Last winter when we had first moved into this house and I was planning out my landscaping, I managed to get in on a few seed swaps and picked up a host of unusual seeds I had never heard of. One of my new favorites includes Nicotiana—also known as Flowering Tobacco.
Flowering Tobacco comes in whites, yellows, pinks and reds and grows to three or four feet tall. Depending on when you get the seeds in the ground, it starts blooming mid summer and keeps up a steady show until frost. It reseeds readily so my three plants last summer spread over a 4x6 foot area, and it came back with little assistance this year. All I had to do was loosen the soil so it could put down some roots and I got a new crop.
It has the most amazingly sweet scent. I sometimes sit out on my front porch in the dark at night--the only time it is cool enough to be outside at this time of year--and close my eyes, just to inhale the honey-sweet smell. It's like the best floral perfume. The blooms don't last long, but it puts off so many, you hardly notice. Humming birds really love the flowers too.
The plant can be propagated by dividing tubers or rhizomes, from herbaceous stem cuttings, or from seed. You can start the seeds indoors and then plant them out after all danger of frost is past, or plant them directly in the ground. My first plants were winter sewn and thrived. All parts of this plant are poisonous if ingested. It requires medium watering--and it's thriving though my beds rarely get watered more than once a week.
Put this flower in full sun or partial shade, and don’t plant it too close to the walkways as it sometimes leans to one side.
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