There is no doubt that Nicotiana sylvestris is an imposing looking plant…and it’s not all mouth and trousers…this is a serious little number.
Nicotiana sylestris is an upright and branching short lived perennial that can reach 1.5 meters high. It has unusual white fluted flowers which release the most exquisite perfume in the evening. Grow it in a pot by the back door near the kitchen and it will fill your space with a sweet scent.
However…whilst being seduced by the sweet smell…it is worth remembering that this plant has killed more human beings than any other plant and probably second only to the mosquito if we were to include the animal kingdom. (Note to self…Is this the best way to market your flower seeds?)
How to grow Nicotiana Sylvestris.
I sow mine in early spring….March and April.
*Sow on good quality seed compost.
*Do not cover with compost as it needs light to germinate.
*Seal in a clear plastic bag.
*When seedlings are large enough to handle I repot into 3 inch pots and allow to continue growing in the greenhouse or on the windowsill.
*Acclimatise to the elements after all the danger of frost has passed….usually mid May for most of England.
*Plant outside giving a couple of feet space between each plant.
The very best Nicotian seeds can be bought from the Higgledy Shop.
I will also be growing this little beauty in the garden this year and shall writing up my progress on the blog, so feel free to join in and grow along with Benji! ;)
BUY NICOTIANA SYLVESTRIS SEEDS HERE!!!
July 6, 2014 @ 11:01 am
I know your post about Nicotiana sylvestris is now 2 years old, but now – July 2014, i am having difficulties. I did all as you advised but my plants which I put in the garden have then really struggled, not growing at all and almost dying off. Is it because my soil is too poor? Should I have watered them more? The ones I potted on and kept in pots have done much better. Should I plant them in shade or in full sun? Your help would be appreciated.
August 7, 2012 @ 2:23 am
I’m not sure which country you are growing N. sylvestris in, but in the UK moths, though attracted by the lovely scent cannot feed from them because the flowers are too long for them to reach the nectar. The UK Butterfly conservation org, suggests Nicotiana alata, if you want to produce food for moths, along with others, different moths depend on different flowers. apparently Ivy is good for late nectar for it flowers in October and Nov in UK. I hope this helps. I plant N sylvestrs becuase I love it, and this year N alata close by for the moths.
July 6, 2014 @ 10:57 am
Thanks for that! I too love Sylvestris, but am very keen on also growing plants for insect, so the alata will be on ,my list too.
January 13, 2012 @ 12:53 pm
Best thing about these plants is they attract moths and I like moths!!!
January 13, 2012 @ 1:43 pm
Moths rock! …and they have much better names than butterflies…
January 12, 2012 @ 2:57 pm
My friend gave me a Nicotiana Sylvestris seedling last year and I didn’t know much about the plant. When it grew a little bit more I guessed it would be big by the size of its leaves so planted it towards the back in the border. Once it got going it became huge and was covered with flowers for quite a long time. I really like the idea of growing it in pots to control its monster size and make the most of the lovely scent.