Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Flowering Tobacco, Jasmine Tobacco, Ornamental Tobacco
Nicotiana alata

Family: Solanaceae (so-lan-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Nicotiana (nih-ko-she-AH-na) (Info)
Species: alata (a-LAY-tuh) (Info)

Synonym:Nicotiana affinis
Synonym:Nicotiana affinis var. grandiflora
Synonym:Nicotiana alata var. grandiflora

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

42 members have or want this plant for trade.

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36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

Not Applicable

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall
Blooms repeatedly


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
From herbaceous stem cuttings
From seed; sow indoors before last frost
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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There are a total of 21 photos.
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12 positives
6 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive jon4de On Jul 9, 2012, jon4de from Bay Shore, NY (Zone 7a) wrote:

I love this plant! Here (7b) it self sows freely and each spring I'm amazed at how many "babies" I have, ALL over my gardens. As others have said, it does come up later than most, so you do have to be patient. In the fall I mark where the current season's plants are so when I start cleaning things up in the spring I know where they were and am careful around my nicotiana zone. I've also had very good luck with self sowing sylvestris, alata 'Lime Green" and langsdorfii.
I've been growing nicotiana for more than 20 years and was crushed when I moved and had to leave them behind. However, enough of the seeds hitched rides on the plants I brought with me that I needn't have worried. I now smile when I drive past my old home and see that even though the new owners have grassed over all my perennial beds, there are still nicotiana volunteers. I only hope they, too, have discovered the delights of this wonderful plant. The scent alone makes this a must-have.

Positive EvilPlot On Sep 29, 2011, EvilPlot from Calgary , AB (Zone 3a) wrote:

Need warm evenings to germinate. I started the seeds outdoors after last frost (early June). They grew a bit slowly at first, but once the weather warms up they shot up in a hurry. Flowered at end of August. So far they've survived several mild frosts at night - yay for outdoors germination!

Depending on where I planted them, they vary between 0.3m to 0.5m in height. Tend to leaf up a lot before you see the blooms, but it is well worth the wait. The evening blooms shimmer nicely in moonlight, and it's nice to have jasmine scent wafting into the kitchen from the back garden.

If you have pets, keep a close eye on them in the garden, plant is pretty toxic if ingested.

Positive carlotta4th On Aug 7, 2010, carlotta4th from Provo, UT wrote:

Absolutely one of my favorite plants. The fragrance is stunning, and the flowers (like others have said) simply glow at night. And how many plants have you heard of that bloom at night? The blooms also attract hummingbirds.

Positive mightymanfred On Mar 13, 2010, mightymanfred from Sorrento, FL wrote:

Last year this plant grew extremely well here in Sorrento, FL. The night blooms attracted spinx moths which attracted Screech Owls who fed on them. It was great!

Positive Niere On May 27, 2009, Niere from Chepachet, RI (Zone 5b) wrote:

I absolutely adore this plant/ I grew it for the first time last year and simply fell in love with it. It's fragrance in the evening is divine, so be sure to plant it where you will be able to enjoy it in the evening.

The flowers do close up during the day so it's not at it's best during that time. But on a warm night with the moon shining on its petals it glows. An absolute keeper.

I had heard that this plant self-sows--as the spring progressed I became worried because I didn't see any seedlings. I panicked and ordered more plants and seeds as well. I need not have worried--shortly after that I saw babies sprouting all over the place. The only problem was that the seeds are so tiny that they were beginning to sprout in the cracks of the brick walkway. If you can get them early enough, they can be saved. Seedlings do resemble petunia seedlings, only with a bit of fuzz.

I highly, highly recommend this plant.

Positive victorianblu On Jul 16, 2008, victorianblu from Eureka, CA wrote:

I can just see the eyes "pop" when I say this... I have found that my Nicotiana's are performing much better on the North side of our residence which receives bright shade. This was my first experience with this particular cultivar...I am pleased to say that the Grandiflora is a real 'eager to please' plant after planting her in some Happy Frog soil with a dressing of Cocoa Mulch....the later being not always the best option for all plants...believe me, I have learned this hard leason! My Ladybug family steers clear of the Nicotania's.

Neutral admodeva On Nov 20, 2005, admodeva from Dutton, AL (Zone 7a) wrote:

I like flowering tobacco, planted them along the front border of the garden this year because I wanted something different than the same old impatiens and begonias. I won't use it again though because it was dead by the end of August, it just seemed spent, where the impatiens and begonias bloom right up until the freeze kills them. It was pretty while it lasted though, and it's nice to experiment and try something new.

Positive Dacooolest On Sep 5, 2005, Dacooolest from Brandon, MB (Zone 2b) wrote:

This is definitely one of the most fragrant flowers I have ever grown! It usually does not smell during the day, but at night, you can stand 10 feet away from a sizable clump and the scent will knock you off your feet! It self sows quite a bit here, but the extra fragrance is welcome here. We actually have several self sown plants from the generation we started earlier this year. In all, an amazing plant!!!

Positive crimsontsavo On Jul 5, 2004, crimsontsavo from Crossville, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Beautiful scent at night- Blooms look great during the day here (it gets really hot and they are in full sun).
Scent not noted during the day- just barely there sometimes.
"Glows" at night- very pretty- a real keeper!
Before blooming it is easy to mistake them as weeds- don't pull them up!

Positive DeBlasi On Jul 1, 2004, DeBlasi from Columbus, OH wrote:

Nicotiana came back from root stock in my Columbus Ohio garden 2 years ago. I saw it sprouting from a root section as I was turning the soil. I tossed it back in and it continued to grow into a lovely plant. Furthermore, the year before I was walking across the garden in the spring w/ a packet of nicotiana seed, I tripped and lost it all---and it all came up thick as thieves a few weeks later, right below my back porch. I used to sit and watch the bumble bees rob the flowers of nectar by drilling a hole in the side of the base of the flower and sucking it out.

Positive lupinelover On Jan 30, 2003, lupinelover from Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

Take root cuttings for propagation. Grandiflora has bigger, deeper-throated flowers than the type. Night scented.

Neutral Bug_Girl On Nov 10, 2002, Bug_Girl from San Francisco, CA wrote:

This plant got very over grown, and had the tendency to go more into production of the huge leaves and not the flowers. It needs much more room then you think it does. It is very easy to grow if it get a lot of water. However maybe some water restriction would force it to grow more flowers and less leaves?

Neutral punky36 On Sep 3, 2002, punky36 wrote:

I planted the white plants (not from seed) last year in the garden and they grew very well, however, nowhere as high as I have read some comment.

Neutral FranG On Sep 3, 2002, FranG from Brighton, MA wrote:

Yes, it is toxic! It is a tobacco plant.

Positive penny4 On Sep 2, 2002, penny4 from Salem, OR (Zone 8a) wrote:

I grew this variety several years ago, and loved it, but had a difficult time finding it again until this year. Many stores/nurseries have opted to sell the "improved hybrid varieties": short with small leaves, in colors other than white, and not nearly as fragrant as this one. This is the "unimproved" variety, I believe, named 'fragrant cloud' on the tag which came with the small bedding plant. Mine is now over five feet high, including the pot, and the leaves are big, like "real" tobacco leaves, about 10-12" long for the larger lower leaves. The tag further states that it is a Half-hardy annual, hardy from zero to +10 degrees F. It does smell like jasmine at night, and looks "wilted" during the day, which sometimes is frustrating to bees trying to get inside the folded blooms! It will overwinter in my zone, with a little protection during cold spells, especially if potted in a large container. This plant is in bright warm shade, with a little direct sun in late afternoon.

Positive Weezingreens On Aug 31, 2002, Weezingreens from Seward, AK (Zone 3b) wrote:

This is the first season I have grown Nicotiana alata. I bought the seed because the blooms are fragrant. Underestimating the stature of this plant, I planted them in urns and placed them on stands. Now the blooms are approximately four feet above my head. When I am able to reach a bloom, the smell is sweet!

Neutral smiln32 On Aug 30, 2001, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

All species of this genus are thought to contain narcotic poisons. This great bedding plant will grow fantastically in places with hot, humid summers. It is bright and long blooming, with tubular flowers that flare into bright stars. Old-fashioned types close for part of the day and open toward evening with a strong, sweet smell. Available in green, white, purple, red, cream, citron yellow, deep rose, smoky tones and whites. White varieties are especially attractive at night

Neutral poppysue On Aug 8, 2001, poppysue from Westbrook, ME (Zone 5a) wrote:

The unimproved white variety of Nicotiana alata is the most fragrant of all. Flowers droop in the heat of the day but at dusk they revive and permeate the air with their wonderful scent.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Dutton, Alabama
Anderson, California
Calistoga, California
Citrus Heights, California
Clayton, California
Elk Grove, California
Eureka, California (2 reports)
Fair Oaks, California
Fairfield, California
Lake Nacimiento, California
Livermore, California
Napa, California
Richmond, California
San Diego, California
Santa Clara, California
Stockton, California
Westbrook, Connecticut
Indialantic, Florida
Sorrento, Florida
Decatur, Georgia
Newnan, Georgia
Valdosta, Georgia
Chicago, Illinois
Divernon, Illinois
Evanston, Illinois
Itasca, Illinois
Demotte, Indiana
Evansville, Indiana
Flora, Indiana
Lansing, Kansas
Barbourville, Kentucky
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Lafayette, Louisiana
Lake Charles, Louisiana
Cumberland, Maryland
Ijamsville, Maryland
Amesbury, Massachusetts
Saint Cloud, Minnesota
Mathiston, Mississippi
Saint Joseph, Missouri
Fayetteville, North Carolina
Greenville, North Carolina
Bucyrus, Ohio
Cincinnati, Ohio
Felicity, Ohio
Newark, Ohio
Cave Junction, Oregon
Salem, Oregon
Champion, Pennsylvania
Kintnersville, Pennsylvania
Chepachet, Rhode Island
Lexington, South Carolina
Murrells Inlet, South Carolina
Broaddus, Texas
Crockett, Texas
Wichita Falls, Texas
Logan, Utah
Ogden, Utah
Charlottesville, Virginia
Church Road, Virginia
Clinton, Washington
North Sultan, Washington
Olympia, Washington
Seattle, Washington
Yakima, Washington

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