How to grow nicotiana from seed

Do it:

Mar, Apr

Takes just:

30 minutes

At its best:

Jun, Jul, Aug

For the price of a few packets of seed, half-hardy annuals, such as tobacco plant (Nicotiana), can be sown in March ready to flower in summer. Start your half-hardy annuals in the greenhouse or on a sunny windowsill, then acclimatise them to life outdoors before planting out in their final position.

You will need

Seed tray

Seed compost



7cm pots

Sieved multipurpose compost

Cold frame or patio


Fill a tray with seed compost, then sow a tiny pinch of seeds in each cell. Cover with a vermiculite, water and place the tray in a propagator in a warm spot such as a windowsill.

Once seeds have germinated, wait until two pairs of leaves form. Then, holding each seedling by its leaves and not its stem, transplant each one individually into a 7cm pot filled with sieved multipurpose compost.

Water seedlings well after transplanting and keep the pots in a warm, bright place. Avoid exposure to bright sunlight, which can scorch the young leaves.

When all risk of frost has passed, move the plants to a cold frame or patio, bringing them in at night. After a week you can plant them outside.


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