The Q&A Archives: Planting Nicotiana

Question: Every summer we grow several tomato plants in containers on our deck. In addition, we grow lots of annuals in window boxes that line the perimeter of the deck. I have always wanted to grow Nicotiana, but heard that they should not be grown near tomatoes that do not have resistance to TMV. Is this true, or an old wive's tale? Can Nicotiana be grown in close proximity to tomatoes? Thanks-I love your web site. MaryAnne Spinner Chicago, IL

Answer: Flowering tobacco or Nicotiana and tomatoes are in the same family. Therefore, if your nicotiana has tobacco or tomato mosaic virus, it can spread easily to tomatoes. The key is growing Nicotiana that is virus-free by purchasing virus-free seed. So, ifyou purchase seed from a reputable seed house, you can grow tomatoe and Nicotiana side by side. I have for years in my garden with out any problems. However, if you notice any signs of virus (severe stunting, curling and yellowing of leaves), then know that it can spread to other plants in that same family.

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