Flowering Tobacco

These days, growing tobacco isn't just for farmers. A number of flowering tobacco varieties are perfect for home gardens.

Known also as Nicotiana, these plants produce trumpet-shaped flowers that are only a few inches long but will fill your garden with fragrance. The flowers can be white, green, pink, or purple.

White varieties like Nicotiana alata are beautiful in moon gardens; their fragrance is intensified in the evenings and attract moths. Nicotiana langsdorffii is an unusual annual species with apple green flowers and striking blue anthers. Unlike other tall species (it can grow up to 5 feet tall), these flowers are scentless.

The tallest varieties can reach five feet and look good at the back of mixed beds; they may need to be staked. Other modern hybrids grow just one or two feet and are wonderful in containers. They do best in full sun. Note that some newer hybrids aren't as fragrant as older varieties.

Remember that these plants do contain nicotine, so don't let pets or kids eat any parts of them. Look for transplants at your local garden center or start your own using seed from mail-order nurseries.

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