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How to Grow and Cure Tobacco at Home

I enjoy compact gardening on a budget and have grown my own tobacco for many years.

Drying or "curing" home-grown tobacco leaves.

Drying or "curing" home-grown tobacco leaves.

Things to Consider Before Growing Tobacco

Firstly, a warning: smoking can be bad for your health. That being said, so can drinking, singing off-key, eating too much (or not enough) meat, and so on. You get the picture. This article is not about health issues; it's about growing tobacco and curing it. What you do with it then is your own damned business.

Secondly, don't break the law. Here in New Zealand, you can buy tobacco seed, grow the stuff, and, if you want to, smoke it quite lawfully. You may not legally sell it, trade it, or give it away. The same regulations govern brewing, winemaking, and the distilling of alcoholic beverages. If you live elsewhere, check your local legislation to ensure that you're operating within the law.

Having got that off my chairy little hest, let's get down to the nitty-gritty.

Anyone Can Grow Tobacco Successfully!

Virginia tobacco, the stuff of commerce, is one of the hardiest plants you'll ever grow. If you live in a place that's warm enough to grow cabbage, tobacco will thrive. If it's warmer, that's even better.

I grow tobacco in a tiny area where I live, about 400 feet (120 metres) above sea level, in a moderate, semi-coastal climate. For three months of winter, we have occasional light frosts, bitterly strong winds, and some hail. I planted a few seedlings in February one year as an experiment. That's late summer here in the Southern Hemisphere. They were small plants, about 2 ft (60 cm) high when winter hit. They stopped growing until spring, but the leaves stayed healthy—no wilting or browning—and around the end of September, they took off again. Compared with correctly grown plants. they were small, but still over 6' high. I got tired of fighting past the damn things to get to my garden shed and pulled them out last May, still healthy and hardy, with a root system the size of a football.

Note: I'll continue this in feet and inches only, for the sake of our American cousins. For those of you more comfortable with metrics, 1 ft = 30 cm.

What You'll Need to Grow Tobacco

  1. Seeds: You can buy seeds in NZ from Kings Seeds in Katikati. For North American readers, use Victory Seed Co. out of Oregon. (My thanks to YouGrowGirl for this contact.) Elsewhere, try local seed merchants, heritage seed suppliers, or the Internet. When ordering online, be sure to check importing restrictions.
  2. A sunny spot to grow the seedlings: A bright windowsill is fine. Each seed is tiny, like ground pepper, so it won't need much space at first.
  3. A shallow container: An ice-cream tub with a few drain holes punched in the bottom works well. A six-part seedling tray or even a small egg tray would also work.
  4. Seed-growing mix or a mixture of fine soil and sand.
  5. A bucket: This will come in handy when you soak your seedlings.
  6. Somewhere to grow the plants: The seedlings need to be planted at least 2 ft apart, in rows that are at least 2 ft apart, although 3 feet between rows is better. They prefer full sun but will grow well in partial shade. The leaves will be up to 2 ft long each at the lowest, widest part of the plant. A full-grown plant is 7 ft tall and self-supporting, so make sure you have enough space before you plant the seedlings.
  7. A small knife: This will be used to slit the leaves and prepare them for curing.
  8. A thin tomato stake (or something similar), a length of cord or wire, and some nails: You'll use these to hang your tobacco leaves to cure. Measure the space you'll be using to see how much wire/cord you'll need. Two nails are enough to hang one length of cord/wire. Plan accordingly.
  9. A warm, dry place to cure your tobacco: Attics and garages typically work best.
  10. Knife and cutting board, food processor, tobacco slicer, OR pasta maker: See the section below on "Preparing the End Product" and choose whichever method suits you best.

How to Start Tobacco Seeds

  1. Put seed-growing mix or a mixture of fine soil and sand in a shallow container.
  2. Stand the container in a dish so that you can water it without soaking the carpet.
  3. Sprinkle seeds very lightly over the soil (but don't cover them with dirt).
  4. Water them thoroughly and then keep watering to prevent the dirt from drying out. (Note: It's probably best to do this by placing the container in a bucket or in the sink to soak in an inch or two of water, then allowing it to drain before you put it back on its dish.)
  5. Cover the soil with newspaper or a bit of cardboard to keep it damp.
  6. They'll need temperatures of 75 to 80°F to germinate.
  7. In about two weeks, the seedlings should start showing.
  8. Thin the seedlings as soon as they're big enough, either by placing individual plants into four-inch pots or about a dozen into an ice-cream container.
  9. When they're about four inches high, and after the last of the frost, plant them out.

How to Transfer Tobacco Seedlings Into the Garden

When they're about four inches high, and after the last of the frost, plant them out.

  1. Plant them in reasonably rich, well-dug soil (with well-composted vegetable matter if you've got it).
  2. Water regularly in dry weather.
  3. Give them a dose of general garden fertiliser now and again.
  4. Weed around their bases.
  5. Sit back, drink your moonshine (I'm writing an article on distilling), and watch them grow.
Tobacco seedlings ready for transplanting outside in the sun.

Tobacco seedlings ready for transplanting outside in the sun.

What Kind of Dirt or Soil Do Tobacco Plants Prefer?

Tobacco isn't picky. It will grow in pretty much any type of soil you have. It does thrive in rich, well-draining soils, but it'll make do with what it gets.

What Temperature or Climate Does Tobacco Grow Best In?

  • Tobacco grows best in places that are dry and warm.
  • The best temperatures for growing tobacco is 68° to 86° F (20° to 30° C).
  • Cold and frost will affect your crop yield.
  • If it's too rainy or it gets too much water, the tobacco gets weak and thin.

How Often Should I Water Tobacco Plants?

Keep their soil moist but not soggy when they're young. After they've gotten established, you can water less often. Avoid over-watering.

How to Care for Your Tobacco Plants

Soon, you'll notice that tobacco is quite an attractive ornamental with small, pretty, pink flowers. So how do you raise the delicate little darlings?

Well, short of dynamiting them, running them over with a ten-ton digger, searing them with a flamethrower, or soaking the stuff in weed-killer, tobacco pretty much looks after itself. Treat it as you would tomatoes.

What about suckers and weeds?

Pull out any small plants or weeds that try to crowd each tobacco plant. As each plant grows, you'll see small tobacco plants (suckers or basal shoots) starting to grow as side-shoots from the main stalk at the base of the leaves, the same as with tomatoes and that other stuff some people smoke. The same rules apply: pinch out or otherwise remove them. If you want plant them elsewhere, they'll grow for a later crop.

What should I do when my tobacco flowers?

When the plants reach maturity, they'll set flower heads at the top. Pinch them out as well. You may need to stand on something to do it! I suggest that you let only one of your plants go to flower for seeds for next season's crop.

How do I keep pests away from my plants?

Here in New Zealand, nothing much seems to bug tobacco, either from above or below ground. After all, cigarette butts soaked in a bucket of water was an old way of making insect spray that my parents and grandparents used. If you do have problems, see your local nurseryman or talk to a friend who gardens. Generally, what works on tomatoes should work on tobacco.

How can I prevent pests naturally?

You might try planting cabbage amongst the 'backy to deter the cabbage butterfly; I intend to this year.

Tobacco plants nearing maturity. Bottom leaves have been harvested from the rear plants.  These plants are less than three months older than seedlings.

Tobacco plants nearing maturity. Bottom leaves have been harvested from the rear plants. These plants are less than three months older than seedlings.

Harvesting and Curing Your Tobacco

You'll read a lot of unmitigated drivel about the difficulty of curing tobacco. I believe that it's an evil plot put out by the tobacco magnates and perpetuated by our respective, but seldom respected or respectable, governments to wring money from us.

How to Pick and Hang Tobacco Leaves

As Mrs. Beeton once said: "To make jugged hare, first catch your hare." The same goes with tobacco: To cure it, first you've gotta pick it. If you're not in a rush, take your time and pick the leaves as they come ready. Around the time that flower heads start to form and the plants are fully grown, the bottom leaves will be ready to pick. If they show signs of yellowing before this, pick them straight away.

What is "curing" tobacco, and is it hard?

Don't look now, but you've probably already done it—well enough for the average punter, at least.

Curing is basically the drying of tobacco in a moderately controlled environment. There are all sorts of bells and whistles you can add to enhance the end result, but YOU DON'T HAVE TO! You can make a perfectly acceptable product by drying the leaves adequately, slicing them thinly, rolling them in cigarette paper, and setting them alight, so put that in your pipe and smoke it!

How do I harvest and cure tobacco?

  1. Pick whichever leaves are ready, and cut a slit near the stem end of the centre rib of each leaf.
  2. Feed a thin tomato stake (or something similar) through these slits so that when you hold the stick horizontally, the leaves hang down about an inch apart. You could also string the leaves on a length of wire, or on a cord stretched between two nails... use your imagination.
  3. Hang these sticks (or string the lines) somewhere dry, out of the way, and preferably warm. An attic or garage rafters are great, provided you still have headroom.
  4. Make sure the leaves are not touching each other, the walls, or the floor.

Here are a couple things to be on the lookout for as your tobacco is curing:

  • Keep leaves well separated from one another.
  • Make sure they don't go moldy OR brittle. If they're too dry they'll get brittle, and if they're too wet they'll rot. If it looks like your leaves are becoming too brittle, move them somewhere cooler or spray them with water, using one of those very fine misters you can buy for a few dollars to do houseplants.)
  • Keep picking the leaves off the plant over the next weeks, whenever you think they're ready. If you don't get it exactly right or see a bit of yellowing, don't worry, since it'll make damn-all difference to the end product. One of the reasons that I suggest that you pick this way is so that you don't get thoroughly sick of slitting and hanging the beastly stuff! It also gives the higher leaves a chance to grow a bit more.

How long should I let the tobacco hang to dry?

The trick for curing is time. Time is said to cure all things, and tobacco is near the top of the list. Some say that it should be left hanging for two years, though I've found that two or three months is quite enough. I turned out a first-class flake tobacco from some leaf that I'd left in a box in a corner of my garage for a year and forgotten about. A friend hangs his tobacco for about three months, by which time it has both a nice colour and texture. He then cuts it and uses it straight away.

Harvesting: Fully grown leaves (and no, It's not me!). These are the same plants as in the previous photo, eleven days later (25Jan09)

Harvesting: Fully grown leaves (and no, It's not me!). These are the same plants as in the previous photo, eleven days later (25Jan09)

How Many Tobacco Plants Do You Need?

It depends on what you want the tobacco for. If it's just for the fun of growing the stuff and possibly to use the leaves to make a bug spray, a couple of plants will do fine. If you want to cure and smoke it, put in at least a dozen plants if possible. If you're limited in space, plant as many as you can.

How much money will I save if I grow my own tobacco?

This seems a good place to take you by the hand and walk you through some basic arithmetic if you haven't already done so yourself. Take what you pay a week for smoking (probably around $50). Multiply it by 52 to find what it costs you a year (over $2,500?). Subtract the one-time cost of the seed ($2.50 buys about 1,000 seeds at the shop down the road from me) and the price of the couple of cups of seed-raising mix and fertiliser you may have purchased. You probably displaced 12 cabbages to grow enough tobacco to keep you in cancer sticks for a year. Go figure.

Air drying tobacco leaf.(14Jan09)

Air drying tobacco leaf.(14Jan09)

Preparing Tobacco Leaves for Rolling, Smoking, Etc.

I assume that you want to either roll a cigarette or use a pipe. Preparing the leaf is the same for both.

Take a leaf, strip out the center rib and any large side ribs if it's a big leaf, and repeat this process for several leaves until you have a generous handful. Then proceed in one of the following ways:

4 Ways to Cut Tobacco for a Cigarette or Pipe

  • The old-fashioned way: Squeeze the leaves together into a tight bundle. Using a very sharp knife and a chopping board, slice the tobacco as thinly as you can. Then cut it cross-ways a few times and you're there. This is tedious, but it costs you nothing other than time, and it does the job.
  • My favorite way (the lazy bugger method): Begin the process outlined above, but don't muck about trying to finely cut everything. Fast and rough is good enough. Then chuck the lot into a food processor with a sharp bottom blade and zap it until the fineness of the flake suits you. This also has the advantage that if you think that the tobacco leaf was a bit too dry, or you want to enhance the flavour, you can dissolve a little honey in a couple teaspoons of alcohol (port, rum, vodka, or moonshine) and dribble it in as you zap.
  • The fancy way: Buy a hand-operated tobacco slicer. It consists of a cast metal cylinder about the size of the cardboard tube at the center of a toilet roll, cut in half length-ways with a hinge on one side and a clamp on the other so that it can be opened, stuffed full of leaf, and clamped shut. It has a flat plate attached to a worm at one end of the cylinder and a small guillotine at the other, linked to the worm by levers and a ratchet. Operating the guillotine causes the worm to turn and slowly drive the wad of leaves down the cylinder. While interesting and inexpensive, I suspect this method is not much faster than cutting by hand.
  • *Bonus* clever way: Claude Desgroseilliers has sent me the following brilliant suggestion: "I use a hand-operated pasta machine to slice my tobacco leaves, my machine has two attachments, one for spaghetti which I use to cut the tobacco."

How to Harvest Tobacco Seeds

Further up the page, I suggested that you let one plant flower for seed. This has several advantages:

  • You don't have to fork out another $2.50 for seed. In fact, with a little bit of bartering, you might even make your money back.
  • You may have had difficulty getting seed in the first place. Problem solved!
  • The seed will have adapted to your environment.
  • I can't be bothered, think up a few for yourself.

How do I pick and store tobacco seeds?

  1. Let the flowers bloom and die off. Little green capsules about 1/4 in long will be left behind. (These have some glorious botanical name that doesn't matter a bit. You know what to look for.) You'll have lots of them.
  2. Let them dry out on the plant. They'll turn dark brown and eventually start to split.
  3. At this point, pick them. Don't pick the whole plant at once, since they will become ready over a period of weeks. In fact, each capsule has dozens of seeds, so one picking of ready seed-heads is more than ample unless you have several acres you want to plant out.
  4. Put a fine sieve in the top of a clean, dry bowl, or on a sheet of paper. Break the seedheads into it and rub the central core to get the seeds off.
  5. Gently shake the sieve. The seeds will pass through while most of the rubbish will stay behind.
  6. Store the seeds safely. Wrapping them in a bit of paper or square of toilet tissue and placing them in a little jar or pill container is fine. Keep in a cool, dry place out of direct light.

How Do I Make Flavored Tobacco?

If you want to enhance the flavour of your smoke, dissolve a little honey in a couple teaspoons of alcohol (port, rum, vodka, or moonshine) and dribble it in as you cut your leaf.

That's All, Folks

I hope that you learned what you wanted from this article. There are other ways to grow tobacco and other ways to cure the stuff. Some are undoubtedly better, but I don't think many would be easier or cheaper than the method I've described, and I know what I've written about works because I've done it.

Have fun, good luck, and thanks for dropping in.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Questions & Answers

Question: How do you flavor tobacco with honey and alcohol?

Answer: Dissolve a little honey in alcohol, (Rum, Vodka, Port through preference.) and spray it finely on the dried leaves with a garden mister.

Question: How fast does tobaco grow?

Answer: From seedling to mature plant (in a temperate climate) in about three months if planted in late Spring - early Summer; longer if planted later.

Question: When growing and curing tobacco at home, do we do a fermentation/sweating process after drying?

Answer: It would probably enhance the product but I don't bother and nor do most of the locals that I know. One dampens and presses the leaves for a few days (in a shallow tray with a board and a weight on top) then rolls up the leaves like a newspaper roll, and slices thin rings off it which are then cut cross-ways for cigarette tobacco.

Question: My tobacco is too strong. Is there anything I can do?

Answer: That's a question that I haven't had before!

I can't suggest anything other than perhaps swapping it amongst your mates for something with less Kick.

Question: What strain of tobacco do you grow? I’ve not got the Virginia one I’ve got has some random Peruvian ones that has loads of nicotine on the leaves it’s oily.

Answer: I grow the one that I originally bought from King's Seeds in Katikati NZ years ago. I just save some seed year by year. Your stuff sounds pretty swish, have fun smoking it.

Question: Can you soak tobacco in rum and wine? If so how do we do it? Also, can we use wine to spray the leaves whilst curing as opposed to water?

Answer: Yes, The way I know of is to spray the rum/wine/honey solution or whatever on the dry or near dry leaves with a garden mister. I would think that using a spray bottle or just wiping the leaves with a sponge-full of the mix would also work OK.

Question: Why do you remove the stems?

Answer: I remove the stems because they're woody and would produce lumpy tobacco.

Question: How long are you supposed to cure tobacco for?

Answer: Until the leaves are dry and brown/yellow, after hanging, several weeks or in an oven at low heat an hour or so. Some people even use a microwave for a brief zap, but I've never tried it so I can't advise.

Question: I was wondering if I can take some larger leaves from my plants before they turn a paler green as I have planted my plants to close together. If I do this will it ruin the final curing process? Some leaves are 500-600mm in length and still rather green.

Answer: It shouldn't make any difference.

Question: I’m having a hard time keeping my tobacco burning, could it just need more time? It seems dry but just doesn’t want to stay lit when I’ve rolled cigarettes. It’s been about 6-8 weeks of drying.

Answer: Home grown tobacco doesn't naturally stay burning. The bought stuff has additives to keep it going, such as saltpeter (potassium nitrate, the main ingredient of gunpowder)

You could try misting the almost dry leaves with alcohol, like rum or vodka. This will help preserve the tobacco after it dries, and may prolong the burning. Otherwise, just bite the bullet and buy an extra box of matches.

Question: Do you think putting a few dried mint leaves in with my tobacco leaves will give it a menthol taste? I want to try it.

Answer: Give it a try, it certainly won't do any harm.

Question: Is it possible to grow tobacco plants in a pot rather than a garden?

Answer: Yes, but as it has a root ball the size of a football, you'll need a large tub.

Question: Is fermenting necessary to grow and cure tobacco at home?

Answer: Most of my friends who grow tobacco just dry it before smoking it, so no, don't bother.

Question: Is it worth continuing to harvest the leaves after the tobacco plant has flowered? Or is it better to harvest the whole plant once it has flowered?

Answer: I know people that have done both, so it's really up to you which is handiest, I don't think that it makes much difference to the end product.

Question: Don’t you have to “ferment” or sweat the leaves after drying tabacco, to remove excess ammonia?

Answer: I've never struck that problem, and it hasn't been mentioned before, so it's probably not an issue.

Question: How long would tobacco take to grow in a tropical climate like Australia?

Answer: I don't know, it's been many years since I was in Australia, but I would guess a tobacco plant would take around three months or less to grow there.

Question: When the bottom leaves go yellow before flowering starts, do I cut off the yellowing leaves and dispose of them or keep them?

Answer: You keep them, yellowing means that they're partly cured. Wash off any dirt, though.

Question: Once the tobacco is cured and cut, how do you store so it doesn’t dry out like tobacco you buy?

Answer: You could try packing small lots at a time in vacuum-sealed plastic bags.

Question: Is planting tobacco summer (start of January) ok? When is the best time to plant?

Answer: The best time is November, give or take, but January's fine for a later crop. (It should reach full size without problems.)

Question: I have been hanging first tobacco leaves for two weeks in the green house and they going brown already. How soon before I can smoke them?

Answer: Let them become almost dry but not brittle, take out the middle rib and any others that are large (who wants to smoke ribs?) chop up the leaves and smoke 'em. You'll learn by experiment to get the tobacco the way that you like it.

Question: I am a cigar smoker and I often put my stubs in my wife's flower bed. Low and behold, I have 2 tobacco plants growing, which surprised me as the cigars I buy are aged. I live in Kansas and they are growing like crazy. They are about 20 inches now. Do you have any advice on how to grow these for cigars? Also, is it possible for the plants to grow too fast? Our temps range between 70 and 100 degrees in the summer.

Answer: This is a new one on me as I didn't know that tobacco grew from leaf propagation. Tobacco does grow like crazy once it gets going, about 3 months from seedling to 7 ft plant even in my temperate climate in Summer. Just let the plants grow as shown in my hub, don't fuss over them as they're hardy, just make sure that they have at least a 2 ft spacing from each other or other plants, they'll transplant OK at this size if you have to, but better if you don't as it checks their growth, not a great worry.

When the plant is mature, harvest the leaves as normal and check google on making cigars, - I haven't made them but I know that there are some good sites with common sense instructions around. I'd also suggest that you let the plants flower and save the seed, you'll get enough to plant half of Kansas and be very popular with your smoking friends!

Question: What do you think of using a humidifier to keep some moisture in the air while curing?

Answer: You can surely use a humidifier and see how it goes. You could also try spraying with a mister (one of those cheap mist sprayers that you can get from garden supply shops) Just remember that you want the leaves to dry, not go mouldy.

.I'd suggest that you just hang the leaves to dry without assistance in a shady airy spot and see how they go. If you get problems then sort them out with humidifiers or what have you. - "Keep it simple, and if it works don't fix it!" See what your first try is like, you can always tart it up as you go along.

Question: Can I make alcohol from tobacco leaves?

Answer: You can make alcohol from any vegetable matter. whether it's fit to drink is another matter!

If you want cheap alcohol dissolve a kilo of sugar in 4 liters of warm water, dump in some yeast, or a handful of raisins/sultanas, cover the container with a tea-towel or similar to keep out the bugs and wild yeasts( or you'll end up with vinegar), leave it until it stops bubbling (probably 2-3 weeks) and you'll end up with alcohol at about 10%. It won't taste like much but it won't kill you.

Question: Is a tobacco crop ok around frost?

Answer: It's fine with light frosts. Growth will stop until the weather warms up, then continue, but the plants will be smaller.

Question: I’m in the Wairarapa and just got some seedlings from the local garden centre. Have you ever tried soaking leaves to flavour them? Also, I know they like sun but as were in the wrong season I’ve put them in large pots in the greenhouse. Do you think they’ll go ok in there until after the last frost of winter?

Answer: You can spray the leaves with a mister using rum, port, dissolved honey or whatever takes your fancy to both flavour the tobacco and help it burn.

Pots in the greenhouse should be fine, tobacco's very hardy. You do need LARGE pots, it grows a huge root ball. At the worst, the plants will stop growing over Winter and come away again in Spring, and be a bit stunted, but the leaves will still be useable and you'll get plenty of seed for next season.

Question: My tobacco keeps going brittle while it’s being hung, it looks ready colour wise and want to cut up and pack it but is far to brittle, how can I get to the right texture (not brittle)?

Answer: Spray it with a fine mist of water (or water and alcohol - port, vodka, rum; or water and something sweet) You can get a cheap mister in most garden supply shops and a lot of discount places.

Question: Should I pinch off leaves that begin to get white spots? It's only a few. The rest are green and some of the bottom leaves that don't get much light are a yellowish color.

Answer: The bottom leaves are possibly ready to harvest, I can't accurately assess why some of your leaves have white spots as it's a problem that I haven't encountered so far. I'd suggest that you leave them for the time being but monitor them and if the spots increase noticeably remove the offenders.

Question: I bought some homegrown tobacco but it has a dark greenish look to it. Is that safe to smoke?

Answer: Curing tobacco is pretty much just letting it dry until it turns goldish. If you feel that yours is too green(and limp) still, try putting some in an oven at a low heat (100c or less) for half an hour or more to dry it to a better colour. If you over-do it and it gets too brittle a fine mist from a cheap hothouse mister should fix things.

I know people who smoke tobacco at every shade, as the whim and their approach to curing takes them, and they seem no worse off than off the shelf smokers. (Probably a lot better off as fewer additives to the final product and they're a damn' sight richer)

Question: Is tobacco nicotiana?

Answer: Yes.

Question: Why do my tobacco leaves never turn yellow and ripen?

Answer: The leaves normally dry from the bottom of the plant up. I assume that you're in the northern hemisphere, which means that you are in late Autumn, so I suggest that you pick the leaves and hang them to dry. As they dry they will yellow. Putting them in an oven at VERY low heat for an hour or so will also dry them ready to cut and smoke but I can't guarantee that they'll yellow as much as slow drying.

Remember to save your seed for the next crop. When the flowers die off each will form a green pod which will slowly turn dark brown. Each of these pods has a little central core covered with scores of tiny seeds. (You probably know this already!)

Question: How can I get the right smell and taste for my homegrown tobacco? I have found your article and follow everything as you recommended but in the end, I am disappointed. My tobacco does not smell like tobacco at all. There's no smell of nicotine looks and the taste is like dried grass.

Answer: I'm sorry but I can't really help you as there are too many unknowns. The most obvious answer, but not necessarily the right one, is trying different seeds.

Question: My tobacco leaves have been hanging for around 3 months, the tips seem to keep going brittle so I have misted them with water as they have become brittle again, is this method ok?

Answer: It's fine, (If you want to speed drying put some leaves in a VERY low oven for an hour or more until they are dry enough to suit)

Question: Would you mind if I adapted your excellent work here for use in the UK?

Answer: As people in the UK and the USA have been using my article for over ten years now I can see no reason to prevent you.

Question: I'm new at this. I have dried and cut one leaf for a try. It looks and smells good but it will not stay burning. Is there a trick to keeping tobacco alight?

Answer: Tobacco doesn't naturally burn well. Commercially it used to have saltpeter (potassium nitrate) added to keep it going, although I don't know what's used now. Misting it with Vodka or Rum (or some other alcohol including Port) and letting it dry may help, as well as imparting a nice flavor. Using a solution of honey or something sweet may help also.

Otherwise, do as a lot of people I know do - buy a cheap lighter and put up with lighting up often, its a lot less costly than getting store-bought tobacco!

Question: I am following your method of growing tobacco at home, though I am getting my brown leaves within a few weeks or less. I have been advised that I must ferment to improve the flavour, but more importantly to remove the ammonia which is pretty bad for you. You don't mention this stage, what are your thoughts on fermentation?

Answer: I've never bothered fermenting, and nor have any of my friends. It is only recently that I have heard any mention of ammonia occurring in the drying process, and I personally doubt whether it has much effect on the finished product. This is only my opinion, I've read nothing definitive about it either way. Frankly, if you're regularly ingesting nicotine, traces of ammonia, if they exist, should be the least of your concerns,- and homegrown tobacco is a lot less dangerous than the commercial stuff.

So, fermentation, do it if you want to, you may like the flavour better, you may not, I don't think that it matters a damn' for health and safety. (I am, however, all for fermenting sugar in water and putting it through a still, I may be doing that later today)

Question: Thank you for the article. After drying the leaves then adding flavour such as vodka and then slicing/cutting would I store the tobacco in a air tight container? And how long will this last in this storage method?

Answer: An airtight container's a good idea, but I can't tell you how long the tobacco will last.

Question: I've grown plenty of tobacco except I've always just microwaved the leaves or in the oven to dry and smoked the plant still green. Is there a big difference in letting the leaves age? Will they taste better?

Answer: If it works for you, keep doing it. Some of my friends nuke the leaves and seem happy with the results, the only way to find out which best suits you is to try it yourself. I suggest that you air-dry some leaves and then compare.

Question: Any advice on growing tobacco in buckets?

Answer: It should be okay in a large bucket. I'm doing it with potatoes.


Adrian Rankin-Maclean on August 10, 2020:

Very informative article I tried many years ago to grow tobacco, plants grew fine but mucked up the curing process, I want to flavour the stuff for pipe smoking, I have a very large jar of glycerine in the garage could I use that with port and brandy, spray the leaf, let dry, then press and mature but for how long - best guess for a guide pls, also I want to give some hand rolling tobacco to my colleagues at Christmas, I'm harvesting and curing now,(August) once dried I'm putting it in a plastic air tight box, will that be long enough time for it to mellow/mature. Thanks in advance.

Big Man Sam on August 05, 2020:

What I can find worryingly little information on is how long you need to ferment it for, depending on what you want to do with it.

I understand that Tobacco in Cigars, Pipes, Roll your own, cigarettes, snuff and all other types are from the same tobacco plant. But they are surely processed differently. How do you know your tobacco will be ok for cigarettes, but not for cigars or vice versa?

Very helpful article.


Adrian on July 31, 2020:

Well what an informative article, I tried many years ago to grow tobacco, plants grew fine but mucked up the curing process, I want to flavour the stuff for pipe smoking, I have a very large jar of glycerine in the garage could I use that with port and brandy, spray the leaf, let dry, then press and mature but for how long - best guess for a guide pls, also I want to give some hand rolling tobacco to my colleagues at Christmas, I'm harvesting and curing now,(August) once dried I'm putting it in a plastic air tight box, will that be long enough time for it to mellow/mature. Thanks in advance.

Curiosity strikes on July 26, 2020:

Hi how is everyone in this tuff times hope all is ok ive started growing tobacco plant and im wondering do i have to use a cooler fan if curing leaves in a attic

glen on July 01, 2020:

thanks good info no frills- i've got 40 seeds in seedling mix indoors 7 germinated so far

Capt Dave on June 21, 2020:

I don't know where I've been Steve, but just come across you site. Love it. I have smoked ciggies, small cigars and a pipe since I was about 14. I will be 76 next month and live in the UK. I spent many years at sea in the MN, as Captain since 1975, so cost wasn't an issue then. Tho it is now.

I retired about 19 years ago and in 2013 attended a BBQ organised by my wife's Tai Chi Club. The host saw me wandering around puffing on my pipe and he kindly gave me a tobacco plant in a pot.

Turned out that he was given the plant by his pal who had been Chief Blender with British American Tobacco (BAT) so the guy knew what he was doing. Canadian Virginian plant, so I've not looked back.

As you said, I leave the "Best/Biggest" plant to flower and take the seeds from it for the next season- tho of course you only need one seed pod to get 1000's of tiny seeds for next year's crop.

As for the number of plants to be self-sufficient in Baccy for my pipe? I grow over 100 + plants - mainly in pots but some in the ground. Mine are not as tall as yours - max about 4 foot. Also slugs & snails, etc take their share. I smoke about 50grm/week -say 1 3/4 oz/week. I am currently smoking the 2018 crop which was over 5.5Kg. So plenty in hand. I could not tho do that on a dozen or so plants.

Take care,


Ruan V on June 05, 2020:

Hi STeve

Where do you buy seeds in SA?

I would like to buy some as well.


Steve Gage on May 18, 2020:

Thank you very much ---just so hard to get the seeds in SA Government screws all of us here ---BUT I can, and do grow my own weed and get very good crops too!

Jevon Riffel on May 13, 2020:

Great sense of humour and a very helpfull artical.Thank you

Ross on May 08, 2020:


Joni on May 02, 2020:

Do tobacco seeds need a period of cold dormancy in order to grow? Or can I plant them right away in areas with a long growing season?

Sandra on January 26, 2020:

Been reading your posts looking to find ways to make what i grow less harsh to smoke. Since yous have given me some ideas i will give you a fact. Use peppermint oil mixed with water to mist your leaves as they are hanging. We were told this by an old DSIR nerd, a friend tried it reconds it better than brought menthols. Yuk

chris seeds on September 16, 2019:

you can buy them from

hamid gholami on August 28, 2019:

Hi sir.

Please email us a complete pamphlet about the steps from planting to harvesting tobacco and how to dry and make cigarettes. Thanks a lot

Hamid Gholami

Clinton on July 07, 2019:

Yes i have read your article and gave very good things ty but one question is pesticides can i use them on the plant's and will i get sick from it

Carol Poole on July 01, 2019:

Hello! Trying to grow it here in the USA....if for no other reason to treat bee stings. I am using some bamboo to attach them to, I stapled them Love the commentary, keep that good humor!

Kasper on June 30, 2019:


How can I make my own chewing tobacco?

Lenna on June 23, 2019:

Many thanks. Easy to follow and a good laugh along the way.

Pete Stewart01 on May 08, 2019:

Hi Everyone...I have just read the post for about the 6th time and decided to join the group and say HI!!!

Also I wanted to add that the post is great and very easy to follow ..I am in Aus and have been growing now for a while and am getting some extremely good results but I am still waiting to have my first taste..I think the hardest part for me is going to be the cutting as I like a very fine cut and if anyone can suggest something that is not to expensive I will be very happy

anyway thanks for reading and hope to hear from some of you out there even in Qld..Cheers

William Weber on April 13, 2019:

Great sense of humor, and great information - good tips! Thank you for posting this. I think I'll give this a go - nothing to lose, all my hair is already gone...and I might learn a thing or two!

Charles O'Brien. on March 03, 2019:

Just what I was looking for answered a couple of questions I had never thought about, I will be starting them off over the next two months now it is Sunday 3rd of March 2019, (I am a slow starter)

Michael on February 10, 2019:

Some years ago I stumbled upon tobacco seeds (for the first time) in a Richters plant/seed catalogue out of Canada ( I live in the U.S). Anyhow, I ordered from them and began growing. You are so right, they do adapt to the area. My first year, they did not grow very large but each year after (using the prior years seeds) they grew larger and larger. This year i ordered from Victory Seeds and they have a much wider variety. Also, thank you for this article.

Sarahndipity on December 19, 2018:

Thank you for sharing, you are so funny!

Tone on December 12, 2018:

I think I need to move to NZ

Joe Charlier on October 06, 2018:

Excellent article!

Crofter on August 15, 2018:

Like some others I came upon your article whilst looking for info on curing tobacco. Having my first try at it and given I'm in the far north east of Scotland I'm having quite good results so far, that said been an unusually good Sumer.

Anyway, just wanted to say your article has been very helpful not to mention giving me a great laugh here and there. Very refreshing to be able to find the simple info you want without having read heaps of seriously boring rubbish at the same time!!

Would also be interested to read the article you mentioned on distilling but can't find it?

Many thanks or now.

The Old Firm (author) from Waikato/Bay Of Plenty, New Zealand on July 17, 2018:


Try misting the dried leaves with a mixture of oil of cloves (from the chemist) and water.

Good luck, TOF

Anonymous. -

Your question and reply precedes this answer. Cheers

NHEarthWitch on July 16, 2018:

I've been toying with the idea of growing my own tobacco for a year now and just found your site by looking for how to cure tobacco. This is a brilliant step-by-step on how to get to the end product I'm looking for so thanks so much mate!

Now, any ideas on how I could take this to the next level & make it into clove cigarettes?

Smoker 2 on June 28, 2018:

to avoid harsh taste one step of curing process missing - fermentation.

Stack leaves (10-20+) and sweat in sun or oven in winter. keep swapping around until all golden brown (they will be damp but silky).

dry in shade, this process avoids crumbling product also.

to cut: take dried leaves cut out stems, dampen dried leaves, put in press to make solid block, cut and re-dry cut tobacco.

remember you are not growing veges, yellow leaves make a more mellow product.

Fabian on May 13, 2018:

I have a bag of locally grown and cured tobacco leaves suitable for smoking in a pipe but would like to make my own tobacco oil for candles and perfume. Any suggestions?

Julie on March 12, 2018:

Awesome article!!! Trying my hand at growing these babies indoors....wish me luck :)

Boye on May 11, 2017:

I really enjoyed your little tobacco story guide...Awesome.

Ngaruawahia Grower on March 12, 2017:

an accidental discovery in my kitchen when a friend came around for a cupper with his new e-ciggy has lead to a major discovery for my tobacco processing methods when i added a few drops of his vape juice to my tobacco.

there seems to be a new trend in vaping lately as more people are the cost of cigarettes beyond their means and are turning to vaping, i grow my own tobacco and process it myself and have experimented (Mucked around in my kitchen) with 0% nicotine menthol e-juice by cutting my tobacco in an old electric coffee grinder and adding the e-juice bit by bit to the mix until i achieve the strength i desire..

The results were unbelievable, menthol is one the hardest flavours to crack, no more menthol crysrals and chemistry sets, the e-juice is mostly vegetable glycerine, with no nicotine, and can be added to suit the strength desirable, you can add it to your own liking, strong, medium, weak, doing it this way means the menthol strength hasn't already been decided for you and you don't have to hunt around for a commercial brand to suit your particular tastes.

There are also other flavours in e-juice to experiment with and i for one will certainly being doing so...hope this is helpful to someone out there...this accidental discovery has had a major impact on our flavouring techniques and couldn't be easier...others who have tried it are amazed...

gepeTooRs on August 06, 2016:

Thank you for any other informative site. The place else may just I get that type of info written in such a perfect way? I’ve a venture that I am just now running on, and I’ve been on the look out for such information.

The Old Firm (author) from Waikato/Bay Of Plenty, New Zealand on July 05, 2016:

Cheers GPRR

gepeTooRs on June 30, 2016:

The blog given to us has some exciting features. It realy increase my knowledge about the topic.

The Old Firm (author) from Waikato/Bay Of Plenty, New Zealand on June 16, 2016:

Hi there gepeTooRs , nice to know that you approve, although I can't take any credit for the loading pace, that's all HubPages doing.



gepeTooRs on June 14, 2016:

You’re actually a good webmaster. The site loading pace is amazing. It kind of feels that you’re doing any unique trick. In addition, The contents are masterwork. you have done a excellent activity on this matter!

JAKs son on March 17, 2016:

My pleasure.. (still looking forward to your distillation blog ;)

The Old Firm (author) from Waikato/Bay Of Plenty, New Zealand on March 17, 2016:

Hi JAKs son, couldn't agree more.

Our Gestapo thugs will shoot and kill a man for pointing a gun at a police dog, shoot a fleeing thief in the back and beat his dying body with baton tourches and find themselves not at fault, then run around kissing a drug pusher who shot at and wounded 4 police, presumably because of "political correctness" - and a 'relly who's a local senior cop.

Our politicians will waste tens of millions on a futile flag referendum (and then probably twist the results - the head of the CIA visited last week) then they tax the Hell out of smokers - over 90% of the retail cost of tobacco returns to the government in some form of taxation (a conservative estimation) but smokers are denied the medical treatment of others as they "caused their own problems"

Grow your own tobacco while you can, - and your own carrots, - and your own cabbages, soon legislation will stop us from doing all that too because we'd be taking the living from the maws poor supermarket empires.

Cheers Mate.


JAKs son on March 17, 2016:

Thanks heaps for your all your good work and effort.. As you are aware, we are being raped by our jackboot government, overtaxing and discriminating against smokers.. Prices are going through the roof.

I have smoked for over thirty years and have been growing tobacco for two seasons. Your blog by far has the most simplistic and helpful information on growing tobacco. We are in your debt, Thanks again.

(Haha.. I joined the hub just to thank you.)

Cezary from Poland on January 30, 2016:

Nice hub. Thanks

The Old Firm (author) from Waikato/Bay Of Plenty, New Zealand on January 21, 2016:

Hi Hops, beer and 'baccy go together mate, have a top New Year too.



Hops on January 15, 2016:

oops, I must have had a couple to many ales the last time I wrote in. I actually think I am on about or coming up to my 6th year smoking my homegrown bakky. :)

Have plants in again.

have a great New Year.

The Old Firm (author) from Waikato/Bay Of Plenty, New Zealand on November 12, 2015:

Hi Insasia, glad to be of help.

InsasiaSic on November 09, 2015:

I love this website - its so usefull and helpfull.

The Old Firm (author) from Waikato/Bay Of Plenty, New Zealand on November 07, 2015:

Hi quicksand, long time no hear, How's it going?

quicksand on November 03, 2015:

Taking the focus away from tobacco ... congratulations once more! Great victory by the AllBlacks! :)

The Old Firm (author) from Waikato/Bay Of Plenty, New Zealand on October 21, 2015:

Hi Guys (and Gals) sorry that I've been AWOL for a while. Thanks for the nice comments.


Warearics on September 16, 2015:

In any case I will be subscribing for your rss feed and I am hoping you write again very soon!

Errombsnomi on September 01, 2015:

It kind of feels that you are doing any distinctive trick. Moreover, The contents are masterpiece.

JP on June 07, 2015:

During two years in Vanuatu where home-grown tobacco is available in the markets (cured and twisted into braids) I discovered I could make a "brew" just as good as my favourite pipe tobacco "Amphora". I simply chopped it (2mm) and mixed in some pure vanilla essence (or chopped vanilla beans) and a little citrus zest then compressed it into a jar. Once sealed, age for about two months at room temperature or slightly above. The ageing and compression are important as fermentation by anaerobic bacteria eliminates the harsher burning elements. It improves with age so long as it does not dry out.

Remember that smoking tobacco probably would not have caught on if it weren't for the process of cramming it into barrels and sending it on a sea voyage in sailing ships - which is how the above process was discovered. The product was a gentler and more aromatic smoke when it landed in Europe than when it left the "New World".

Chopping can be left until after the compression/ageing if preferred.

Jas tk on April 13, 2015:

Wow what a hub I started growing this summer only 3 plants thoe they are 6feet I'd say they now have Pritty pink flowers I harvested around 50 or so leaves hung them on nylon 1 month ago they are turning nice and golden I have them in my garage where I go for a quite smoke and stear at them only but wondering what they are going to be like I'm glad I came across this hub it has put my mind at ease a little and also given me some great ideas

Thanks heaps

Jas from Te Kuiti

Kiwi John on March 08, 2015:

Hey TOF,

Because of the heart problems i'm moving to Central Hawkes Bay to be with family. Gonna have a couple of acres there, so can plant heaps, and better growing conditions. As you know i don't smoke anymore, but gotta thank John Keye for the taxes, and the opportunity for extra income ( wink wink )



Kiwi John on March 06, 2015:

just follow the advice given here Jen, you cant go wrong

Jenfish on March 06, 2015:

I gathered some seeds from a garden not knowing it was tobacco.They have grown amazingly.Thanks to your practical info I'm setting about drying the leaves .Might find a use for my grandads pipes in a rack yet .Thanks

Jenfish on March 06, 2015:

I gathered some seeds from a garden not knowing it was tobacco.They have grown amazingly.Thanks to your practical info I'm setting about drying the leaves .Might find a use for my grandads pipes in a rack yet .Thanks

The Old Firm (author) from Waikato/Bay Of Plenty, New Zealand on March 06, 2015:

Hi John,

Thanks for that.



Kiwi John on March 03, 2015:

Hey TOF,

I chucked some seeds in the fridge last year; planted them in portable greenhouse in september and have a bumper crop drying in my garage now. Just thought i'ld let you know the 'head start' theory appeared to work.

Pity i stopped smoking lol.



The Old Firm (author) from Waikato/Bay Of Plenty, New Zealand on February 17, 2015:

Hi Freddy,

No I haven't tried that. A neighbour hangs his leaves in a carport to dry, then presses them in a shallow wooden box with a bit of plank on top and a weight (gallon drum full of water) rolls up the end product and slices thin with a sharp knife. If it looks a bit damp or won't light he sticks it in the warming tray of his oven for a while. It must work, his mates think the stuffs great. What you describe looks like a quick way to cure, nothing wrong with that.



Freddy on February 16, 2015:

I watched a YouTube video and this guy dries his leaves in a aluminium cylinder with an element placed on the bottom. He then filled about 1/6 of the cylinder with water and propped the leaves up on another piece of aluminium with a small vent hole in it. So none of the tobacco was touching the water. He left the element on about 150 C for a few days. Then he fed the leaves through a grinder. The end result looked like nice moist almost store bought tobacco. Have you tried this method? and is it any good?

The Old Firm (author) from Waikato/Bay Of Plenty, New Zealand on February 15, 2015:

Hi Crom, I'm sorry that I can't help you here; it may be a bad cure but without seeing and smelling it I just can't say.



Crom Tiersen on January 01, 2015:

Please help me Old Firm! , i bought 1 kg virginia tobacco leaves, its sun cured, but its really smells bad !! , and then i can"t smoke because its really strong !!, i want to ask you why? , is there a any missing thing about process ? or should i ferment tobacco leaves for good taste?, thanks a lot.

The Old Firm (author) from Waikato/Bay Of Plenty, New Zealand on December 23, 2014:

Hi John, I hope that all's well with you now. (I've been away playing Cap'n Ahabs with an old boat in New Plymouth harbour)

Merry Christmas.

Thanks xxx, Merry Christmas.

Amateur xxx images on December 10, 2014:

Hi there, You have done a fantastic job. I'll certainly digg it and individually suggest to my friends. I'm sure they will be benefited from this web site.

Kiwi John on November 10, 2014:

Spent a few days in the horsepiddle with heart failure due to pneumonia; so am only growing for entertainment now as i had to stop smoking but it's still a way to pass the time

The Old Firm (author) from Waikato/Bay Of Plenty, New Zealand on September 21, 2014:

Thanks John, TOF

John on September 17, 2014:


Here's some info that i copied and pasted from this hub a couple of years ago,

I hope it's of some help.

McGoo 2 years ago

I have been using this for flavouring, this is a half strength as found the full strength to strong.

2 cups of water

1 tablespoon glycyrene

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 & a half tablespoons liqueur or spirit syrup (Bin Inn)

1 tablespoon of honey.

Throw all the ingrediants into a pot and bring to the boil then give the cut tobacco a good spray and then let dry.Got desperate this year and smoking tobacco that has been hanging for only 4 weeks and has taken the harshness out. Also worked very well last year on fully dried tobacco.

best of luck,



The Old Firm (author) from Waikato/Bay Of Plenty, New Zealand on September 16, 2014:

Hi tobacco enthusiast, glad to know that I was of help.

Luther, get a plant mister (little pump up spray) for a few dollars at a garden centre or two dollar shop and use it to spray your dry leaves. Spray water, port, rum, honey dissolved in any of the aforementioned, or pretty well any consumable liquid. A fine mist to dampen the leaves is all you need, they will soften almost immediately and you can then cut out the ribs. I suggest that you then roll up the leaves and slice thinly with a very sharp knife.

BTW the leaves held by the old bloke in the article's photo grew in a temperate climate in spring and summer.They're pretty average bottom leaves (the higher you go the smaller the leaf) We get light frosts in Winter.



tobacco enthusiast on September 16, 2014:

Luther 2 the b8g ribs can be Removed! After drying my iwn tobacco I put a little bourbon on it in a deep pot and roasted in oven at 50 degrees with a lid on. The ultra dry leaves sucked up the alcohol (not too much or u get a soggy mess) and became pliable again. After that I shredded them. The ribs are easy to remove at that point. I got leaves as big as my face but im sure they could have been better. Im growing in ohio, where the difference betwixt winter and summer is almost nonexistent. Good luck growing!

luther2 on September 16, 2014:

Live in California. Tobacco is an amazingly prolific plant. The plants grew taller than corn stalks, with leaves as broad as my chest. I had trouble with the whole drying/curing process though. Within two to three months of picking a healthy green leaf, it would dry to a complete dark brown, and if even touched it would crumble into a million shards. Put it in a pipe and it smoked fine. I also ground some into a powder snuff, I added a cotton ball dipped in scented oil for a week or so to add flavor and scent then removed the cotton ball later. Regarding smoking the tobacco though, cigarette and pipe tobacco available commercially is a bit "moist" and pliable. After drying the leaf, should it be re-hydrated or something. My experience is there is no way to cut out the big ribs... etc..., because as soon as I touched the leaves they crumble into a bunch of tiny pieces.

tobacco enthusiast on September 15, 2014:

Thanks to this hub I just pulled in my 4th batch of leaves and hung them to dry. Growing nicotiana rustica here in ohio. I cured a bit with bourbon in the oven and got a nice pipe smoke. Anyine got pointers on aging? Also does anyone know how to make Copenhagen style "dip"? I threw a hand at it but it didnt come out the way I hoped. Oh yeah, adding flavor....any ideas on flavoring the bacco? For menthol I just added some mint leaves. Im wanting either a mild hazlenut or chocolate flavor.

The Old Firm (author) from Waikato/Bay Of Plenty, New Zealand on September 13, 2014:

The bowler hat brigade - too stupid to "do" so spend their lives telling us "not to do". Every council and government department has a proliferation of the swine at their lower levels trying to screw up the doers.



John on September 12, 2014:


bumptious bureaucrats and politicians are revolting species, but i believe there's a special spot reserved in hell for those that don white coats and the mantle of 'oficial'



The Old Firm (author) from Waikato/Bay Of Plenty, New Zealand on September 11, 2014:

Great stuff John, (We're in for a long summer, my banana plant set its first bunch a month ago, although the stalks are still all brown with dead and wind battered leaves; and the raspberry canes are budding) Please keep us posted on how you're going.

Death to all bullfrogs, bumptious bureaucrats and politicians!! (I could spare the bullfrogs.)



John on September 10, 2014:

Got the seeds in the germinator today , wanting an early jump on the season , great weather this last week and hoping for no frosts.. Trying to beat the election and all the false promises. I'm not a smoker any more since the heart problems but i do love the feeling of putting one over the Gvt. whoever they may be. If you're in NZ get growing folks , and good luck.

The Old Firm (author) from Waikato/Bay Of Plenty, New Zealand on September 09, 2014:

What more can I say to that?



kiwi_john aka the old fart on September 09, 2014:

well planting season is upon us; i've got a shitload of seeds (no not from the dunny) so fingers toes and eyes all crossed for a bumper crop.I'VE GOT ALL THE GOOD STUFF : SEED GERMINAING MIX................MINI GREENHOUSE.NO EXPENSE SPARED TO SAVE A $.


Good growing everyone

The Old Firm (author) from Waikato/Bay Of Plenty, New Zealand on September 09, 2014:

As good a way as any Rhett, nothings written in stone - adapt, innovate, do it on the cheap; that's what it's all about.

Cheers mate,


Rhett on September 09, 2014:

I borrowed from the butchering industry and got a bunch of J fish hooks, strung them on some fishing line and use that for drying.

The Old Firm (author) from Waikato/Bay Of Plenty, New Zealand on July 30, 2014:

Mr Happy, Hi There,

Drying- Three months will do it, less if you give a bit of a boost with a slightly warm oven. Cheers

Hi John, Nicotiana Sylvestris, Kimgs catalogue number SKU 0950, $3.75 a packet (it's listed as a flower, which of course it is)

Mikeh,Thanks mate.

Cheers All,


Mikeh on July 23, 2014:

Brilliant hub most helpful I've seen on the net thus far. Great read

John on July 21, 2014:

Sadly Kings no longer sell tobacco seed, however if you're in NZ Wicked Habits do ( expensive ) or Trade Me often does.

Mr. Happy from Toronto, Canada on July 16, 2014:

Great hub. Thanks for putting it together, at least I know what a tobacco plant looks like now.

I think I'm going to try to grow some to use for smudging and offerings (Spiritual purposes). Using the ones made for smoking, bleached, or with added chemicals is not ideal, to say the very least.

On another note, I can't believe they gotta stay up drying for a year, or two ... that's long ... I better still be alive for the first finished product lol

And the other thing is that I 'm in Canada. It's not exactly very warm here. Will have to look into this further but this has certainly been of great help to start-off.

All the very best! : )

The Old Firm (author) from Waikato/Bay Of Plenty, New Zealand on June 07, 2014:

Hi Ricci,

Sorry mate, I can't help you there, I've no experience at this rather covert way of growing bacci'. Best of luck with your research.



Ricci Feat Waaka from Tauranga, New Zealand on June 07, 2014:

Hi can you please give me some advice on how to grow tobacco under lights,such as how many plants to a 1000 watt or 600 grow light in what size room,am really keen to give it a go

Any info would be greatly appreciated.

The Old Firm (author) from Waikato/Bay Of Plenty, New Zealand on May 16, 2014:

Hi there Rob n Rose, sorry for the tardy reply. It's a bit late now to plant outdoors, but you can probably start your seedlings in the hothouse, or better still in little pots on a warm windowsill (Like in the kitchen) . Re-pot them a couple of times, use you hot-house when they get bigger and you can grow them there or transplant in spring. Allow 2 meters headroom if you keep them inside and remember to pick out the sideshoots growing in the leaf joins (just like tomatoes do) they can be planted too for a later crop. If you need more seed google King Seeds in Katikati, (I've a link in the text)

Good luck,


Rob n Rose on May 13, 2014:


We have seeds. The hothouse on our section looks like a great starting place for our seedling to get a start. Well heres hoping! Thank you so much for putting up this site. We would have been umming and ahhhing until the cows came home. Not to mention the moaning at the forever price hikes in Tobacco. We are happy campers even though we haven't grown it yet. But the future looks a lot more brighter.


Rob n Rose

Rob n Rose on May 05, 2014:

Hi we live in sunny Bay of Plenty and want to give it a go. Can we buy seeds direct from you?

The Old Firm (author) from Waikato/Bay Of Plenty, New Zealand on April 04, 2014:

Pharmk565, Hi,

Thanks for your comments, I use HubPages, as per heading; free to use, just join up. This is predominately a writers/informational blog, but can be quite social in its comments, as you may have noted above. I suggest that you Google "HubPages" and check them out.



Pharmk565 on April 04, 2014:

I'm curious to uncover out what blog system youre employing? Im experiencing some small security troubles with my latest weblog and Id like to locate something more safeguarded. Do you've any recommendations? fcbdadk

Pharma674 on April 04, 2014:

Howdy! This article could not be written any better! Looking at this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He constantly kept preaching about this. I'll send this information to him. Fairly certain he's going to have a good read. Thanks for sharing! abfdged

The Old Firm (author) from Waikato/Bay Of Plenty, New Zealand on March 31, 2014:

Hi there Blond Logic, Tobacco originated from around your way, and I'm told that all sorts can be found there, so good luck in your quest for seeds.

I'm glad that this Hub was of help.



Mary Wickison from USA on March 23, 2014:

After years of nagging (I mean politely requesting) my husband to stop, now I find your page.

I am going to scour around and see if I can find some seeds. He can smoke to his lung's are content. We seem to be in the perfect climate.

Thank goodness I found your page.

The Old Firm (author) from Waikato/Bay Of Plenty, New Zealand on March 20, 2014:

theblightsun, Garry,

Thanks guys, Happy growing.


Garry on March 17, 2014:

I wrote a month or what back that I had started harvesting and drying down here in North Canty, and being the impatient bugger that I am, have started smoking it now, and am pleasantly surprised with the result.

Trying to perfect the cutting now but am very happy with my "own grown".

Reckon next year I will have to double my crop, I may be a bit shy this year.

Have a good one TOF

theblightsun on March 15, 2014:

Wonderful hub. Very educational. This is the kind of info ive been searching for. I started about 400 tobacco seeds, about 85% germination rate. The seedlings are 2.5 inches tall now. Im growing in mini greenhouses in a south facing window. Hopefully I get mature plants later. Why am I growing tobacco? To smoke it! I went with nicotiana rustica and typical virginia strains. I fugured: "since im griwing broccoli and carrots I might as well griw sone 'backy too!" Thanks again for this information. It has been most helpful.

The Old Firm (author) from Waikato/Bay Of Plenty, New Zealand on March 15, 2014:

Thanks uran,


uran on March 14, 2014:


GOT it, Prilep 66, oriental fom macedonia, and i love it, has a taste like diped in honey

Uran on March 13, 2014:

TY Mr. TOF :), im getting some cured orientals prilep 66, will try and let you know