Seed Starting Time – Flowering Tobacco

by Em
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It’s indoor seed starting time and the annuals with the smallest seeds are always first—flowers like petunias, rudbeckias (brown-eyed susans) and ageratums.

And nicotianas (flowering tobacco) are another plant that I start indoors from seed this time of year, but I’ve also seen them for sale at garden centers in the spring. As my flowerbeds get shadier because of the neighboring oak trees, I find myself relying on these annuals more and more. They happily grow in partial-shade while still providing lots of flowers.

a photo of white nicotiana flowers in bloom

The Perfume series grows 20 inches tall with flowers in red, rose, white, purple and lavender (which is called blue). There is also lime and a mix.

I’ve never had a problem growing these plants. Rabbits and bugs pass them by, but hummingbirds are crazy about them! They are also very heat tolerant as my plants proved during last summer’s very hot, dry weather.

a photo of rose nicotianas in blooms

The only downside to nicotianas is that after they bloom like crazy, they like to be trimmed back before they’ll bloom again. It usually takes about 2-3 weeks for the flowers to return.

I’ve been known to cut back a stem full of flowers that is “mostly done” blooming so it will sprout new side shoots while the nearby flower stems continue to show off. If I’m a bit more selective like that I can usually keep the blooms coming all summer.

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