, at least in South America or California, so, of course, I have to experiment. A study done at the North Carolina State University shows that the tobacco plant resists the damage due to tobacco budworms by increasing the weight of its healthy leaves. Feed them with a weekly mix of fish emulsion and water-soluble 20-20-20 fertilizer, using each at half strength. Tree Tobacco is the only truly woody member of the family. Mist your seeds with your spray bottle, and make sure the flats are in the shade – if they’re not, you may … The seeds are tiny, like specks of black glitter. Even smoking tobacco, N. tobacum, is a handsome ornamental in its own right, to seven feet tall with large sprays of white or pink flowers. Nicotiana all transplant well as young plants. Growing Tobacco in the Home Garden 1 By E.B. The leaves of tree tobacco are poisonous because they contain anabasine, which is a toxic alkaloid. Plant Characteristics. Desert tobacco can be found throughout the Southwest at elevations below 5,000 feet. These plants are strong and resilient, and they’ll flourish in nearly any type of soil. 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