Monday 9 October 2023

Revisiting My Tobacco Plant

    Few have hated tobacco as much as I do.  In the 1980’s I made enemies at our Forest Service when I submitted a written complaint to management complaining about the potential health hazards caused by  the cigarette smoke in our office.  That eventually led to a smoking ban.  Anyway, I never dreamed that I would some day grow a tobacco plant, but this summer I did.

    I was at the Dunster Yard Sale when I was surprised to find an acquaintance selling tobacco bedding plants.  I wasn’t, of course, at all interested in growing tobacco, but when she, seeing my resistance, told me they have really beautiful flowers, something I had never even imagined, I was curious, and bought a baby plant.

    I was really amazed at what happened when I planted it in my garden.   Excuse the pun, but it grew like a “weed,” and kept growing and growing some more, something I hadn’t expected and when the plant was over 6 feet ( 1.8m) it started to develop a cluster of flowers, and kept on growing.  Now the plant, decked out with flowers at the top, is 8 feet (2.4m) in height.  

    Thanks to our record breaking warm weather, it has survived a couple of frosts and is still green, although some of its giant leaves are starting to yellow.  It is really nice to have an unusual-looking vertical plant in the garden and so I have saved some of the seeds that developed from the flowers, and plan to grow some more tobacco plants next year.  

    I still don’t like the suffering and death that tobacco has done to people all over the world, and will not give the leaves to smokers, instead they will go on my compost pile with the other weeds.

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