Rent Shop Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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

Aromatic sumac in Travis County
August 14, 2010 - This is an answer to article in today's, August 14, newspaper. I assume that aromatic sumac is native to Travis county because I have it all over my property. It turns bright red in the fall adding...
view the full question and answer

Can wildflower seeds be stored in plastic from Bayside TX
June 10, 2011 - I have been harvesting seeds from all of the varieties of wildflowers I'd planted in a raised flower bed. I had vacuum sealed them with my Seal-A Meal but a few days ago I was told that this was not ...
view the full question and answer

How to propagate Scarlet leatherflower (Clematis texensis)
May 25, 2015 - How do you collect seeds for the scarlet leatherflower? I saw your answer on how to grow from seeds but I'm not sure how to collect the seeds. Also is it possible to grow the scarlet leatherflower...
view the full question and answer

Chisos Rosewood Propagation
November 22, 2007 - Can you tell me how to propagate seed for the Chisos Rosewood Tree?
view the full question and answer

Hand pollinating watermelon grown indoors in Denver
July 06, 2009 - Hi! I'm growing watermelon indoors and I was wondering if I had to self pollinate it? Their flowers just started blooming! If so, how do I go about doing this? Thank you so much!
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.