Nicotiana

(Nicotiana alata) Nicotiana is a fragrant annual flower that is a member of the tobacco family. The tall plants produce long trumpet flowers, which emit a heavenly fragrance. The showy flowers are also very attractive to butterflies and other pollinators. The plants are frost sensitive and prefer full sun, though in southern locales a bit of afternoon shade is ideal. Provide well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter, and keep nicotiana well fed. Seeds germinate in 7 to 21 days. Start indoors 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost and transplant 2 weeks after the last frost has passed. Gardeners in long-season areas can direct sow 2 weeks after the last frost. Surface sow seeds and gently press into soil, as light aids germination. Ideal germination temperature is 70-75 degrees F. CAUTION: Nicotiana is poisonous.

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