Care of the Nicotiana Plant

Overview

Other than the distinctive blooms and the variety of colors, one of the best things about growing nicotiana is the sweet aroma that fills the air whenever the plant is in bloom. Planted near a door or window, the blooms will even scent the inside of your house on warm summer evenings. Nicotianas aren't only easy to plant, they're easy to care for, requiring very little time and effort to keep them happy.

Step 1

Provide bamboo or wooden stakes for the nicotiana to lean on if it's planted in open areas, and secure the plant to the stakes with garden twine or strips of old pantyhose. The stems are tall and can be bent or broken in windy weather.

Step 2

Water nicotiana regularly, but don't water so much that the soil is soaked. Feed it an all-purpose liquid fertilizer every month, or every 2 weeks if the nicotiana is in a pot. Refer to the manufacturer's instructions for detailed information.

Step 3

Spread a layer of organic mulch such as peat moss, small bark chips or grass clippings around the nicotiana plant. Mulch will enrich the soil, conserve moisture, and help to control weeds.

Step 4

Watch for spider mites and aphids, which are attracted by the sticky stems. Spray affected plants with insecticidal soap.

Step 5

Remove and dispose of any plants that look distorted, or that have yellow spots on the leaves. This is a sign that the plant may be infected with a tobacco mosaic virus.

Tips and Warnings

  • Nicotiana is a member of the nightshade family, and should never be eaten by pets or people.

Things You'll Need

  • Bamboo or wooden stakes
  • Garden twine or torn pantyhose
  • All-purpose liquid fertilizer
  • Organic mulch
  • Insecticidal soap, if needed

References

  • 2009- The Year of Nicotiana
  • Fact Sheet: Nicotiana
  • NICOTIANA . Flowering Tobacco
Keywords: nicotiana, organic mulch, all-purpose fertilizer

About this Author

M.H. Dyer is a longtime writer, editor and proofreader. She has been a contributor to the "East-Oregonian Newspaper" and "See Jane Run" magazine, and is author of a memoir, “The Tumbleweed Chronicles, a Sideways Look at Life." She holds an Master of Fine Arts from National University, San Diego.