11+ Essential Tips: How to Grow Cotton Plant Like Pro!

Cotton is one of the world’s leading crops that is economically produced and high in demand.

Cotton made clothes are popular among all classes of people for their soft and comfortable textiles. How To Grow Cotton Plant would be the real deal for many beginners.

How to grow cotton plant
How To Grow Cotton Plant- Complete Guide For Beginners

Wearing cotton-made apparel was a symbol of aristocracy in the fifth millennium BC. The demand for cotton for garments, home furnishing, and industrial uses is growing faster nowadays.

On the other hand, the production of cotton is dramatically decreasing day by day. However, Cotton is grown in a warm climate, and most of the cotton-grown countries are the USA, India, China, Pakistan, Brazil, and Turkey

In this article, we will provide A to Z information step by step about the cotton plant care guide. Please read the full article. Let us get started!

is it illegal to grow cotton In USA?

Cotton growing is legal in the US, but some states have restrictions. These restrictions are primarily for pest management, particularly boll weevil control in cotton.

Key Points:

Requirements for permits Cotton cultivation may require a permit in some states, especially those with a large cotton crop.

Cotton farming must not interfere with state or regional boll weevil management or elimination efforts.

Restricted localities:

  • To prevent pests from spreading to commercial cotton farms, certain localities prohibit cotton cultivation.
  • In boll weevil eradication zones, producing cotton without compliance can result in fines or crop destruction.
  • Compliance with pest management measures is often required. Specific pesticides, planting and harvesting dates, and other agricultural techniques can reduce pest hazards.
  • Prior to growing cotton, consult your local agricultural extension office or regulatory authorities for any local limits or requirements.
  • These regulations vary greatly by state and county.

Cotton farming is not prohibited, but it is extensively regulated in regions where it is a major industry to prevent pests and illnesses from threatening the industry.

What Is The Cotton Plant Life Cycle?

Types Of Cotton? 

Cotton is a natural and wild plant. But today, there are mainly five types of wild cotton found below.

  • American Pima,
  • Sea Island,
  • Egyptian,
  • Asiatic,
  • Upland. 

How To Grow Cotton From Seeds?

It takes a 5 to 10-day incubation cycle, and the spout is grown once the seed is planted in moist ground. Most importantly, the temperature of the ground must not be below 60F.

How to grow cotton plant
Growing a cotton plant
  • Step 1– The seeds should be planted at a depth of 1 to 3 inches for proper germination. Within 1 month the sprout begins to create leaves of the plant. These leaves help to produce its life-bearing feed for its existence. That is called the Stand period of the plant. At this stage, you will know the possible production of cotton.
  • Step 2– The squares, small flowering buds, will begin to appear in the 6th to 7th week as branches are formed, and the plants increase in height. The squares are surrounded by leaves that are called bracts. During the 10th week of the plant’s life cycle, the flower breaks the bracts and becomes visible.
  • Step 3– The life cycle of the follower can be dictated by the colors of the flowers. The flower becomes white or yellow when it emerges from the buds. It turns into a pink shade during pollination- it happens after 3 days from visible in the 10th week.
  • Step 4-Afterward, flowers begin to wither and eventually fall off the cotton plant. A green cotton boll appears in this stage that has already formed in the base of the buds.
  • Step 5 In this boll, there are around 32 cotton seeds and fiber. Fiber continues to grow longer and thicker developing into spongy and fluffy cotton. During 18 to 20 weeks, the boll will open to air revealing the cotton fiber, and by the 25th week, the cotton is ready to be used for apparel, home decorating, etc. 
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How Long Does Cotton Take To Grow?

Spring is the best season for cotton plantation while autumn is for harvesting cotton. The total life cycle is about 6 to 7 months. Once cotton flowers are bloomed, it takes only 3 months to harvest.

Cotton is planted in warm temperature weather. If the ground is fertile and you take proper care around the period, bumper harvesting is expected.

How to grow cotton plant
How we can grow a ripened cotton plant

How To Grow Cotton Plant Indoor And Outdoors- Top 14 Tips

Cotton needs a lot of sunshine and intensive care to get a good harvest. Is cotton plant grown indoors and outdoors?

Yes, cotton plants are grown in both areas, but multiple initiatives must be taken care of indoor and outdoor cotton cultivation. There are some tips for indoor and outdoor cotton plants.

Growing cotton in containers Indoor?

  1. Take a 4-inch wide peat pot with soil and compost for planting 2-3 seeds. Sowing seeds more than 1 inch deep into the peat pot can disallow the sprout. Water the peat pot to keep the seeds slightly damp a regular intervals, and always keep the pot in a sunny place preferably near the window or the balcony. 
  2. Allow only healthy seedlings in each pot. Thin out the weaker one from each peat pot. 
  3. When the cotton plant outgrows the peat pot, transfer it into a 12-inch diameter planter pot. Add some loam-based compost to the soil in the planter and water it regularly.
  4. Now it’s time to expose the planter to the sunshine if the temperature is above 60F. Place them on the balcony or near the window if there’s rain or a cooler environment.
  5. A potassium ingredient liquid plant fertilizer can be an effective feeder to the cotton plant. Tomato food or Rose food is also available in the market as cotton plant supplements. Always follow the dosage instructions on the label when using. 
  6. Water too much can weaken your cotton plant. Water 2 or 3 times a week to dampen the soil around the roots, and dry slightly the top layer of the potting mixture.
  7. In 45 days from planting, a large yellow flower appears. However, flowers wither off the form of fluffy cotton in about 120-140 days from the plantation. All this happens naturally.

For Outdoor Plants:

  1. Eradicate weeds from the ground and work the soil to 3 inches deep.
  2. Blend the hummus well with the soil for extra nutrition.
  3. Plant the cotton seed when the ground temperature is above 60F, in moist soil, and 1 inch deep and 6 inches apart.
  4. Cotton seeds germinate if the temperature is a minimum of 60F in 7 to 10 days after planting. 
  5. Cotton does not consume too much water. Water them once in 7 days. In the summer, water once a day if the leaves show signs of drying. 
  6. Feed the liquid plant fertilizers found on the market once a week to give extra nutrition to the cotton plant. Follow the dosage instructions on the label. 
  7. In the 45 days of the period, large yellow flowers appear. Then, the flower withers off and forms bolls. 
  8. When the boll is formed, stop watering, so that the plant begins to dry and shed its leaves, and the boll turns into a fluffy ball that we call cotton.
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Where Does Cotton Grow Best?

Cotton is the cash crop for many countries. The cotton-made fabrics and apparel are in high demand. Proper guidance to the cotton grower can boost cotton production.

As cotton can be planted anywhere- indoors and outdoors, you can utilize your pastime on a cotton garden in your backyard or balcony.

Roof gardening is getting popular nowadays, you can enhance the beauty of your roof garden by planting cotton. 

Thanks to the availability of cotton seeds in tropical areas found online, and in physical seed markets, cotton production is rising in many folds. 

A survey conducted by Indiatimes shows, that India produced the highest number of cotton in 2019, and cotton production is likely to jump 43% by 2021. China and the USA are not far behind in terms of cotton production. 

Cotton plants are not free from natural diseases like other plants, but remedies can revive the plants and boost cotton growth.

When you plan for cotton cultivation, always take the necessary steps if your plants are affected by pests, Fungi, and bacteria. 

What Does A Cotton Flower Look Like?

Cotton is a flower? No, it is not a flower, and it’s akin to a dandelion. A flower bud appears within 30-35 days of being planted. 

The flower looks white or yellow when it emerges from the buds. It turns into ping during pollination. Finally, the flower begins to wither and fall off.

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What Is The Best Cotton Growing Season?

Cotton is grown in tropical areas on every continent. But, the best season of the cotton plantation is spring, grown over summer, and picked in autumn.

The best season for the cotton plantation is in spring. It grows in summer and can be picked in autumn.

To get healthy and the best harvests, planting at 60F temperature is advised. During summer the temperature remains above 60F always.

Is It Legal To Grow Cotton?

  • Cotton growing is completely legal in most of the countries. Cotton is commercially produced and the tree of the cotton is environment friendly.
  • Even, the government in many countries encourages the farmer and provides low-interest loan benefits to the farmers for cotton plantations.
  • So don’t worry. You can plant cotton for commercial or personal uses. 

Where To Buy Cotton Seeds?

Cotton gets the nod as the demanding crop around the world at present. A healthy seed can give a healthy harvest. Have you ever seen cottonseed? Most probably the answer is No!

But, you can purchase cotton seeds from local markets. Moreover, thanks to e-commerce advancement, you can buy online. There are so many trusted sellers at Alibaba, Amazon, etc, you will have a chance to see the feedback of the consumers who purchased from that seller.

Always buy from a trusted seller. Is it amazing, right? Because of high demand, cotton seeds also are sold online. 

How To Grow Cotton Candy Grapes?

Shocking? What are cotton candy grapes? Let me explain. Cotton candy grapes are sweet table grapes whose flavor is compared to cotton candy.

  • Horticulturist David Cain and his team have developed this sort of grapes in California. It is simply the product of some old-fashioned plant breeding.
  • Cotton candy is very popular among all classes of people. The cotton candy is made by heating and melting sugar, spinning it around a thin stick to center the materials until the sugar cools.
  • And re-solidifies into the strands. It is often sold at circuses, fairs, carnivals, and festivals. 

How To Grow Cotton In Your Backyard?

Do you have adequate spaces in your backyard? Are you planning to plant cotton? This section may help you a lot. Cotton is a wonderful plant.

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Farming cotton can increase the beauty of your backyard and can be the source of your income. You will need 60F temperature (spring is the best time), adequate moisture, and fertile soil in your backyard for cotton plantation.

Sow your seeds before 6 weeks ahead of your transplanting time. Water the plant twice a week to keep the area damp. Too much watering may diminish the sapling.

Use pesticides and fertilizers if necessary. The more you care for your cotton plant, the more healthy harvest you will get at the end of the day. As well as fertility, moisture, and sunshine, Cotton counts on heat. 

How To Harvest Cotton?

Harvesting cotton is the final step in the production of cotton crops. The crops should be harvested in autumn. Autumn seems to be the best time for bumper production of cotton.

As cotton is a fluffy and spongy material. They must be harvested carefully to protect the crops from unnecessary damage. You can harvest cotton in the orchards or backyards manually or with a machine.

If you want to cultivate cotton in a small area, you can pick the cotton up physically. Simple like picking tea leaves. But, with the help of machines, you can harvest more and more crops in a short time.

If you have a cotton orchard, please buy or collect a roller (machine) or mechanical brushes for cotton harvesting from the local market or your Agricultural development office in your locality. 

Why Is My Cotton Plant Dying?

Last but not least. Dying plants is the most miserable issue for farmers. Sometimes, reasons can’t be figured out.

Yet, you have to keep an eye on the cotton sapling as you care more for your newborn baby.

Are you wondering what are common diseases that lead your cotton plant to die? Let’s have a look.

#1- Alternaria Leaf Spot:

This type of disease appears on the leaves. Malnutrition and other pests are the main reasons for Alternaria leaf spot.

During the period of warm, and wet weather Alternaria leaf spot disease is seen. 

#2- Ascochyta Blight:

This type of disease is caused by fungus in the wet weather. It turns the leaves into a brown or gray color. 

#3- Cercospora Leaf Spot:

It circulates red lesions on the leaves and turns white or gray in the center. It is also caused by fungus. 

#4- Fusarium Wilt:

Fusarium wilt is a fungal disease that has appeared in the early 21st century. Warm temperatures are the safe zone of Fusarium wilt.

The fungus is encouraged to attack cotton plants by infected seeds or contaminated tools and human movement.

#5- Target Spot:

The target spot is seen on leaves, the boll, and the boll bracts.

The infected leaves retain a green color or green-yellow color. Leaves drop occurs under severe conditions. This disease is caused by fungus.


In this blog, we have focused on all the details thoroughly about How To Grow Cotton Plant cultivation guides, possible diseases, etc. Besides, we discussed indoor and outdoor cotton plantation tips.

Now, it is high time to hone your interest in cotton production. Good luck! Do not forget to let us know how these work for you.

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