The Nicotiana genus brings together numerous annual and perennial herbaceous plants, originating from the American continent. Nicotiana alata is a perennial species, cultivated as an annual in cold climates, but which resists the rigors of winter if placed in a sheltered place. It forms dense bushes, of 30-60 cm and even more; the flowers are tubular, with five petals, pink, red and white, they bloom throughout the summer, until autumn. The flowers of this species, also called flowering tobacco, are very fragrant, especially at night.
The leaves of the Nicotiana winged are large, rounded, heart-shaped, slightly sticky. To prolong the flowering and keep it abundant it is advisable to remove the withered flowers. N. tabacum is the plant from whose leaves tobacco is obtained.
Flowering tobacco plants grow without problems in full sun or partial shade. If placed in full shade the bloom will be scarce or absent. In places with very cold winters they do not survive the cold season and are grown as annuals, whereas where the climate is milder and winter temperatures do not fall too low to below zero they can be grown outside, taking care to place them in a place repaired or to protect them with mulching material.
Usually, however, the plants are left to die, since they are easily self-seeded, so every year you can have new plants without special care.
in the warm periods of the year it is good to water the flowering tobacco plants often, avoiding however to exceed the quantity of water supplied and always checking that the soil does not prevent the drainage of excess water, to avoid the formation of water stagnation ; specimens of alata nicotiana can withstand a few days of drought, but prefer a slightly damp, though not soaked, soil.
It is advisable to add fertilizer for flowering plants every 15-20 days to the irrigation water so as to have better development and more luxuriant growth.
The specimens of flowering tobacco plants, to develop without problems, need a rich, loose and very well drained soil. An ideal substrate is formed by peat, soil, sand and organic substances, so as to have a soft soil with the right drainage, which prevents the formation of water stagnation.
The reproduction of this kind of plant usually takes place by seed, which this variety produces in large quantities. Sow in a sheltered place in February-March to allow the new shoots to gain strength, or in full ground in March.
This type of plant tends to autoseminarsi with extreme ease, so it is very easy to obtain new specimens without the need to implement special cultivation treatments.
Flowering tobacco - Nicotiana alata: Pests and diseases
aphids can ruin buds and flowers. It is good to intervene with preventive treatments based on insecticidal products that will guarantee a good protection to plants of this type. If you notice the presence of these parasites, it is also possible to intervene by using natural products based on nettle, garlic or marseille soap, dissolved in water and vaporized on the affected plants to eliminate the problem.