How to Plant & Grow Cotton


Cotton is a perennial plant growing to a height of 15 to 20 feet in the tropics, and an annual plant growing to 2 to 5 feet commercially, according to the University of Florida. Cotton requires temperatures between 90 and 95 degrees F for optimal growth. Cotton fibers from the plant are used in fabric. Planting cotton at the correct time of the year will affect its success and yield at the end of the growing season.

Step 1

Place two to three cotton seeds in a 3-inch pot in late March or early April. Keep the soil moist, suggests Keep the plant at 59 to 68 degrees F until the seeds germinate.

Step 2

Remove the weaker seedlings from the pot, leaving one cotton seedling to develop. Place the seedling into a larger pot as roots develop at the bottom of the pot, until the seedling has four true leaves, according to

Step 3

Harden the seedling by placing it outside for longer periods of time in its pot, until the plant can stay out an entire day. Harden once the chance of frost has passed.

Step 4

Place the cotton plant in a well-draining soil in an area that gets full sunlight coverage during the day to reduce the shed of cotton lint form the plant.

Step 5

Plant the cotton transplant in the soil in rows spaced 30-inches apart, suggests the University of Missouri. Thirty-inch rows contribute to higher yield, promoting more efficient use of sunlight as the cotton lint grows.

Things You'll Need

  • Pot
  • Potting soil


  • Plant Cultures: Growing Cotton
  • University of Missouri Extension: Cotton Tillage and Growing Guidelines
  • University of Florida Extension: Cotton Growth and Development
Keywords: planting cotton, growing cotton, cotton crop

About this Author

Cleveland Van Cecil is a freelancer writer specializing in technology. He has been a freelance writer for three years and has published extensively on, writing articles on subjects as diverse as boat motors and hydroponic gardening. Van Cecil has a Bachelor of Arts in liberal arts from Baldwin-Wallace College.