About Indian Tobacco: Early Americans once used this plant as an emetic and expectorant, as well as a treatment for respiratory ailments. As its common name suggests, Native Americans once smoked this plant as a medicinal remedy. Though folk medicine once spread the belief that this plant could be helpful in countering the effects of nicotine and breaking tobacco addictions, the FDA published research showing that it is ineffectual in this respect. The species name "inflata" refers to the inflated seed pods of this plant.
Indian Tobacco Germination: Direct sow in late fall, planting on the surface of the soil since these seeds need light to germinate. For spring planting, mix the seed with moist sand and store it in the refrigerator for 60 days before planting. To start indoors, sow the seed 6-8 weeks before the last frost of spring and keep the soil lightly moist until germination. Transplant the seedlings as soon as they can safely be handled and there is no chance of frost.
Growing Indian Tobacco Seeds: Keep seedings well watered and control weeds. These plants need continual moisture, and thrive even in very wet soil. They may self-sow in growing conditions. Mature plants can be divided in early spring. These plants flourish near ponds or streams.
Harvesting Indian Tobacco: These blossoms do not perform well as cut flowers, and are best enjoyed outdoors.
Saving Indian Tobacco Seeds: After the flowers fade, the plant will produce seed pods. Watch the pods carefully, since they eventually split and release their seeds. Harvest the seeds as soon as they ripen to their mature light brown color. The entire plant can also be removed and spread out to dry, and the seeds removed from the pods. Store the seeds in a cool, dry place.
Detailed Indian Tobacco Info: Origin: US Native Wildflower Other Common Names: None Duration: Annual Bloom Time: Summer-Fall Height: 18-24 inches Spacing: 12-15 inches Light: Full Sun to Part Shade Soil Moisture: Wet to Medium USDA Zone: 6-9 Seeds Per Oz: 500,000 Produces a plant with serrated, dark green leaves and small, white, deeply lobed flowers.