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Tobacco, Virginia

Culinary & Medicinal Herb Seeds

We carry a diverse variety of herb seeds, including culinary herbs, medicinals, ethnobotanicals, native plants of the PNW, and nectar and pollen rich flowers attractive to bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects. All varieties are open pollinated, we do not sell hybrid seeds. Average seed life is 3 years. Please allow 1-2 weeks for shipping.

Tobacco, Virginia

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Tobacco, Virginia

3.75

(Nicotiana tabacum)

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Common Names
Virginia Tobacco, Smoking Tobacco, Cultivated Tobacco

Botanical Name
Nicotiana tabacum

Plant Family
Solanaceae (Nightshade Family)

Life Cycle
Annual

Native Range
South America

Hardiness Zone
5-11

Habit
Stately and majestic plants grow to 6ft tall with large light-green leaves that are sticky with resin. Tubular pink flowers with pale yellow centres.

Sun/Soil
Tobacco needs all the sun you can give it, decent soil (the more fertile the better), and regular waterings to help it establish. The high humidity environment of the green house is also beneficial but not necessary. 

Germination/Sowing
Tobacco seeds are very easy to germinate and the seedlings are fast growing. It is best started a month or so early (mid-April) in our temperate climate and then transplanted out when the night temps are warmer in mid-May.

Growing/Care 
Tobacco plants like regular water throughout the growing season, if soil is deficient then adding compost, or a feeding of kelp and/or fish fertilized is recommended to encourage large leaf growth.

Harvesting
Once the plants begin to flower the plants can be cut at the base and hung to dry, alternatively the leaves may be harvested individually. For use as a smoking herb, the tobacco leaves must be processed by curing, fermenting, and aging. After a curing period of several months to years, the leaves undergo a fermentation process where they are layered in barrels, next they are dried and aged once again to enhance the flavours and the burning qualities.

I like to use the Tobacco leaves as offerings during plant sits and plant diets. I’ve never gone to the trouble of fermenting them and instead I wilt the whole leaves for a day or two, then roll each leaf individually into a loose smudge wand (or cigar shape) and dry them that way. The dried tobacco can be taken into the forest with you and bits can be broken off to offer to the plants you are working with, harvesting, or wish to send your prayers to.

Culinary Uses
None known.

Medicinal Uses
This species has been in cultivation for hundreds of years for its mind-altering effects. Revered and respected as a sacred plant since ancient times, Tobacco is used for offering and purification. In ceremony, tobacco smoke is used to carry one's thoughts and prayers to the Creator.

Growing the large and graceful Tobacco plants one can feel the light and clear energy they embody. When one sits with the enormous, sticky resinous leaves and tubular pink flowers, a grounding and expansive energy can be felt that invokes a sense of r-e-s-p-e-c-t. The plants take you on a journey.

Themes
Attracts Pollinators, Deer Resistant, Apothecary Garden, Sacred Medicine Garden.