How to Grow Tobacco Indoors from Seeds: Beginner’s Guide 2020

Commercially grown tobacco products are exceedingly expensive. This might be why more people are trying to figure out how to grow tobacco indoors by themselves.

Whether you enjoy tobacco for cigarettes, cigars, pipes, or snuff, you can save yourself a lot of money growing tobacco indoors.

Despite what you may have been told, growing your own tobacco for personal use is completely safe and legal.

Beginner’s Guide to Growing Tobacco at Home

Green Tobacco plant

Lighting and Temperature Conditions

First things first – light! Since you’re growing tobacco indoors, the Sun is out of the equation.

Tobacco requires specific conditions to grow.

It needs dry heat and sufficient sunlight, which is why it’s usually grown in southern states and Middle Eastern countries.

These areas of the world have ideal conditions for outdoor growth, and you’ll need to duplicate them inside.

Your tobacco plants are going to need to be kept between 75 and 80 degrees for proper growth, and they’re going to require a lot of sunlight.

Maintaining temperature control in your dedicated growth area is very important. Anything too hot, and your tobacco plants will begin to wither before they’re done growing. Too cold, and they won’t grow at all.

Tobacco highly relies on its relationship with the sun, and it needs a full spectrum of light in order to grow properly.

When you’re growing tobacco indoors, the sun isn’t going to appear in your grow room.

You need to replicate everything the sun does for your plants. Since you need to keep your temperature at a stable place, it helps to choose an LED light.

LED grow lights duplicate the full spectrum of the sun while running cool.

You can maintain temperature and feed your plants at the same time. Try something like the Ourkens 45W LED light. It hangs, so it’s easy to install directly above your plants.

Starting Your Tobacco Seeds

Tobacco can grow just about anywhere. These plants are strong and resilient, and they’ll flourish in nearly any type of soil. In fact, there’s no wrong way to grow tobacco, as long as the soil drains properly.

The soil you ultimately choose will affect the strength and color of your tobacco leaves, so your choice resides solely in your preference.

  • Light soil produces tobacco that is lighter in color and a little more mild in strength
  • Darker soils produce darker tobacco that’s a bit harsher when smoked.
  1. Set up some smaller pots with drainage holes. Consider preparing them with special gravel to promote good drainage, and stocking up on fertilizer that is specifically for tobacco plants.
  2. General seed starting mix should work well, and you can pick it up from any home and garden store.
  3. Tobacco seeds are very small and fragile, and therefore, sowing them is a unique experience.
  4. You may be tempted to throw a bunch into one pot, but layering them thickly can overcrowd your pot and prevent them from germinating.
  5. Place your seeds far enough apart that they’ll have room to spread out as they begin to sprout. Don’t cover the seeds.
  6. Leave them on the surface because they require light to germinate. They’ll find the bottom of the pot on their own and should germinate in less than two weeks.

Yup, I know that I’m talking a lot back there about soil instead of “SEEDS.”

So to compromise, let me tell you what is the best cigar tobacco seeds to grow.

You heard that right. “Best” cigar tobacco seeds.

I know those who are very fond of smoking will be glad of hearing this since, of course, who would smoke some cheap low-quality cigar if there’s an option of choosing the best one!

Now, here they are:

  • Connecticut Shade Leaf
  • Connecticut Broadleaf
  • Havana
  • Indian Rustica
  • Greenwood Dark Air/Fire
  • Tennessee Dark Air Cured
  • Sm Black Mammoth
  • Florida Sumatra
  • Cuban Criollo
  • Habano 2000
  • Virginia Red

As you can see, I didn’t bothering putting them of their description and whatsoever kind of flowery words.


Well, of course, they are all the best!

Though, the fact that we have a different sense of taste is quite the issue here.

So, long story short, try them all and choose what is the best among them all on your own.

I assure you man, they’re all good!

As for me, I find it Habano 2000 to be the best tobacco to grow for cigarettes!

Well, you have your own taste so I’ll leave the rest to you to pick the best tobacco to grow for cigarettes out there.

Good luck!

Of course, after choosing your best seeds, you must plant them in the best soil possible.

Though as I’ve mentioned earlier, the type of soil greatly affects the taste of the cigar.

Some individuals are fond of light and cool taste, some are in love of those stronger and quite harsh aroma.

With that said, we can conclude that:

  • Lighter soils are the best if you like to smoke with chill and light taste.
  • Darker soils are best for those are very enticed with a strong flavor.

But remember this; soil color is one just big factor in determining the taste of your cigar.

Make sure not to forget fertilizer or nutrients since they will complete the fragments missing on the taste of your cigar.

They will serve as an additional main ingredient for the flavor development of your plant.

Now, let’s plant those lovely seeds!

Planting Tobacco Seeds

Tobacco seeds

Tobacco is started indoor, or in a greenhouse from seed. The seeds are tiny, like specks of black glitter. The tiny seeds are germinated and at about three weeks the seedlings are transplanted to pots.

When you transfer the seedlings to pots, be sure to use a plant starter fertilizer or fish fertilizer when you water them the first time.

Only fertilize for the first watering unless the plan starts to look yellow.

They are kept indoors or greenhouse so their root system can develop and get strong.

Once the seedlings are strong enough, usually another 3 to 4 weeks, they are hardened off or left outside in the elements for a week or two, then planted in the ground or containers.

Germinating Tobacco Seeds

The tiny tobacco seed is easy to overplant because of its size. Be sure to disburse seeds well. They should not be clumped together. Because they need temperatures of 70 to 80 degrees to germinate, it is best to grow them in a greenhouse or indoors.

Sprinkle the seed on the surface of the potting material, and then carefully give them a little water. Do not bury the seed, as they need light to germinate.

The seed will germinate anywhere from 7 days to nearly two weeks depending on variety, so be patient.

Continue to water lightly, be sure not to over-saturate the soil, but also never let it dry out.

Use a light touch when watering, these tiny seedlings can be flushed away with vigorous watering. If you have a system that enables you to water from the bottom, all the better.

Tobacco seedlings need good light, but not direct sunlight. Be sure they are in a bright area, just out of direct sunlight.

Watering Your Tobacco

Watering tobacco is the trickiest aspect of growing it.

If your plants receive too much water, the leaves will become brittle and break apart like dry tissue paper before you have a chance to harvest them.

On the other hand, tobacco requires quite a large amount of water to grow.

This puts you in a predicament: how do you know whether you’re watering just enough, or too much?

  • The soil needs to stay constantly moist, but not drenched.
  • The soil should feel like perfectly moist chocolate cake at all times and never feel like gritty sludge.

The best way to make sure you’re watering enough is to place your plant pot on a water tray. The plant will suck up the water it needs through the drainage holes, and you won’t be saturating the seedlings.

Since the seeds are so small, saturating can cause them to move and uproot themselves. If this happens, they’ll never grow. When possible, always water from the bottom.

Transferring Your Tobacco Plants

Plantation of tobacco plants

If you’ve cared for them properly, your plants should be ready to transfer somewhere between three weeks and one month.

If you’re unsure, try to pick up the seedlings between your index finger and thumb. If you can easily lift them, they’re ready to be transplanted into a larger growing area.

Try building a deep indoor box. The plants will need room for their root systems, and you don’t want them to crowd each other.

The size of the indoor box you’ll need will largely depend on the number of plants you’re growing, so there’s no standard size.

While it’s easy to transplant your seedlings by removing them by the roots and putting them directly into their new place, you’re running the risk of shocking the roots.

While tobacco plants are better at recovering than other plants, the recovery process can set back your growth. If you’re not concerned, you can directly transplant them with bare roots.

The safest method would be to place them into their new grow plot surrounded by their old soil. Simply dig out some space and gently scoop them out of the pot and place them into their new designated spots, and fertilize your new plot.

Preparing For Harvest

Properly caring for the soil and providing the tobacco plants with quality light is all you’ll need to do while you’re waiting for the harvest.

Treat them the same way you treated them when they were still forming until they’ve grown much taller. The only thing you’ll need to stop is your fertilizer routine, and you can do this as soon as the plants begin to flower.

When you see that flower, remove it. This process, called unstopping, will allow the leaves to grow larger.

Now, when do you harvest tobacco?

About a month after you’ve topped the plant, your plants will be ready to harvest. All you have to do is cure the leaves and enjoy your final product.

What to Do After Harvesting

Obviously it’s to smoke it!

Ah, no…. you must cure it first! But don’t worry, curing isn’t a difficult task to accomplish.

What you just want to do is hang them up and let them dry and dry again, to reach its limit for a stronger flavor.

Being able for the right time to inhale its smoke would be bliss.

So, just hanging them and letting them dry – that’s curing?

Yup, that’s curing, but here are some popular methods of “curing:”

  • Air-cured
  • Fire-cured
  • Flue-cured
  • Sun-cured

Air-curing is the process of sheltering your tobacco from wind and sun in a well-ventilated space. In this method, your tobacco becomes low in sugar, thereby giving your smoking experience a light, sweet taste.

On the other hand

In fire-curing, you smoke from a low-burning fire on the barn floor that would permeate the leaves. Using this method will make your plant low in sugar and will leave a distinctive smokey aroma and taste.

The third method is done by keeping tobacco in an “enclosed area” but it is not really directly exposed to smoke. On this approach, you will produce a high in sugar products. This is the fastest method of curing if you must know!

And lastly, obviously, as the name itself tells, you leave it under the sun. It is the most traditional way of curing tobacco.

Now, here’s the question that is very particular for those newbies that really want to produce their own cigar but doesn’t have any necessary equipment.

How do we dry Tobacco leaves at home?

The answer is very simple; you just hang them and let them dry.

But be sure to consider these factors:

  • Your area where you hang your leaves must be dry and cool.
  • Putting up some ventilation is a very good option.
  • And lastly, make sure your leaves are already dry before hanging them (by cleaning them beforehand using a clean absorbent), otherwise, molds might occur.

And think of it, who would smoke molds?

Now that you know that, what you need to do now is to wait patiently and use your free time on taking care of your other plants.

  • For air-cured leaves, wait for up 6 to 8 weeks and they’re hella of a taste!
  • Fire-cured leaves can be processed within just 4 weeks.
  • As flue-cured is the fastest, it would only take a whole week of curing.
  • Sun-cured can be processed from 4-8 weeks depending on the sun.

For the last words, here’s a good trivia:

The longer you aged your cured tobacco leaves, the better they would taste and would significantly reduce the taste of bitterness.

Before this special article ends, I want to share with you a very efficient method of growing tobacco.

What I meant by efficient is the ability of “this” particular method to produce stupendous and incredibly high-quality yields.

Are you eager to know what that method is?

It’s Hydroponic!

The hydroponic method uses a hydroponic system on which a plant effectively absorbs all of its vital nutrients without the use of soil instead of an already mix calibrated solution is used for the plants.


Man smoking a cigar

How to Grow Tobacco Hydroponically?

There are no complex steps you need.

Here’s what you need:

  • A tobacco seedling.
  • A medium so that a plant can stand firmly since we’re not using soil this time.
  • A hydroponic system that is available pretty everywhere. You could browse online for a lot of cheap choices, especially for those beginners.

Are you surprised that there are only three things you need?

Yup, that pretty much is actually more than enough to sustain your plant on the whole process.

Some essential things that you mustn’t neglect are of course your patience. You must also consistently monitor your plant and determine whether it is in need of a hydroponic nutrient solution.

And that’s how to grow tobacco hydroponically.

How Long Does It Take to Grow Tobacco?

Tobacco, whether it is grown for cigarettes, cigars, chew, snuff or pipe tobacco, generally take anywhere from 60 to 90 days until it is ready to be harvested even when you are growing tobacco indoors.

Variables that can alter growing time include seed variety and planting time in relation to the last frost.

How to Grow Cigarette Tobacco?

Different varieties of tobacco are better suited to some tobacco products than others. According to Wikipedia The best varieties for cigarettes are Burley, Habana 2000, Bright Virginia and Oriental tobacco.

Cigarettes use milder tobacco than cigars. The tobacco has a finer texture and often yellow or bright leaf tobacco is used.

Bright leaf tobacco is special because it is intentionally grown in poor sandy soil to produce a more fragile thin plant, and is then heat cured.

How to Grow Cigar Tobacco?

Growing Cigar tobacco vs. growing cigarette tobacco you will find the growing process is similar for each. The main difference being that some cigarette tobaccos do well in poor sandy soil, and some cigar tobaccos use a tent while growing.

It is the processing after the harvesting and the tobacco variety that makes the biggest difference.

Tobacco used in some cigars is often a variety of shade tobacco. It is called shade tobacco because it is grown under a tent, to mimic being under a tree canopy in the tropics.

Your seed company should be able to specify which varieties are best for cigars.

Tobacco for cigars often undergoes a process called Cavendish where the leaves are stacked, steamed and allowed to ferment, bringing out the tobaccos natural rich sweet flavor.

Cigars can use several types of tobacco in each cigar. Each cigar is composed of:

  • Filler – which may be a blend of tobaccos
  • Binder – This is an optional component but this tobacco holds the filler together in a casing
  • Wrapper – This leaf holds the entire cigar together and works as a cover or wrap. Although this leaf does not impart much flavor, it is the first part of the cigar the connoisseur sees and it represents the quality and craftsmanship.

How Many Cigarettes From One Tobacco Plant?

The yield of a tobacco plant depends on the variety and growing conditions. The yield can be anywhere from 2 OZ for a plant in suboptimal conditions to 5 Oz for a plant grown in optimal conditions.

In terms of cigarettes, a good rule of thumb of 4 plants per carton of cigarettes, or 50 cigarettes per plant.

This is an underestimation and your actual yield is likely to be higher if care is taken growing the plant.

Keep in mind that growers normally age tobacco, so grow twice as much as you think you will need the first go around, so you will always have some tobacco aging.

How to Harvest Tobacco Seeds?

Harvesting tobacco leaves is not that hard of a task, in fact, it is quite enjoyable because you might find it funny that tobaccos’ seeds are super cute. They’re tiny, somehow close to dust.

Without beating around the bush, here are the steps:

  • Delicately snip off the dry pods and leave the rest of the plant alone.
  • Pinch the tip of the pod to get all of those tiny seeds.
  • Try using a screen when you are pouring the seeds, to ensure no chaffs will be included.

And that’s how to harvest tobacco seeds.

You either sprinkle them so that they will sprout again. Or share it with your friends so that they could enjoy the bliss of growing tobacco.

Growing tobacco indoors is a lot of work, but plants that have been properly cared for produce an enviably fine crop.

Top 8 Best LED Lights for Growing Tobacco Indoors

Advanced Platinum Series P300 300w LED Grow Light

I put this LED grow light on my number one list since my plants look 100 times better after implementing them into my indoor garden.

I’ve also noticed its fans because it doesn’t produce that much noise comparing to my previous LED grow lights. I must say that this is one if not the most silent LED grow light that I had.

Overall, this is really worth the money. I swear!


  • Very bright light
  • Incredibly efficient
  • Cost-effective
  • Quiet fan
  • Well-built design
  • High-Quality LED Lamps


  • Tends to burn your plants if not monitored properly
  • Coverage area is quite small


For those who are looking for a compact, high-quality 300W grow light this product is the right LED grow light for you. Even indoor grower beginners could easily utilize this grow light.

Roleadro Galaxyhydro Series

This LED grow light has a very super bright light and in addition to that its design is very well-constructed. Overall, this is a very handy and convenient LED grow light!


  • Heat efficient that doesn’t burn plants
  • Super bright illumination
  • Robust design
  • Very good for vegetation process
  • Inexpensive


  • Power output is minimal
  • Some bulbs tend to bust


This LED grow light is one of the top-selling LED grow light since it is simply has a good quality illumination at a very affordable price.

VIPARSPECTRA Reflector-Series 300W LED Grow Light

This grow light surprised me with its amazing performance aside from its very affordable price after implementing into my indoor garden.

I also like its effectiveness since it is very efficient since I saw that my plants grow really well without any wastage.

I would really love to recommend it to those newbies starting their indoor growing!


  • Price for its quality is great
  • Very effective for flower and vegging stage
  • Gives efficient heat output
  • Doesn’t produce any loud noise
  • Included sturdy wire on the product


  • LED bulbs tend to burn after some months
  • Dimming occurs after a few months


This product provides a magnificent full spectrum for all development stages of the plant and keeps a balance of the PAR and Lumen output at maximum levels.

For those energy conservatives, this is the best grow light for you!

MarsHydro 300W LED Grow Light Full Spectrum

After using this LED grow light, apparently my plants did extremely well. I noticed a significant growth in just a couple of weeks without any sacrifices.

Its design is very rigid and looks so powerful. And its coverage is very good, simply proving its full-spectrum feature.

This one just wowed me! Though it is quite the expensive one, I can assure you it’s worth the price!


  • Lights are very bright
  • Well-built design
  • Amazing Full-spectrum feature
  • Worth the Price
  • Adequate for growing weed and hydroponic garden


  • Light must be hung really tight
  • Dimming tends to occur


It provides ETL-certified full spectrum feature for all stages of plant development. It is worth the price and very easy to utilize.

Advanced Platinum Series

This product far exceeds the output and efficiency of any other kind of LED grow light. It produces lights with little to no presence of hit that is quite good for preventing plant burns.

Overall, I’m super impressed with the yield of my crops, and quality!


  • Energy efficient
  • Super bright illumination
  • Very good design
  • Doesn’t produce so much noise and heat


  • Quite expensive
  • Bulbs tends to lower its power output
  • Fans tend to squeal


This LED grow light might cost you a little more, but certainly, the quality of its design is phenomenal and the superior output makes this as my top pick in a 600W category.

MARS HYDRO Reflector LED Grow Light

I used it for my 2x4x5 grow room and it exactly sufficed my expectations. It didn’t get hot or whatsoever. I’m just so satisfied with its lighting output. My plants were so happy.

The fan doesn’t come on with just the bloom switched on. And what really took my awe is when I saw my electric bill has drastically decreased.

Overall, this product is probably one of my favorites. It is so efficient and budget-friendly.


  • Energy efficient
  • Full-Spectrum
  • High-Quality
  • Affordable
  • Well-built design
  • Cost-effective


  • Not sure of canopy penetration
  • Weighs too much for light mover
  • Dimming function is a little off


MarsHydro’s Reflector 720W features a compact and solid design with large coverage. This product is very popular with marijuana growers!

King Plus 1000W LED Grow Light

My plants really love this products spectrum. It has better penetration and heat efficient.

If you are a cannabis grower, I assure you that this product’s price is worth the buy and even though it is 1000W, they are very cheap to power! I also really like its super sturdy looking design.

Overall, it fits its name as King! Phenomenal if I must say.


  • Heat exchange is great
  • Dual-purpose light spectrum
  • Very high-quality light
  • High-quality design
  • Super-Efficient


  • Medium Coverage Area
  • Some reviews include bulbs not functioning


King Plus 1000w Grow light varies itself with 10W double chips for a bright and effective balance of PAR/lumen output and coverage that means more energy savings. It supports all stages of growth for indoor plants.

Ourkens LED Red/Blue Hanging Light

I would definitely suggest this one for those who are starting indoor growing since aside from its inexpensive price, it is very to utilize.

Its light fixture always stays cool and doesn’t really get hot. Also, its hanger is very convenient for those who have very limited space. I also like its sturdy design.

A must-have product for every type of grower!


  • Budget-friendly
  • Very Convenient
  • Heat efficient
  • Well-build design
  • Has wire hanger included


  • Upon shipping, it has no included power cord
  • Light is not powerful enough


If you are just starting out your indoor garden, then I would strongly suggest this one especially if you are very concerned about your budget. A good starter!


Now that you are now quite knowledgeable about growing tobacco indoors, don’t be afraid to seek additional information especially if you are thinking of gaining some profits.

You can leave a comment or whatever questions if you have concerns regarding growing tobacco indoors and we’ll surely give you a helping hand.

Let’s have fun!