Newly Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2016 9:23 am
Location: Croatia

Help me about Nicotiniana rustica (wild tobacco)

I bought some seeds of Nicotiniana rustica for personal use only and I don't know how to plant them grow and nurture them, I was searching online but can't find it all, can someone tell me all I need to know tnq O:)

User avatar
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25279
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

I grow ornamental nicotiana, but I imagine the seed treatment is the same. They are easy to grow from seed. I usually start them indoors under lights. They benefit from bottom heat (a heat mat). Like other very small seed they need light to germinate. Sprinkle a LITTLE* seed on top of pre-moistened potting mix, and press lightly so they are in contact with the soil. Do not cover. I do bottom watering for my seed starting, but for seeds that are sitting uncovered like this, I also mist them from the top once or twice a day, to be sure they don't dry out, until the seeds have sprouted.

Nicotiana readily self seeds, so it could probably also be direct sown, once all danger of frost is past and the ground has warmed up. Prepare the ground well so that it is loosened up and soft and then keep the seeds moistened until they sprout.

*Be very careful. My main problem with planting nicotiana is having hundreds of them pop up. The seed is so fine, you don't realize how much of it you have laid down.

Senior Member
Posts: 142
Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2016 9:02 am
Location: Central NY (rural) Zone 5

I love nicotiana for the wonderful fragrance they waft into warm summer nights, after sunset. This year I bought rustica seeds (instead of sylvestris). As rainbowgardener indicates, they are super tiny seeds and prone to building up static electricity in their seed packet, so it is indeed difficult to plant only a few. They germinate readily, are easy to grow and like lots of water. The leaves are large and sticky, like petunias. My seeds came packed in a little plastic zip lock bag inside the paper packet. I didn't know the bag took up most of the paper packet and when I cut it open, I inadvertently sliced off the bottom of the bag. Nicotiana seed fell all over the floor of the greenhouse. Swept it up and dropped it into shallow trays of moist soil. Now I have a ridiculous excess crop of nicotiana that I'll no doubt, be planting all over the yard and giving away in a month or so. Since it is raining today, I'll snap some pictures later and load them up here. The only tedious part is getting the seedlings separated. They don't mind being crowded, as long as they get enough moisture, so wait for the leaves to be pea-sized or larger. Wet the soil prior to trying to separate the seedlings. You can use tweezers (gently) to pull the plants apart by the leaves. Even a little of each plant's root is enough to plant. You might keep a little cup of water handy to dip the root clumps in to help pull apart the plants. My plants never seem to suffer any transplant shock, and perk up within a day or so. Nicotiana grows well in sun or shade, and I've noticed that they wilt or droop when its really hot (July and August), but perk back up when given water. I've never fertilized mine, but I might try some bloom booster this year. Cut away spent blooms, and they will bloom again. Next year, look for seedlings to pop up in the area you grew them this year, but they tend to come late (in zone 5) when the soil has warmed up (June).

Senior Member
Posts: 142
Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2016 9:02 am
Location: Central NY (rural) Zone 5

I'm back with pictures. Apparently, when I was searching for seeds this spring, I ran across rustica, but I did NOT buy them. Rather, I held out for sylvestris. There is a nice pic of mature, blooming sylvestris at scheepers kitchen garden seeds, and a nice pic of same for rustica at victory seeds. In reading about rustica, I noted that it is much more potent, containing much higher concentrations of nicotine, so, please be careful when you use your plants. Victory states that the rustica has been used in Mexico to make poison arrows. Anyway, here are the results of my "spill" of seed a few weeks ago.

Dumped from dustpan into an egg carton tray:
nicotiana seedlings.JPG
Two week transplants:
nicotiana transplants.JPG
One week transplants:
nicotiana transplants2.JPG
Please let me know if the rustica plant's blossoms are fragrant at all.

Return to “Herb Gardening Forum”