User Reviewed

How to Grow and Process Tobacco

You're finally rolling your own cigarettes and realizing massive savings that you feel all year long, but you want to save even more. Well, why not grow your own tobacco too? This is a fun plant to grow and doing so will save you money.


  1. Image titled Grow and Process Tobacco Step 1
    Locate a nursery or person who grows tobacco plants from seed. You could grow them from seed yourself, but in all honesty, the tobacco seeds are almost microscopic and they are difficult to germinate successfully. Get some starter plants off eBay or something.
  2. Image titled Grow and Process Tobacco Step 2
    Put your starter plants in cups with some good potting soil and leave them in the sun for a week or two, watering them daily/as needed until they have accepted their new environment.
  3. Image titled Grow and Process Tobacco Step 3
    Till your garden.
  4. Image titled Grow and Process Tobacco Step 4
    Plant the tobacco plants in rows where the rows are three feet apart. Place the plants in each row no less than two feet apart.
  5. Image titled Grow and Process Tobacco Step 5
    Water and maybe use some Miracle Grow and keep an eye on them as they take hold and grow. You may need to fertilize, but keep the chemicals to a minimum.
  6. Image titled Grow and Process Tobacco Step 6
    When the flower develops on the top of the plant, you need to cut it off. The flower is where seeds are produced and leaving the flower on the plant will stunt it's growth. You must remove the flower.
    • After about four months of growing, your plants should be mature.
  7. Image titled Grow and Process Tobacco Step 7
    Cut them down. You can stake them upside down in a traditional fashion and leave them to dry like that in the sun for a few days, but I did not. I washed mine and hung them upside down in my garage where it was about 80 degrees. I left them hanging for about two months until they turned golden brown.
  8. Image titled Grow and Process Tobacco Step 8
    Be as selective as you like as to which leaves to pull from the plants. The top leaves are supposedly the sweetest with the lower leaves being harsher. I discard the lowest row of leaves, but I believe this to be personal preference.
  9. Image titled Grow and Process Tobacco Step 9
    Once you've picked all of the dried leaves you wish to harvest, simply run them through a food processor. The leaves will be flaked once processed. The tobacco may or may not smell like the tobacco you are accustomed to buying from the store, but it is still tobacco and it smokes great.
  10. Image titled Grow and Process Tobacco Step 10
    You can store your tobacco in leftover three pound coffee containers. You can expect to get about one half of a coffee container per plant.


  • On a weekly basis you should shake-up the containers you're storing your tobacco in so as to keep it fresher.
  • You grow tobacco plants the same way you would grow tomato plants. There is no difference in my opinion.
  • It might be best to mix a 50/50 ration of homegrown tobacco with something like "Dark Horse" or "Gambler" store bought tobacco. The homegrown can be somewhat unusual in flavor, but when combined with some store bought tobaccos, it makes a blend that will delight the senses.
  • If you can't wait to try some of your tobacco you can lay some out in sun for a day or two and roll it up. In fact, you can sun-dry it all if you like. The Chinese process their tobacco in this manner.
  • If you want to let one plant go to seed you can allow one flower to fully develop, as pictured.
  • The lower leaves contain more nicotine and also highly prized, stop throwing them out.


  • It is a basic human right to produce your own necessities. It is perfectly legal to grow tobacco for personal use.
  • As the tobacco plants grow taller, you might need to place a tomato stake next to each plant and tie it off. They are quite heavy as they mature. Wind and heavy rains will probably knock them down, but they are resilient and come right back once you prop them up.

Article Info

Categories: Growing Herbs and Spices | Human Rights