Nicotiana are named after a 16th century Ambassador French Ambassador for Portugal named Jean Nicot. For it was he who championed the medicinal uses of this plant which became so widely regarded at the time.
From a gardening perspective, it is not their medicinal or other uses that we admire, but largely their scent. Sweet and intoxicating, it is a sublime addition to any outside space.
They are an ideal part of any cottage garden or traditional design and beautifully they seed very freely.
They love a sunny spot with free draining soil and are easy to grow. Many are white in colour and so ideal for anyone considering creating their own white garden. How about mixing Nicotiana affinis with Sweet Pea 'High Scent' and Jasminum officinale? All highly scented and deliciously decorative.
White glows in the evening and is one of the last colours we see as the light fades and so a perfect accompaniment for those who enjoy summer evenings outside. Nicotiana attract nocturnal moths, important pollinators often ignored in favour of butterflies and bees. They are seduced by the scented tubular flowers and bright white petals and are welcome wildlife visitors to our gardens.
As well as whites, lime green and red colourations are also available. 'Tinkerbell' with her deep red petals and green eye offer real fairy like finesse, while many multiple colour mixes from Suttons will give you a chance to try all.
When to Plant Nicotiana
Sow seeds in early spring undercover and plant out when fear of frost has passed.
Where to grow Nicotiana Plants?
Ideal to place along pathways where their scent can be admired, or scattered throughout the front of herbaceous borders.
- Full sun or partial shade
- Dwarf varieties of Nicotiana plants do well in bed and borders or patio containers
- Well-drained, moisture-retentive soil
How to grow Nicotiana plants?
- Feed weekly
- Nip off dead flowers
- Remove Nicotiana plants after first frosts
Buy Nicotiana plug plants from Suttons