Although tobacco is simple to grow, the seeds are tiny, and you need to be careful when you plant them to make sure you do not place too many in a small area. Tobacco seeds also need to be in temperatures between 21.1 and 26.7 degrees Celsius before they will germinate. Start by planting your seeds indoors approximately 4 to 6 weeks before the last frost. After they are planted, tobacco seeds usually take 1 to 2 weeks to germinate.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Tobacco seeds
- Seed tray
- Peat humus
- Potting soil
- Spray bottle
Sprinkle the tobacco seeds evenly on the top of a moistened seed tray soil mixture of half peat humus and half potting soil. You can also use seed compost. To spread the seed evenly, mix it with two parts of sand for every part of seeds. Make sure the seed is not buried in the soil, since tobacco seeds need light to germinate.
Place the seed tray in a propagator that has a constant temperature between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. If you don't have a propagator, cover the seed container with a sheet of light paper to keep the seeds from burning if they are exposed to bright sunlight. After the seedlings sprout, place them in an area with a temperature around 12.8 degrees Celsius to facilitate growth.
Keep the soil damp but do not soak it with water. Check the soil often to make sure it doesn't dry out. Don't pour water directly onto the seedlings because the force can uproot them. Instead, use a misting bottle.
Replant the seedlings when they are 6 to 8 inches tall. Space them 2 feet apart in fertilised soil. Transplanting them in the evening or on a cloudy day will keep the tobacco plants from drying out. If you have clay in your soil, add some peat moss. Water your plants liberally every day and make sure they get a lot of sunlight.
Tips and warnings
- Follow the directions on the seed packet.
- You can grow tobacco plants in 5 gallon pots as long as you use rich compost and water them regularly.
- The size and characteristics of the tobacco plant will vary with the climate and soil. The plant can grow to between 2 and 7 feet, and the colour can vary from yellow to dark brown.
- If you want to grow tobacco plants for ornamental purposes, plant the Rose or Jasmine varieties.
- Tobacco plants don't like cold weather, so make sure you live in a climate that has a minimum temperature of 18.3 to 21.1 degrees C during the spring and summer.
- Tobacco plants are resistant to most insects except the sphinx moth. Don't use an insecticide if you plan to use the tobacco. Instead, remove these insects by hand while they are still caterpillars. You can recognise these caterpillars by their distinctive hornlike tail and green colour with white diagonal stripes. Tobacco plants are also susceptible to maladies like mosaic disease and root rot.
- The roots of tobacco plants are not very deep, so be careful when using your hoe around the plants.
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