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Nicotiana tabacum (Common tobacco)

Intermediate
skill rating
2 hours care
per year
2m
Max height
0.5m
Max spread
1 year
To maturity
Low
Toxicity

Plant details

Botanical name

Nicotiana tabacum

Other names

Common tobacco, Tobacco, Cultivated tobacco, Queen Mother herb, Virginian tobacco plant, Smoking tobacco

Genus

Nicotiana Nicotiana

Species

N. tabacum - N. tabacum is a robust, erect, sticky-hairy, tender, semi-evergreen perennial, typically grown as an annual with large, oblong to elliptic, mid-green leaves and panicles of trumpet-shaped, lightly fragrant, pale pink flowers from summer into autumn.


Nicotiana tabacum is: Deciduous

Habit

Erect

Toxicity

Though the dried leaves are used for chewing, snorting, smoking, and as insect repellant, all parts of highly toxic if ingested. Smoking the leaves is highly addictive and is known to cause cancer.

Flower

Pink in Summer; Pink in Autumn

Foliage

Green in Spring; Green in Summer; Green in Autumn

How to care

Watch out for

Specific pests

Glasshouse whitefly , Leafhoppers , Aphids Glasshouse whitefly , Leafhoppers , Aphids

Grey mould , Virus Grey mould , Virus

General care

Pruning

Use gloves when handling as the nicotine in the plant can be absorbed through the skin and cause illness. Pinch out top growth to promote branching. Deadhead regularly to prolong flowering.

Propagation

Sow under glass approximately 10 weeks before the last frost date. Direct sow in late spring.

Propagation methods

Seed


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Where to grow

Nicotiana tabacum (Common tobacco) will reach a height of 2m and a spread of 0.5m after 1 year.

Suggested uses

Sub-Tropical, Low Maintenance, Beds and borders, Banks and Slopes

Cultivation

Best in fertile, moist but well-drained soil in a sheltered, sunny site.

Soil type

Chalky, Clay, Loamy

Soil drainage

Moist but well-drained, Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Full Sun

Aspect

South, East, West

Exposure

Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Tender in frost (H3)

Companion plants

We do not currently have companion plants added for this plant.

Botanical name

Nicotiana tabacum

Other names

Common tobacco, Tobacco, Cultivated tobacco, Queen Mother herb, Virginian tobacco plant, Smoking tobacco

Genus

Nicotiana Nicotiana

Species

N. tabacum - N. tabacum is a robust, erect, sticky-hairy, tender, semi-evergreen perennial, typically grown as an annual with large, oblong to elliptic, mid-green leaves and panicles of trumpet-shaped, lightly fragrant, pale pink flowers from summer into autumn.

Native to

Tropical Americas

Foliage

Deciduous

Habit

Erect

Toxicity

Though the dried leaves are used for chewing, snorting, smoking, and as insect repellant, all parts of highly toxic if ingested. Smoking the leaves is highly addictive and is known to cause cancer.


Colour

Flower

Pink in Summer; Pink in Autumn

Foliage

Green in Spring; Green in Summer; Green in Autumn


How to care

Watch out for

Specific pests

Glasshouse whitefly , Leafhoppers , Aphids

Specific diseases

Grey mould , Virus

General care

Pruning

Use gloves when handling as the nicotine in the plant can be absorbed through the skin and cause illness. Pinch out top growth to promote branching. Deadhead regularly to prolong flowering.

Propagation

Sow under glass approximately 10 weeks before the last frost date. Direct sow in late spring.

Propagation methods

Seed


Monthly care advice


Where to grow

Nicotiana tabacum (Common tobacco) will reach a height of 2m and a spread of 0.5m after 1 year.

Suggested uses

Sub-Tropical, Low Maintenance, Beds and borders, Banks and Slopes

Cultivation

Best in fertile, moist but well-drained soil in a sheltered, sunny site.

Soil type

Chalky, Clay, Loamy

Soil drainage

Moist but well-drained, Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Full Sun

Aspect

South, East, West

Exposure

Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Tender in frost (H3)

USDA zones

Zone 10, Zone 9, Zone 8, Zone 7

Defra's Risk register #1

Plant name

Nicotiana tabacum (Common tobacco)

Common pest name

Cassava whitefly; Cotton whitefly; Sweet potato whitefly; Tobacco whitefly

Scientific pest name

Bemisia tabaci non-European populations

Type

Insect

Current status in UK

Absent

Likelihood to spread to UK (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

2

Impact (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

5

General biosecurity comments

Non-European populations of Bemisia tabaci pose an additional risk to European populations due to the potential for introducing non-European viruses.

Defra's Risk register #2

Plant name

Nicotiana tabacum (Common tobacco)

Common pest name

; Black wood of grapevine; Female sterility of tobacco; Fruit woodiness of tomato; Maize Redness; Mal azul of tomato; Metabolbur; Metastolbur; Parastolbur; Purple top of potato; Stolbur of potato; Stolbur of tobacco; Stolbur of tomato

Scientific pest name

Candidatus Phytoplasma solani

Type

Phytoplasma

Current status in UK

Absent

Likelihood to spread to UK (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

3

Impact (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

4

General biosecurity comments

Phytoplasma which potentially affects a wide host range; determined by the feeding behaviour of vectors. First UK outbreak in 2014; on strawberry; a host not specifically regulated in EU legislation. This legislation should be reviewed to take account of this and other developments.

Defra's Risk register #3

Plant name

Nicotiana tabacum (Common tobacco)

Common pest name

Scientific pest name

Xiphinema bakeri

Type

Nematode

Current status in UK

Absent

Likelihood to spread to UK (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

2

Impact (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

4

General biosecurity comments

Nematode pest; could potentially affect trees and other species if introduced but many pathways regulated. No evidence of interceptions or findings to date.

About this section

Our plants are under greater threat than ever before. There is increasing movement of plants and other material traded from an increasing variety of sources. This increases the chances of exotic pests arriving with imported goods and travellers, as well as by natural means. Shoot is working with Defra to help members to do their part in preventing the introduction and spread of invasive risks.

Traveling or importing plants? Please read "Don't risk it" advice here

Suspected outbreak? Click here for contact details to report to the relevant authority.

Date updated: 7th March 2019 For more information visit: https://planthealthportal.defra.gov.uk/

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This plant likes... Garden match
Soil types: Chalky, Clay, Loamy Tell us...
Soil drainage: Moist but well-drained, Well-drained Tell us...
Soil pH: Acid, Alkaline, Neutral Tell us...
Light: Full Sun Tell us...
Aspect: South, East, West Tell us...
Exposure: Sheltered Tell us...
Hardiness: Tender in frost (H3) Tell us...

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