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Backyard Botanist: Caring for Your Tobacco, and Two New Plants

By Kevin Robinson in Miscellaneous on Jun 30, 2010 4:00PM

With the long, sunny days and stormy weather, our tobacco plants are doing great. They're over three feet tall at this point, with large, leafy foliage and thick, firm stems. In fact they're doing so well that they've begun to flower. We've picked the buds off all but one of the plants (as we intend to harvest them as a crop, rather than grow them for ornamentation). Growing flowers will sap the plant's energy, and it will focus on flowering instead of producing leaves. Tobacco is an ornamental plant as well as a cash crop, so either option is fine, depending on your gardening goals. We also added a bit of fertilizer to the pots, as tobacco is a heavy-feeding species.

I've also recently gotten a few small Virgina Bright Leaf plants, which need to be potted up as well. It seemed like a good time to talk about how to maintain large tobacco plants in a container garden, while taking stock of how the original White Orinoco plants are doing.

In a few more weeks, the flowering plant will have produced flowers, and we'll be ready to take our first harvest from the rest of the crop. If the weather stays wet and warm, we should be able to harvest leaves from them three or four times before mid-October. In the meantime, I'm hoping the Virgina Bright Leaf will catch up the White Orinoco plants.