Position – Tobacco plants need full sun but can tolerate partial shade. They are best suited in temperatures of 20-30°C. Keep separate from other plants as they do tend to attract bad bugs.
Size – The tree grows to a height of between 1 and 2 metres.
Soil – Well drained soil with good aeration is best for the tobacco plant. The soil should be slightly acidic with a PH of between 5-6.
Mulch – This tree has shallow roots, so add a thick layer of pine bark mulch as this will keep the soil moist, add acidity and keep the weeds at bay especially when the tree is young.
Watering – Tobacco trees need about 2cm of water per week, watering once a week will be sufficient.
Pruning – During the first 4 – 5 months you should cut the flowers as this stunts the growth of the plant. Once the plant has grown you should remove the suckers in between the bigger leaves in order to allow the leaves to grow bigger.
Pests – Common insect pests are green June beetle larvae, tobacco hornworm, cutworms and flea beetles in the plant bed. The cigarette or tobacco beetle damages the stored leaf. Neem oil is a natural product that will help protect against most larvae, worms and aphids.
Harvesting – Tobacco is harvested 70 to 130 days after transplanting. The entire plant can either be cut and the stalk split and hung on a tobacco stick or the leaves can just be removed. Harvesting normally takes place in late July or early August. If the leaves show signs of yellowing pick them straight away.