OH Being non-smokers ourselves we were pleasantly surprised to see how beautiful this plant is as an ornamental flower. A perennial but often biennial in cold winter climates, and often treated as an annual. A tall plant, tobacco is great for the back of a border or can be used as a trellis aid in the vegetable garden. The sticky leaves act as natural fly paper capturing unwanted insects such as whitefly. The stunning pink flowers have an exotic jasmine scent, especially at night to attract pollinating moths, making it ideal as a companion for gourds, as they are pollinated by night moths. Throughout history Virginia tobacco has been highly valued, and today it is the most widely used base tobacco in pipe tobacco mixtures. The popularity of Virginia is owing to the high natural sugar and aromatic content in its leaves. If smoking the plant is desired, harvest in several stages, as the leaves are plucked individually when they are ripe. The ripening takes place on the plant, and the leaves are harvested when they are a yellowish colour. After being picked, they are gathered in bundles (10-12 leaves per bundle) and hung on rods in barns to dry. Perennial, height to 1.5m, frost hardy.
Sow in Spring or Late Summer for continuous colour in the garden. Direct scatter sow in borders and rows, or sow into trays and prick out to 4cm diagonal spacing when true leaves appear. Transplant out to 30cm diagonal spacing in fertile soil.