How to Raise Tobacco Plants


Tobacco plants in the home garden are not much harder to grow than any other plant. Like tomatoes and peppers, they need to be started indoors or in a greenhouse approximately seven weeks before the last frost date in your area. Tobacco plants prefer a sunny area with well-drained soil. Mature tobacco plants, when harvested, need a protected, well-ventilated structure, such as an open barn, to cure before they can be processed.

Step 1

Spread a 1/4-inch layer of good potting soil evenly in a shallow pan or use peat pots by filling them 3/4 full of soil.

Step 2

Water the soil until it is moist to the touch.

Step 3

Sprinkle tobacco seeds evenly over the moist soil. Lightly cover the seed with soil. Cover the pan with a loose layer of plastic wrap. Place the pan in a warm area.

Step 4

Remove the plastic wrap from the tray after the seedlings have begun to break the surface of the soil.

Step 5

Water the seedlings as they grow with a plant mister filled with a fertilizer-water solution. Fertilizer designed for peppers or tomatoes works well. Follow the label instructions.

Step 6

Remove any seedlings that appear unhealthy.

Step 7

Transplant the plants after all danger of frost has passed and the plants are between 6 to 8 inches in length.

Step 8

Space the plants 24 inches apart. Allow 3-1/2 to 4 feet between rows, if you're planting in rows.

Step 9

Top the plants as flower heads begin to develop if the plants are intended to be processed as smoking tobacco. Allow the flower heads to remain on the plants if they were planted for decorative purposes.

Step 10

Remove suckers from the leaves by hand as they appear.

Step 11

Harvest the plants by cutting the stalks off at the ground when the leaves begin to yellow.

Things You'll Need

  • Tobacco seed
  • Shallow trays or peat pots
  • Potting soil
  • Plastic wrap
  • Plant mister
  • Liquid fertilizer


  • University of Florida: Growing Tobacco in the Home Garden
  • IQIO: How To Grow Tobacco
Keywords: grow tobacco, tobacco growing, home grown tobacco

About this Author

G. K. Bayne is a freelance writer, currently writing for Demand Studios where her expertise in back-to-basics, computers and electrical equipment are the basis of her body of work. Bayne began her writing career in 1975 and has written for Demand since 2007.