Nicotiana sylvestris – Annual

Nicotiana sylvestris (Su,M,LC,XA) Night-scented tobacco

24″ tall x 12 – 36″ spread, mounded with bright leaves and white summer blooms from June to October. An annual in Colorado, it’s native to the Andes region in Argentina and Bolivia, in South America.

  • Blooms:  Summer  (Su)
  • Moisture: Medium  (M)
  • Soil Type: Loam and Clay (LC)
  • Range: Non-Native EXotic Annual (XA)
  • Started as: Seed
  • Deer resistant

A great addition to a summer garden, I’ve tested Nicotiana sylvestris both in a container and in irrigated clay. Quick to mature and grows to a substantial size by end of summer. Big tropical leaves have a sticky surface with a sharp musky scent. White clusters of dangling 3″ flowers are most fragrant at night.

Although its considered a parent of the tobacco crop N. tobacum, sylvestris is not meant to be ingested in any form. Not for dogs/cats either. Mine doesn’t like the scent of the leaves and steers far clear of the plants.

I found a compost rich container that gets morning sun made for the largest leaves and flower stalks come early August.

Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, has a wonderful display of Nicotiana.


Easy to grow from seed its started indoors about 6 weeks before last frost. You will want to be sure to acclimate the seedlings to the outdoors prior to planting in the garden. It can be planted outdoors once all frost is gone.

See 3 essentials for starting seeds indoors for more tips.

An amateur gardener who loves to watch the garden grow.

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