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orlando's avatar

What tobacco variety to grow?

Asked by orlando (627points) November 15th, 2012

I would like to start growing tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) for personal use in cigarettes. I see there are a number of different types of seeds for this tobacco available. I would prefer something simple to air-cure and with a nice taste similar to commercially available tobacco.

From what I’ve read Burley or Virginia is to go. What do you think?

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6 Answers

Coloma's avatar

I would think you would need to start researching what varieties would grow best in your particular climate zone. Finding out your areas growing seasons length, soil requirements, amendments, amount of sun needed, ( full sun is at least 8 hours per day ) pest concerns etc.
I love the look of tobacco plants, they are impressive all on their own aside from harvesting them for smoking purposes. I would also think you would need to plant a large plot of plants, maybe a half acre or so, minimum, to get the yield you desire if you want to have a long lasting supply on hand.

poisonedantidote's avatar

I strongly advise you find out if you can grow tobacco. A friend of mine tried growing some for personal use, he had his door smashed in by police in the middle of the night who came to raid him.

Turns out the tobacco industry is protected from high up, and they get a bit touchy when people try to cut out the middle man.

orlando's avatar

Well, I’m in Europe and I don’t think police will raid my house for growing it. Still, interesting to know that this kind of thing is possible in the States.

I have successfully grow Nicotiana rustica (a sort of wild tobacco) in my garden so I believe I Nicotiana tabacum will grow just fine in my area. What I’d really like to know is what type has the “best” taste and can be air-cured without much problems.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

All tobacco plants are not the same for growing requirements. Flowering tobacco has different growing habits.
Virginia or bright-leaf is grown for flue drying and burley is air dried. I live in North Carolina and the are hundreds of flue barns with in a couple of miles of my house. The are for all the acres of bright-leaf tobacco grow here.

Coloma's avatar

@orlando I think you might have to just conduct your own experiments.
I don’t know about crossbreeding as well, if you plant several different varieties together you might risk some sort of hybridization.

orlando's avatar

Thank you all! This is all very helpful. I’ll give it some more thought.

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