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Why Do The Flowers On Tobacco Plants Change In Appearance

If you want to satisfy your curiosity about why do the flowers on tobacco plants change in appearance, it’s because of external conditions and predator protection. Tobacco may be famous for smoking and chewing, but the Nicotiana tabacum is a flowering annual and perennial plant. This characteristic almost becomes a bonus for tobacco farmers because of the beautiful large clusters of flowers.

This very trait has gotten the gardeners’ attention to grow Nicotiana as ornamentals, so it’s worth considering growing them in a greenhouse for productive commercial cultivation. After all, appearance is not the only characteristic to like about them. Some Nicotianas have an intoxicating scent and even give the garden a sweet fragrance at dusk. 

Why Do The Flowers On Tobacco Plants Change In Appearance

Why Do The Flowers On Tobacco Plants Change In Appearance

Nicotiana tabacum produces large clusters of trumpet-shaped flowers ranging from pink, red, white, or cream depending on the cultivar. You can grow them as perennial, but it’s more common to have them as annuals for one growing season. If you notice that the plants’ flowers are changing in appearance, it could be from external conditions and, interestingly, the plant’s predator protection method. 

 

External conditions

You might start seeing a change in your tobacco flowers’ appearance when the environmental conditions are not ideal. Like all plants, you want to ensure that it gets the perfect environment to thrive. For example, the University of Vermont recommends flowering tobacco plants to get full sun. 

You can also use a greenhouse to ensure that the plants don’t experience extreme heat and cold temperatures. Otherwise, they are generally not picky even with the humidity. As mentioned earlier, you can grow them as annuals but using a greenhouse will allow you to develop it as a perennial even if you’re not in hardiness zones 10 to 11. 

This gives you an idea of the conditions best for tobacco plants and prevents random changes in the flowers’ appearance. One can conclude that controlling the environment will protect and maintain the healthy bloom of flowers amidst your climate. You can do this using a greenhouse and adjusting the conditions indoors. 

 

Predator protection

Another and perhaps more compelling reason why tobacco plant flowers change in appearance is to protect themselves from predators. A 2010 research has found that tobacco plants change their flower buds’ opening time to dawn instead of dusk. This, of course, changes the flower’s appearance, and it’s a unique way to deter insects like female moths. 

While you may think that moths are not pests, they can pose a threat to tobacco plants. They lay their eggs on the plant’s leaves where the caterpillars will hatch and cause damage. The tobacco plants developed a way to change their flower timing to attract hummingbirds instead of damaging moths. 

 

How To Grow Flowering Tobacco

If you’re interested in growing flowering tobacco, you can do your research about Nicotiana alata. They make excellent additions for borders, and homeowners buy them to add fragrance to their decks and patios. Additionally, they are relatively easy to cultivate, so you shouldn’t face many openings for mistakes growing them.

Nicotiana alata is a hardy and tender perennial best for growing zones 10 to 11. You can also grow them as annuals in full to part shade and quality moist soil. To guarantee a good start, sow the seeds in the greenhouse at eight weeks before the last frost, and they should bloom from summer to fall. 

For growing requirements, allocate 12 to 30 inches of space among the plants and give them full shade. A well-drained and fertilized soil are best for flowering tobacco plants, and their feeding and watering requirements are similar to most annuals. 

 

Common problems of flowering tobacco

While it’s not complicated to grow flowering tobacco plants, it will be better to anticipate the common problems so you can solve them quickly. Fortunately, the common problems for this plant are not things you haven’t seen as a gardener. They include rot and mold from fungi, aphids, whiteflies, and a disease typical to tobacco, the mosaic virus. 

Fungal problems are straightforward to prevent and eradicate. Make sure to maintain the ideal growing conditions to grow vigorous plants for transplanting and prevent fungal growth. Also, don’t forget to remove infected plants. 

On the other hand, you can use biological control and sticky traps to solve pests. The use of chemicals is more complicated, so it’s better to stick with the previous methods mentioned. And lastly, you can avoid the tobacco mosaic virus with proper sanitation.

 

Conclusion

Tobacco is not only something that smokers can enjoy. Flowering tobacco makes fantastic ornamental plants, which is why it’s useful to know why do the flowers on tobacco plants change in appearance. The good news is that it’s easy to understand because, similar to other plants, changes in environmental conditions will cause changes in your flowers. 

More so, the plant itself has developed a different flowering timing to attract hummingbirds instead of moths that can damage the plant. Knowledge of these two reasons should help you prevent getting anxious when your flowers look different than usual. You can also use a greenhouse to ensure that they’ll grow in an ideal environment and produce beautiful and fragrant tobacco flowers without issues. 

 

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How to Harvest Marigold Flowers and Seeds: Tools And Tips

How to Harvest Marigold Flowers and Seeds: Tools And Tips

Want to know how to harvest marigold flowers and seeds? Marigold flowers are a mainstay in most of the gardens. They bloom beautiful flowers all season long and they’re easy to grow from seed. Knowing how to save marigold seeds is essential if you want to continue growing them the next season.

Fortunately, harvesting marigold seeds are quite quick and easy. You only need to take the seeds from the flowers and let them air dry before storing them during the winter season. You can pack it up with a container or seed packets to save even more for the next growing season. Some of the marigold flowers are edible and best to mix in your salads to add a distinct flavor to it.

 

Tools You’ll Need to Harvest Marigold Flowers

The tools you’ll need to harvest marigold flowers include a basket or other available containers that can be used in harvesting flowers. You’ll also need some paper towels, a sharp knife, a pair of scissors, or gardening shears.

Since you need to evaluate or describe the process, get yourself some notes. Seed packets can be envelopes or closed-air containers excluding plastic containers and bags.

 

How to Harvest Marigold Flowers and Seeds

Here’s how you can harvest marigold plants for flower arrangements and bouquets:

 

Letting Marigold Flowers Dry

It’s important to wait until the right time to collect marigold seeds. You can harvest the seeds when the petals are dry already (when the base of each flower turning brownish). However, make sure there’s still is a bit of green color left in the base of the bloom. If you also wait until it is completely turned brown, it may start to rot or mold. It’s important to wait for the perfect time to harvest marigolds since the timing is crucial to have the right quality of marigold seeds.

Tip in harvesting: While you are harvesting, simply cut each marigold flower heads using your cutting equipment or either pinch it with your finger. However, be sure not to pull the flowers as it can harm the roots of your marigolds.

 

Opening the Marigold

Get your paper towel and set it on a flat surface. After, hold each bloom’s base, pull-off, and discard the petals and leaves of it. Then, you will easily notice the attached seeds inside the base. In the meantime, set the prepared blooms on your paper towels for bulk removal of seeds. You may also use larger towels to manage and accommodate the abundant blooms of your marigolds.

 

Removal of Marigold Seeds

Marigold seeds are likely to have a long, slender, and pointed appearance. Divided ends with black color and white color on the opposite edge. Gather your blooms, pull-off all petals, and leaves, and start pulling the seeds from the base. After getting all marigold seeds, discard the base in a single place like in bins or garbage bags. After sorting, put another paper towel on another flat surface and spread the pulled marigold seeds on it.

 

Drying of Seeds

As mentioned above, let your marigold seeds air dry for about a week in an uncovered paper towel. It will enable them to be preserved even in frost season and will prevent it from getting rot and mold.

 

Seed Storing

After drying the seeds, gather them and start placing them inside your seed packets to prolong their lifespan and will still be used after the frost date. Do not use plastic bags in storing your marigold seeds because it will retain residual moisture, which will affect your marigold seeds and even get rot and mold. To avoid forgetting about your marigold seeds, put a label on it to prevent possible disposal if unlabeled.

 

Using Stored Seeds for Replanting

After storing your collected marigold seeds, it is perfect to plant during the growing season. You can enjoy once again the benefits of it from house beautification to an edible ingredient for your salad.

 

Facts about Marigold Flowers

Marigolds are especially good for repelling insects and pests, making them companion plant for tomatoes, eggplants, tomatoes, and chili pepper because of its pungent scent of some variety. It is amazing having this kind of flow in your plant, imagine you don’t only have a beautiful attractive garden but having also a very natural insect and pest repellent that will protect your plants from any abrogation.

African marigolds have larger flower heads on plants that grow from 10 to 36 inches tall. While French marigolds are smaller and bushier, having only two inches of flower head across on plants and only having six to eighteen inches height. Sizes and colors vary on its classification, having a mixed combination is pretty great, will also add more pleasant and abundant color to your garden.

 

The Benefits of Growing Marigolds in a Greenhouse

Have you ever thought of growing your marigolds in a greenhouse? If you haven’t, it’s time to consider getting a greenhouse.

Greenhouses are great for keeping your marigolds safe from pests and diseases. Marigolds are susceptible to insects and blight, such as caterpillars, aphids, leaf spots, and mildews. You can lower the risk of plant damage by growing your marigolds in a greenhouse.

Additionally, greenhouses can also keep your plants safe from bad weather that could easily damage your flowers.

 

Final Thoughts on How to Harvest Marigold Flowers and Seeds

Knowing how to harvest marigold flowers and seeds is crucial if you’re planning to plant them in your garden. These beautiful flowers that usually come in yellow and orange colors are a great addition to any garden or flower arrangement.

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