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Nicotiana sylvestris, also known as South American Tobacco, is an easy-to-grow half hardy tobacco species from Argentina reaching up to five feet in height. Sylvestris is a wild tobacco believed to be one of the parents of nicotiana tobacum, the variety which is used by the commercial tobacco industry. Among one of the reasons sylvestris is highly desirable is that its flowers, which appear in about ninety days after germination, are sweetly scented like jasmine. The flowers are attractive to hummingbirds as well as people. These three-inch, white, hanging trumpet-shaped flowers make it the perfect plant to impress visitors with even if your gardening skills are not as ‘cultivated’ as you might wish. The flowers continue throughout the season, and dead ones can be pruned to encourage the better formation of new ones. N. sylvestirs is also known as woodland tobacco, which reflects its preference for partial shade. While it will grow in full sun, it actually will grow better in a bit of shade. This makes it a good option for those with limited full sun exposure. It also makes it easier to bring indoors during the winter.
Growing Information: Seeds should be surface sown in fertile, well-draining loam in partial shade. They are best off being direct sown after any danger of frost or sown in trofts outside and transplanted to the ground when about two inches tall. They can also be started indoors for an early start. This also helps prevent them from being carried away by the wind. Thin plants to about two feet apart, and cut off the flowering tops to increase leaf size. Remove dead flowers to encourage new ones to emerge. Regular fertilization is recommended. Germination typically takes 10-20 days.