Tobacco FAQ

TOBACCO FAQ:

Q: Can I Grow Tobacco?

A: Tobacco can be grown just about anywhere in the US where you have a long enough growing season. You will want to start your tobacco early indoors to ensure maturity before the end of the season. (Some maturity dates can be 50 days up to 120) If you live in a tropical climate, you will likely grow tobacco with more ease than someone in the dry desert or in a particularly cold climate. A lot of expertise goes into cultivating tobacco, so we always recommend getting books, consulting a cigar or cigarette maker, and checking online forums.

Q: When is a good time to start seeds indoors?

A: Depending on your choice of variety’s maturity date, it can be anywhere from 4-8 weeks before the final frost. Be sure to plan accordingly.

Q: Can I grow tobacco in a container?

A: We don’t recommend it. Container gardening can be stressful on a plant and since you’re growing for flavor, you don’t want to impede the plants progress in any way. Many varieties of tobacco can get quite tall. If growing a dwarf variety for its blossoms, a container may work just fine. (i.e. Nicotiana Domino or Perfume series)

Q: How should I start/sow my seeds?

A: We have details instructions for you here: https://sustainableseedco.com/pages/how-to-start-tobacco-seeds

Q: How long will it take my seeds to germinate?

A: In optimal conditions 7-10 days. If experiencing lower temperatures or excessive heat it is not uncommon for seeds to take as long as four weeks or not germinate at all. It is paramount that you keep your soil temperatures between 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Q: Can you help me profile a flavor I will love and grow well in my area?

A: As for taste, a matter of opinion, we’d like to direct you to seasoned growers who might have a pallet just like yours. Their advice is priceless when getting started! https://fairtradetobacco.com/
The agricultural extensions in Florida and North Carolina also house some of the best tobacco experts in the US.

Q: I love the pretty flowers the plants produce; can I grow my tobacco for its leaves and blossoms?

A: No, typically you grow tobacco plants for either their leaves or the fragrant ornamental flowers. Flowering tobacco plants often lose a great deal of flavor when they flower. Tobacco grown for the leaves needs to be kept from flowering to ensure proper flavor.

Q: Do you carry organic tobacco seed?

A: No, unfortunately we do not carry and organic varieties, most tobacco is not grown organically at this time.

Q: How much tobacco will my plant produce?

A: The yield will vary amongst varieties you can expect around 3-4 ounces of dry tobacco from each plant. Professional growers can get higher yields, but conditions must be optimal.

Q: Which varieties have the highest nicotine content?

A: Nicotiana rustica such as Kessu, Indian, Mohawk, Isleta Pueblo, Sacred Cornplanter or Punche are all rustica types, they are some of the oldest strains of tobacco. They are usually meant to be shared when smoking.

Q: Which tobacco types are going to be milder in nicotine?

A: House favorites include the Virginia 116, and Burley 21.

Q: I didn’t use all my seeds; can I keep them?

A: You can store extra tobacco seeds for 2-3 years and still get good germination rates. Store them in a cool, dry, and sealed container. Keep out of direct sunlight, a dark drawer or pantry is great. 

Q: The variety I want is unavailable, when can I expect to see it again?

A: Tobacco seeds are very difficult to find with good germination rates. We do our best to keep only the best seed in stock. We will do our best to relist most varieties in 6-8 weeks. Sign up for our notifications for easy alerts!

Q: I’m looking to make my own Cigars, not cigarettes, what should I be looking to grow:

A: Ultimately, you’ll want to plant and harvest at least two types of tobacco. 1. A broad leaf for rolling and wrapping your tobacco, such as the Connecticut Broadleaf. 2. A good filler tobacco for burning, or binding such as the Cuban Criollo 98. Many people with use two filler tobaccos to create a unique flavor combination all their own.  Our Cigar Starter Kit is a great option.

Q: How do I go about curing my harvested tobacco?

A: Probably the most complicated, yet most important part of the process. We do not recommend starting plants from seeds if you are not well equipped to cure the leaves. This is a delicate and arduous process, so proceed when completely ready: https://sustainableseedco.com/pages/how-to-start-tobacco-seeds