Whole Leaf Tobacco

Habano 2000 flower color?: plantdude

plantdude

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Hello, I'm fascinated by plants and genetics. My recent obsession has been growing different tobacco varieties. As usual it started off small but by early spring the bathroom and kitchen was pushing 1,000,000 lumens from the grow lights and the wife was complaining about being blinded when she entered a room (I quickly learned "wear some sunglasses", was not the correct response). I grew about 7 different varieties this winter in pots and moved them outside as the weather allowed (much to the relief of my wife). I kept a few members of each variety growing in isolation indoors and outdoors to serve as a future seed source. Most of the varieties appeared to breed pretty true. However one variety, Habano 2000, seemed to be an outcross or a seed mix. Some of the Habano 2000 appear true to form with a wider more delicate leaf and lighter pinkish flowers. Others appear to have narrower leaves, dark red flowers, and be more prone to suckering. Can anyone here tell me if the atached pics of the "Habano 2000" (particularly flower color), match what they would expect the variety to have?IMG-7633.JPGIMG-7634.JPGIMG-7635.JPG
 

GreenDragon

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A few questions for clarity:
1) Why are you growing your plants in the shade?
2) Are these plants grown from seed from a commercial source, or are these of a subsequent generation that you grew the previous year(s)?
3) Where did you get your seeds from? I can highly recommend Northwoodseeds as a reputable supplier.

Also, leaf morphology (size, shape, color) can vary widely depending on the microclimate each plant is grown in.
 

deluxestogie

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Welcome to the forum. Your effort has, I'm sure, provided a lot of satisfaction and learning.

The artificial environments (indoor lighting, potted), and allowing suckers to grow, all conspire to make it difficult to predict the appearance of the plant. Blossom color is usually consistent only with regard to being some hue of pink, and is influenced from one season to the next by the unique conditions. The intensity of pink, and its extent on the corolla also changes with time after blossom opening. So, for the color, just be content with "it's pink".

I would suggest not saving seed from this year's grow. "Separation" of different varieties of Nicotiana tabacum needs to be at least ½ mile, if you have not bagged the blossom heads for isolation. Tobacco seed is inexpensive and readily available, whereas growing tobacco is a lot of work, and deserves ending up with the variety you expect. It's certainly okay to leave tobacco blossoms un-bagged, in order to enjoy their beauty, and give hummingbirds their nicotine hit. But just don't collect seed from those.

Planted in the ground, tobacco needs full sun for most of the day, though shade-grown varieties are specifically developed for growing under a 40% shade cloth canopy. My own comparison of potted vs. in-ground planted tobacco suggests that you typically get a potted plant that is about 2/3 the height of in-ground plants, and with leaves about 2/3 the size of those on the in-ground plants.


My 2017 bed of Havana 322, with a single potted specimen in the near left corner.

Enjoy the journey. Do read the Beginning Growers' FAQ, and scan through the Index of Key Forum Threads, both linked in the menu bar.

Bob
 

plantdude

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A few questions for clarity:
1) Why are you growing your plants in the shade?
2) Are these plants grown from seed from a commercial source, or are these of a subsequent generation that you grew the previous year(s)?
3) Where did you get your seeds from? I can highly recommend Northwoodseeds as a reputable supplier.

Also, leaf morphology (size, shape, color) can vary widely depending on the microclimate each plant is grown in.
You're statement about variations in microclimate is likely the culprit. That was my thought as well until I saw the darker flower color on a few and it made me wonder. Even though they are the same variety I'm kind of comparing apples and oranges with their traits since I have different aged plants with some being grown indoors longer than others. I've also been torturing these plants and removing the flowers buds so I have only one variety flowering in the house and one variety flowering in the backyard at any given time. I'm sure that's been a factor in overall growth. The seed source was an Arizona seed company (I'm hesitant to say the name since I don't want to falsely accuse someone of a seed mix).
I'm growing some of the plants in shade hoping for cigar wrapper quality. The flea beetles, aphids, and two hail storms are making that more of pipe dream though;) I've got Connecticut broadleaf, Habano 2000 and a Florida Sumatra variety in the shade. Most of them get about 3-4 hours of direct sun in the morning and late afternoon. Some are obviously getting too much shade though. This year has been more of a learning experience for what not to do:)
 

plantdude

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Welcome to the forum. Your effort has, I'm sure, provided a lot of satisfaction and learning.

The artificial environments (indoor lighting, potted), and allowing suckers to grow, all conspire to make it difficult to predict the appearance of the plant. Blossom color is usually consistent only with regard to being some hue of pink, and is influenced from one season to the next by the unique conditions. The intensity of pink, and its extent on the corolla also changes with time after blossom opening. So, for the color, just be content with "it's pink".

I would suggest not saving seed from this year's grow. "Separation" of different varieties of Nicotiana tabacum needs to be at least ½ mile, if you have not bagged the blossom heads for isolation. Tobacco seed is inexpensive and readily available, whereas growing tobacco is a lot of work, and deserves ending up with the variety you expect. It's certainly okay to leave tobacco blossoms un-bagged, in order to enjoy their beauty, and give hummingbirds their nicotine hit. But just don't collect seed from those.

Planted in the ground, tobacco needs full sun for most of the day, though shade-grown varieties are specifically developed for growing under a 40% shade cloth canopy. My own comparison of potted vs. in-ground planted tobacco suggests that you typically get a potted plant that is about 2/3 the height of in-ground plants, and with leaves about 2/3 the size of those on the in-ground plants.


My 2017 bed of Havana 322, with a single potted specimen in the near left corner.

Enjoy the journey. Do read the Beginning Growers' FAQ, and scan through the Index of Key Forum Threads, both linked in the menu bar.

Bob
Thanks Bob. Those are some nice looking plants you have grown. I respect the redneck pot and have a few of my own made from kitty litter containers;) It's definitely been a learning experience. My goal was to grow a few varieties to see what I like and to get a little extra seed on hand from a few of the plants so I don't have to mess with that next year. I don't trust bags to stay on in some of the storms we get through here without damaging the plants so I've been limiting it to one variety flowering in the house (windows closed) and one variety flowering outside at a time. We are not in a tobacco growing region so there should hopefully be no cross pollination going on outside.
I've planted a few plants in the soil mostly because I ran out of pots and like I figured they didn't care for our heavy clay soil. In our area we generally have to heavily amend the soil or put in raised beds to grow much. Things got weird this spring and I was negligent about prepping the soil properly. What I did get in the ground has been subjected to roving bands of escaped chickens scratching them up and a 120 pound bull headed mastiff that loves busting through plants at high speeds. I've since put a fence up and have grandiose plans of trying a no till method next spring involving a few feet of leaves broken down by chickens over the winter with a heavy dose of compost mixed in. Despite the set backs I have had more fun growing the plants than I have had with any other hobby in quite awhile and I appreciate learning from the collective wisdom provided on this site by people that actually know what they are doing:)
 

Knucklehead

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Tobacco is pollinated by pollen gathering insects and not so much by wind the way that corn is. I use these 5 gal. paint strainers to cover the bud heads that I plan to save seed for. I place the bag on before that plant flowers using a cable tie. It keeps out the pollen carrying insects. Commercial growers nearby are easily recognized. You cannot, however, assume that you are the only person in your area that has tobacco in their garden for a hobby. I live in rural Alabama and would have sworn I had the only tobacco plants in the area until I was talking with my cousin and he told me was growing it also about a 1/4 mile away. I never would have guessed. Strainers or bud bags are cheap insurance to insure pure strains, and if you hope to swap seed with a knowledgeable individual that also wants to trade seed with you, it’s not going to happen without proof that the strain is pure and that means a bud bag and only a bud bag.

Paint Strainer
this is an Amazon link.

edit: having one variety inside the house and one outside doesn’t guarantee that an insect hasn’t visited both and crossed both strains. I would not save those seed or try to trade with someone. Its too risky to trust that method.
 
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plantdude

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Tobacco is pollinated by pollen gathering insects and not so much by wind the way that corn is. I use these 5 gal. paint strainers to cover the bud heads that I plan to save seed for. I place the bag on before that plant flowers using a cable tie. It keeps out the pollen carrying insects. Commercial growers nearby are easily recognized. You cannot, however, assume that you are the only person in your area that has tobacco in their garden for a hobby. I live in rural Alabama and would have sworn I had the only tobacco plants in the area until I was talking with my cousin and he told me was growing it also about a 1/4 mile away. I never would have guessed. Strainers or bud bags are cheap insurance to insure pure strains, and if you hope to swap seed with a knowledgeable individual that also wants to trade seed with you, it’s not going to happen without proof that the strain is pure and that means a bud bag and only a bud bag.

Paint Strainer
this is an Amazon link.

edit: having one variety inside the house and one outside doesn’t guarantee that an insect hasn’t visited both and crossed both strains. I would not save those seed or try to trade with someone. Its too risky to trust that method.
Hey now, are you saying I have bugs in my house;) The sad part is it's true. As tight as we try to keep the house closed up I end up killing a few flies and about 20+ mosquitoes every evening. The mosquitoes are miserable here... I could see an accidental pollination occurring. Good to know the plants are mainly insect pollinated, I had been trying to play it safe and assumed they were wind pollinated as well.
You and deluxestogie have me convinced. l'll take your advice, start over and bag them this time. I had restarted seed of six of my seven varieties this spring and they are not flowering yet so it should be easy enough to play it safe. This year is more of a trial run for me than anything and I have enjoyed playing with the plants.
I hate to admit it, but I just started seed for 3 new varieties yesterday. It was kind of one of those impulse buys when I realized I didn't have any turkish or mideast strains represented, you probably know how it goes... The wife may be putting up with some 6 foot plants and grow lights in the living room come October:)
 

Knucklehead

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Hey now, are you saying I have bugs in my house;) The sad part is it's true. As tight as we try to keep the house closed up I end up killing a few flies and about 20+ mosquitoes every evening. The mosquitoes are miserable here... I could see an accidental pollination occurring. Good to know the plants are mainly insect pollinated, I had been trying to play it safe and assumed they were wind pollinated as well.
You and deluxestogie have me convinced. l'll take your advice, start over and bag them this time. I had restarted seed of six of my seven varieties this spring and they are not flowering yet so it should be easy enough to play it safe. This year is more of a trial run for me than anything and I have enjoyed playing with the plants.
I hate to admit it, but I just started seed for 3 new varieties yesterday. It was kind of one of those impulse buys when I realized I didn't have any turkish or mideast strains represented, you probably know how it goes... The wife may be putting up with some 6 foot plants and grow lights in the living room come October:)
What varieties are you growing? Once you post some photos of your bagged seed heads in your Grow Blog, you can ask for some seed trades in this thread and swap seed back and forth. I’ve traded seed on every continent except Antarctica.
https://fairtradetobacco.com/forums/swap-and-trade-your-pure-strain-tobacco-seed.92/
 

ChinaVoodoo

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I would think that flowers can easily self pollinate by minimal vibration, let's say from wind or whatnot, but interplant pollination would come from insects 'n hummingbirds'. No?
 

plantdude

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I would think that flowers can easily self pollinate by minimal vibration, let's say from wind or whatnot, but interplant pollination would come from insects 'n hummingbirds'. No?
What you said is also the impression I'm getting doing a quick literature search. I see a few articles suggesting wind pollination does not occur in some of the Nicotiana relatives (N. africana and N. attenuata), but I'm not seeing anything that definitively rules out wind pollination in N. tabacum.

I work with rice. For many years the conventional wisdom was that rice self pollinates almost exclusively even though it is technically a wind pollinated species. That view has changed over the years. Studies are now showing rice outcrosses about 5% of the time in the field and greenhouse. I've seen some promiscuous rice varieties that may have have much higher outcrossing rates than that. Five percent may not seem high, but it sure can throw a monkey wrench into a breeding program in a hurry. I spend way too much time and money fixing outcross errors at work, hence my original question regarding the purity of my Habano 2000 line - a hobby shouldn't be like work:)

I'm saying all that because the point I'm trying to get to is that the pollen grain size in rice ranges from 26-50 um, which is also the same pollen grain size of N. tabacum. Even if tobacco is predominately wind pollinated I wouldn't be shocked if there is the potential for wind pollination in plants growing in close proximity.

In rice we typically use glassine bags (basically waxpaper bags) to prevent outcrossing since we know they are wind pollinated. No pollen will be making it through unless there is a hole in the bag. I'm wondering if that may be a safer bet than using the paint strainer bags that have a larger pore size if tobacco plants of different varieties are going to be grown together in an average sized backyard. I suppose either option still beats trying to cover the flowers with a face mask though;)[/QUOTE]
 
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deluxestogie

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Industry standard for tobacco blossom bagging is a spun polyester fabric, such as Agribon AG-15. ARS-GRIN's tobacco germplasm bank at NCSU (managed by their graduate department of plant genetics) uses a similar blossom bagging material in propagating pure seed for its nearly 3000 tobacco variety accession. If the bag does not allow air to flow through the fabric, the blossoms will fail, and little or no seed will be produced.

A number of studies have estimated that Nicotiana tabacum blossoms are about 90% self-pollinated prior to the blossom even opening.

Bob
 

plantdude

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Industry standard for tobacco blossom bagging is a spun polyester fabric, such as Agribon AG-15. ARS-GRIN's tobacco germplasm bank at NCSU (managed by their graduate department of plant genetics) uses a similar blossom bagging material in propagating pure seed for its nearly 3000 tobacco variety accession. If the bag does not allow air to flow through the fabric, the blossoms will fail, and little or no seed will be produced.

A number of studies have estimated that Nicotiana tabacum blossoms are about 90% self-pollinated prior to the blossom even opening.

Bob
Wow, that's a pretty good self pollination rate prior to opening. Breeders must have to open the flower fairly early on to remove the anthers for making crosses.

Good to know about the fabric bags, that makes me feel better. I know the glassine bags are a pain to work with in field conditions and can decrease seed set, which was part of the reason I was hesitant to go the bag route to begin with. It's so humid here things tend to mold and rot in a hurry once they get wet, the cloth bags should have better air flow and dry quicker. I wasn't trying to dispute knuckleheads paint strainer suggestion, I'm sure he knows better than me what works with tobacco, I was just thinking about pore size relative to pollen size. I get in the same debate with myself about <5 um viral particle size and face masks with much larger pore sizes. are they 100% effective? No way but they must help a little and certainly work better than an imperable plastic face mask for the user:)

I would imagine once a person becomes somewhat familiar with specific lines grown under normal conditions spotting an outcross becomes easier. I'm getting there but still have a ways to go. For now I'll give the bags a try and grow out a few of this years seeds next spring to see how they look compared to the original seed source and try to get a feel for how the different varieties should look.

My compliments to ARS-GRIN by the way. I've not dealt with their tobacco people, but I have had some help with their soybean people for educational material and supplies and I have a few acquatainces that work with their rice program. They do some good work there.
 

plantdude

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What varieties are you growing? Once you post some photos of your bagged seed heads in your Grow Blog, you can ask for some seed trades in this thread and swap seed back and forth. I’ve traded seed on every continent except Antarctica.
https://fairtradetobacco.com/forums/swap-and-trade-your-pure-strain-tobacco-seed.92/
deluxestogie mentioned they use agribon AG-15 for the bag material. I've got some of that on hand and will hopefully get some of the unopened flower heads bagged latter today. My plan is to just let the suckers grow and develop new flowers on some of the plants that have already produced seed and toss the old potentially outcrossed seed. This should save some time and let me focus more on the leaf rather than seeds for the plants I started latter in the spring. It looks like the bugs don't bother the leaves on the suckers and new growth as much anyways. I'm not sure how good those leaves are going to be, I've got a few batches of sucker leaves curing already and they are not giving me a warm fuzzy feeling - maybe pipe or chewing tobacco worthy?
I've got some Habano 2000, Madole, and Staghorn that currently have some unopened flower heads that are almost ready to start blooming so seeds from those will hopefully only be a few weeks off. If all goes well I should have some perique, Conneticut broadleaf and sumatra (florida grown sumatra strain) a little latter this summer. I just planted some Turkish Basma, Shirazi, and Henry Pryor so that probably wont be ready until fall (I'm going to have to get creative for sun drying in winter...). I'll post this over on the trading pages once I actually have seed in hand.

Just to throw this out there - I notcied this winter that my tobacco plants grew ok indoors with light from a window and some small 25 watt plant grow LED lights or with limited window light and a 75 watt LED plant grow light (go high in the red spectrum, not blue or they get leggy). The lines I let set seed indoors (unbagged so now getting tossed) seemed to have decent seed set for being small plants. That may be an option for doing a small seed increase over winter for a few select lines. I love the new LED lights. They are so much cheaper, energy efficient, quieter and cooler than the old metal/sodium halides. As an added bonus It's also fun knowing the neighbors can see the weird purple light coming out of the window at night and wonder what it is your growing in there:)
 

plantdude

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One healthy tobacco plant will produce about ¼ million seeds, with upwards of 10,000 seeds per pod. So the seed from one plant will allow you to plant in the range of 30 acres of tobacco.

Bob
Wow! And people say Arabidopsis is a weed;) I grew a madole in a 4 inch pot in the window this winter. It got a whopping 20 inches tall. It made 7 seed pods about half the size of what my outdoor plants made so figure maybe only roughly 5000 seed per pod . That would only be four acres:)
 
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