Tobacco Growing Guide

planting tobacco in europe

Plant characteristics

Tobacco belongs to the Solanaceae or Belladonna family. This family includes tomato, pepper, eggplant, Irish potatoes and many other plants. Weed belongs to the Nicotiana genus, and almost all commercial pots are of the tabacum species. The Nicotiana rustica species was commonly used by American Indians and is still used by some cultures for ceremonial purposes.

Soil selection

Tobacco should be grown in a sunny place on well-drained soils; poorly drained soils could cause weak growth and even plant death. Drought stress may limit growth on excessively drained soils unless irrigation is provided. Lack of sunshine will result in slender plants, weak growth and thin leaves. Some types of tobacco, such as the one used to roll cigars, are grown under a specific shade to promote desirable leaf characteristics.

Avoid planting tobacco on soil infested with nematodes and diseases. The herbs would be excellent rotations for smoking, while the tomato, pepper and similar plants would not be suitable. In addition to soil-borne pests, various viral diseases and insects that attack tomato and pepper also attack tobacco, so try to keep these plants in different areas of the garden.

The pH of the soil should be around 5.8 for better tobacco growth. If lime is needed to increase pH, use dolomite to get the magnesium nutrient that is important for plant growth. Weak growth and some growth disorders may occur if the soil pH is around 6.5 or more.


Because tobacco seeds are tiny (300,000 or more per ounce), they should be sown in a greenhouse or a protected area. The soil should be free of grass seeds and pathogenic organisms. A vase of flowers will be a satisfactory container if only a few transplants are needed. Sprinkle the grain on the soil surface, then firm the soil surface to ensure good contact with the soil. Irrigate with a fine spray or add water to a saucer under the flower pot. Add water as often as necessary to keep the surface of the soil moist, but avoid stagnation.

A tobacco fertiliser should contain little, or no chlorine and most of the nitrogen should be in the form of nitrate. The compost produced for tomato, pepper and potato should be satisfying for tobacco.

The seed should be sown about 50-60 days before the desired date for field transplantation. The transplant should be performed after there is no further danger of frost. Usually, the best operation is when the seedling has reached about 15-20 cm in length.

Field transplantation

Tobacco transplantation is very similar to transplanting other garden plants. Make a mulch and provide drainage by settling the soil. If the rows are used, space the plants about 60 cm apart. The rows should be between 100 and 120 cm apart. Water the plants after transplanting and when necessary during the season.


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