Growing Cotton Plants In The Garden
Cotton plants (Gossypium spp.) grown in the home garden offer an attractive floral display during the summer that gives way to fluffy white bolls in the fall. Proper soil temperatures are one of the most important environmental elements to developing good cotton plants. Cotton plants thrive on very warm, moist soil. If the soil is too cool (lower than 65 degrees Fahrenheit), then the plants will not germinate or will germinate slowly. Additionally, if the soil is too dry, the plant expends a great deal of energy emerging, and this may damage seeding production, resulting in less fiber. Cotton plants emerge within 4 to 14 days of planting. In most cases, your cotton seeds should germinate within a week of planting, if temperatures are above 60 F. You can expect your cotton plants to begin flowering within 55 to 70 days of planting. Cotton flowers mature quickly, with white flowers turning color within a day of opening.
Blooming lasts for roughly 6 weeks, with the bulk of the blooms on your cotton plants appearing two to four weeks after the first flower. Germination occurs rapidly for cotton seeds which emerge from the soil within 4 to 5 days of planting, under the right conditions. Cotton germinates most readily when the average soil temperature is above 60 degrees Fahrenheit. As your cotton seedling grows larger, the stem elongates and develops a series of nodes. The vegetative growth of the plant including the stems, leaves and flowers, develop from these nodes. Cotton plants also produce a relatively deep tap root that can reach a depth of more than 10 inches.