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Tree Tobacco Nicotiana glauca – a balcony plant with perspective!

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Tree Tobacco (Nicotiana glauca)

The human desire to something new, unusual and unconventional is limitless. Thus, gardeners also dream of cultivating something new in their gardens – something that nobody else has. The plant market therefore gives gardeners something new every year – to still the hunger of gardeners looking for something original to satisfy their needs. The commercial launching of new varieties will make the tree tobacco plant common to all gardeners very soon!

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Tree Tobacco (Nicotiana glauca)

In the last ten decades the most innovations in the plant world came from the nightshade family (Solanaceae). The most well known of these are the petunia, surfinia, and the million bells (Calibrachoa). The secret to their success lies in their fast growing, early flowering time (when grown from seeds they bloom within 3 months, and when grown with a cutting, they bloom immediately) and in the fact that they are not demanding special growing conditions. They prefer sunny places, but grow as well in darker and colder places.

However, plants from the nightshade family were not always as popular. Think for example of the potato and tomato that was once only grown for the beauty of it! When news came that these plants could actually be consumed, man was initially very suspicious. Now it is eaten widely in most countries and even traditional foods make space for these plants!

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In this article we will introduce you Tree tobacco plant (Nicotiana glauca) – a non-conventional balcony plant originating from South America. It is a fast growing shrub or tree. It starts to bloom after only two months after sowing, and the branches of the adult plant is grown out to 50–70 cm within one month.

Such as its Latin name already presumes (glauca = grey), the complete plant has a silver grey colour. Therefore, it must not be touched as it loses it silver grey brilliance easily and turn the plant into an unattractive light green colour. The leaves are silver grey, oval in form and pointed to the ends. At the ends of the branches are small branches with 20–40 yellow funnel formed flowers. The flowers are 3–3,5cm long and around 0,5 cm wide. In the beginning of the flowering period, they are light yellow with light green ends. After blooming, they turn dark yellow however. The advantage of this plant is that the flowers stay decorative even after it has flowered. In contrast to for example the petunia, the flowers of this plant preserves their form and continues to hang on the stems for long.

Growing this species is simple. You can keep the tree tobacco plant (Nicotiana glauca) inside the house or outside in the summer. You can multiply them by means of the seeds, which germinate rapidly and have great germination strength. The plants will start blooming within two months (therefore if you want that your balcony flowery as from May, you will have to sow them March).

If you are living in the areas where frost occurs, you have to keep tobacco in frost free place. As with the Pelargonium, you can keep these plants in a colder (but lighter) place in the winter. At the end of the winter, you can prune the branches by half and give them lots of water. The tobacco plant will bloom within a month. This plant can easily form a tree, which you can keep inside your house. You can however not grow it by cuttings as it forms roots very difficult (this should however not be a problem as growing it by means of seeds, is very easy).

Concerning the nutritive substances, the tobacco plant is not demanding. For obtaining an abundant flower splendor, you can fertilize the plant with standard compost for balcony plants with a little extra phosphorus.

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Monday 1st November 2010 14:46 | print | Exotic plants

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