Nicotiana 'Only the Lonely'

Steveningen(sunset 17, CA)June 22, 2006

I can't recommend this nicotiana highly enough to all of you for both beauty and fragrance. Today was a scorcher with temps reaching near 100. Some things fried, but the heat seemed to have kicked my two plants into high gear. It's still warm outside at 10:00 p.m. as I write this and the fragrance is amazing, filling the entire yard. The flower is gorgeous too, forming a spray of white tubes at the top of beautifully formed folliage. This would be a great choice for people looking to add tall whites to catch the moonlight. Check out the link for a pic.

Of course, when the reseed next year (which I understand they do in profusion), I may be complaining about pulling up so many seedlings. But today, I love it.

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gurley157fs(zone 7/8sc)

I don't see a link. Try again?

    Bookmark   June 22, 2006 at 4:27AM
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fammsimm(Z8 DFW)

This is my first year with Nicotiana ( courtesy of last year's seed swap) and I am loving it, too. It's holding up well against the TX sun,heat and drought.

I hope it's a prolific re-seeder, because I would love to have more next year.


    Bookmark   June 22, 2006 at 9:27AM
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tracm(9 CA)

Me too!! This is my first year and have two Nicotiana's that I started from seed and they are heavenly. I just cut some and put them in a vase in my kitchen. I love their fragrance. Thanks, Steven for the tip that they reseed. My back yard is stuffed with various plants and I can't imagine having a ton of Nico's next year. I will keep my eye out for seedlings.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2006 at 9:42AM
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I have N. Alata and love it. I was able to divide mine once they started coming back up. It's a die to the ground perennial in OK and is very heat-tolerant. Everything that I divided and moved early this spring has developed into nice-sized clumps and blooming! I have beeen thrilled with this plant. I will be including seeds of it in the CG swap!


    Bookmark   June 22, 2006 at 9:48AM
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flutterby81(6a, Michigan)

For you first timers, nicotiana will also send up new flower stalks if you cut it back. Last year I didn't cut it back until the middle of September and I still got more flowers (we get frost in early Oct).

    Bookmark   June 22, 2006 at 11:43AM
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MizJoy(z8 OR)

Steven, this is one of my favorites too. I have it planted under my kitchen window and the fragrance on hot evenings is heavenly. I also love the big, bold foliage of this flower. Mine grow 5-6' tall. I haven't had any problems with it reseeding all over the place. It's pretty well behaved for me, although it produces copious amounts of seed.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2006 at 12:01PM
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fammsimm(Z8 DFW)

Thanks for the info., flutterby. I'm liking this flower more and more!


    Bookmark   June 22, 2006 at 12:12PM
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I don't think the reseeding is an issue. Yes, they reseed but they are easy to pull and not prolific.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2006 at 12:21PM
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MizJoy(z8 OR)

Here's a link to a picture of one in my garden.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   June 22, 2006 at 12:57PM
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I want some of the seeds..please send in to seed trade swap for fall. I will put that on my "want this" list..

I am busy harvesting my columbine, hollyhocks, poppies,ladies mantle and gas plant. Also red valerian-which is a fav of mine-have it everywhere.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2006 at 1:16PM
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eduarda(Z10 - Portugal)

I'm so sad :-( I got seeds for this lovely plant from our swap, sowed them and they promptly germinated. Then they seemed to got some sort of mold (might have been too much humidity in the container) and even though I did transfer the seedlings to the ground they didn't survive :-( I was really disapointed, I had high hopes for it... I hope I get some seeds again from our swap to try again...


    Bookmark   June 22, 2006 at 3:18PM
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Eduarda, just direct sow them! Especially in your climate-water them in well and stand back! LOL!


    Bookmark   June 22, 2006 at 4:56PM
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thinman(Z5 MI)

Count me in among the nicotiana lovers, and Only The Lonely looks like a stunner. I wonder if the propagator who named it is a Roy Orbison fan.

I made a mistake with my nicotiana this year and counted on reseeding for plants this year. It worked fine, inasmuch I got a thousand seedlings or so, but the ones I didn't pull are still so small, it's going to be August before I see any blooms. Oh, well, ya live, ya learn.


    Bookmark   June 22, 2006 at 9:52PM
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Funny you should say that ThinMan because upon reading this post earlier today I've been singing that song in my head and can't get it out! Bum, bum, bum, da-dddoo-wa. When you said you didn't pull some- did you lift some and replant elsewhere or are they going to be slow in blooming because they're crowded?

Steven- I love it. Are you going to join in the seed swap this year? Enquiring minds want to know!

    Bookmark   June 22, 2006 at 10:12PM
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Steveningen(sunset 17, CA)

Thanks for posting the link Joy. I'm not sure what happened to my link. But mine looks pretty much like yours. I had forgotten how valuable nicotiana could be in the garden. Now that I've found this guy, I won't be without them. I've wondered about the choice of name too. Must be an Orbison fan, otherwise the name would be just a tad depressing.

Nan - I've been toying with the notion of joining the seed swap. I've resisted so far because my gardens have been so young. I've also been up to my eyeballs getting the garden off the ground (so to speak). I really should though. You all have some plants I would love to get my hands on. And I'm always up for saving money. I'm on the verge of saying count me in, but I'm going to wait for a couple of weeks to see what I have to offer.


    Bookmark   June 22, 2006 at 10:35PM
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I am growing nicotiana for the first time this year also and from what y'all are saying I planted it too far from the house. It sure does stand out in the evening out in the new perennial bed tho. Mine is just starting to bloom....


    Bookmark   June 22, 2006 at 11:26PM
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Sounds reasonable that the name would have been selected by a Roy Orbison fan. I remember reading that the "Lonely" part of the name refers to it's being so tall that it stands out from everything else (5'+ as Mizjoy said!).

Excellent plant suggestion, Steven. One of the things that seems to be lacking in my garden is fragrance!


    Bookmark   June 22, 2006 at 11:31PM
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eduarda(Z10 - Portugal)

Hedgwytch, unfortunately I do not have good luck with direct sowing. My soil is on the heavy side and I have birds galore. The blackbirds especially get into the garden and strip it out of any seed I may have scattered on the ground. They strip the mulberry tree entirely, we hardly try any mulberries at all! They even peck in pots with seeds, if they are not covered! So I prefer to winter sow seeds, because the covered containers give seeds a much better chance to survive the birds. I love to have so many birds around the garden, though, so I'm not complaining. I hope to try this lovely plant again this year.

Eduarda (definitely a Roy Orbison fan)

    Bookmark   June 23, 2006 at 4:28AM
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Yikes Eduarda! Do you have some perennials that you could scatter the seeds around in? I have mine mixed in with roses and irises. Maybe then the other plants could help protect it. I'm in OK and we have heavy clay, but we also use a lot of mulch to help keep the moisture in. That probably helps protect the seeds, too.

Your garden sounds wonderful.


    Bookmark   June 23, 2006 at 10:57AM
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MizJoy(z8 OR)

I originally started these seeds in my basement under florescent lights. I got all the info on how to on the gardenweb forum. I'm in zone 8 so these have been perennial for me, except this year because we had a couple extremely cold days in early spring only about half survived. I also grow Nicotiana Alata which are definitely worthwhile too. They aren't quite as tall as 'Only the Lonely' but they're lovely & a little different flower form.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2006 at 12:16PM
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Nell Jean

First year for me, too. I started some from seed, the tall kind, not named. They're in white and colors too and I put them all around. Some thrived better than others, especially the ones in full sun.

The fragrance is, as said above, just wonderful at night -- spicy and delightful.


    Bookmark   June 24, 2006 at 8:43PM
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Hey Ya'll:

I got a couple of six packs of mixed Nicotiana this week. I took the White and Planted in huge planters along with the Pale Pink. I wasn't to sure about getting these, as i loved the flowers,but thought the foliage was kinda yucky. It reminds me of Zinnia foliage which is also kinda yucky. The more I read about them the more i felt i was going to fall in love with this plant.
I use almost all White Flowering plants,becuase I live in Memphis, and it gets so hot and humid here, they seem to fool the eye into thinking it's cooler.
I see there are two varietys of the White a taller more elongated flower, and the kind I got which has a shorter tube on the flower and seems a bit larger.
i also use alot of dark purple foliage plants to offset the White, so I ordered some seeds of a variety called Perfume Deep Purple. I will set them out and see what happens. I have high hopes for these.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2008 at 9:25AM
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Does anyone have any suggestions on how to overwinter Nicotiana? I live in New Hampshire and just discovered this plant at our neighborhood greenhouse. She is always introducing new plants but is treating it like an annual, which in this area it is.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2008 at 6:36PM
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I also have Nicotiana,but mine are in a huge pot,and this year DH threw some other seeds in with it,like babys breath and calendulas.So now the pot is nice and full.I'll have to try and remember to get pictures of it this week.
Mine are pinks and reds.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2008 at 11:28PM
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I absoublutely LOVE Nicotianas and I would be very glad to trade any seeds that anyone has.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2010 at 4:40PM
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