En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Cultivation of Gossypium hirsutum, Upland Cotton

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - February 08, 2006

From: Torrance, CA
Region: California
Topic: Propagation
Title: Cultivation of Gossypium hirsutum, Upland Cotton
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I got a cotton boll (seeds and all) at a spinning workshop. I spun the cotton and the lady who brought the cotton boles said the seeds could be planted and the plant could be grown in a container on the porch (I live a suburban town in Los Angeles county in California). How big of a planter should I use? What kind of soil mix should I get from the garden center? When should I plant the seed? How often does it need watering?

ANSWER:

Gossypium hirsutum, Upland Cotton, a member of the Family Malvaceae (Mallow Family) is a successful commercial crop in the San Joaquin Vallely of California. It requires a a long, hot growing season and lots of sunshine to be successful. Cotton is planted in the San Joaquin Valley in mid-April/early May and harvested in late September or early October. You could start the seeds in small containers and transfer them to larger pots (~ 5 gallons) once they have sprouted. The University of Oklahoma Department of Botany & Microbiology grows cotton in the greenhouse in a soil mixture of equal parts sand and loam. The plants should be well-watered, but allowed to dry between waterings. Gardens Alive! has a useful article on growing ornamental cotton.

In some states where cotton is grown as a cash crop, such as Georgia, it is against the law to grow ornamental cotton because of the boll weevil threat. It would be wise to contact the California Department of Food and Agriculture to determine if there are regulations concerning ornamental cotton in California.

For everything you ever wanted to know about Cotton Growth and Development, you can read the article from The University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Cooperative Extension Service.
 

More Propagation Questions

Digging wild buttercup from roadside in Mechanicsville MD
May 28, 2012 - Mr. Smarty Plants, is it illegal to dig out wild buttercup in Maryland? I see them along the dirt road or just in the ditch. Since buttercup considered weed, I'm wondering what the law say about this...
view the full question and answer

Propagating Silky Sophora by seed from Elmendorf TX
July 24, 2013 - I have some seed for the Sophora nutalliana. What is the best way to germinate this seed?
view the full question and answer

Germination of Passiflora suberosa in Monterrey Mexico
October 26, 2009 - Hello, I need recommendation on how to germinate Passiflora seeds. I have a Passiflora suberosa plant, not on your database but native, and have fresh fuits of it. They look very much like a blueber...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting Mexican bonebract in Floresville, TX
November 12, 2008 - My kids and I finally identified a small plant that we found growing in our pasture. There was only one and it is lovely. It is the Mexican Bonebract. What I am interested in finding out is how to tra...
view the full question and answer

Restoring the woods in Central Austin.
May 08, 2012 - I live in Austin, south central between Red Bud trail close to the low water bridge and Bee Caves road. My question: I want to make the wooded sections of my yard attractive. They have filtered sun...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center