Cotton has always fascinated me and I really wanted to give growing it a try. I live in the Northeastern United States so I wasn’t sure if it would grow here. Well, I’m happy to say that it worked!
I started the seeds inside in my greenhouse in May and covered the seedlings with plastic to be safe because my greenhouse is not heated. The seeds need the temperature to be 60 degrees F to start and will germinate in 7 – 10 days.
When they grew large enough, I transplanted them into a large container with rocks placed on the bottom to help with drainage. I filled ¾ of the container with light composted soil mixed with sand. In the top 1/4 of the container, I used the composted soil mixed with Miracle-Gro potting soil with fertilizer.
Cotton requires full sun and does not like the soil to be too moist. Let it dry in between watering. I only watered mine an average of once a week except when it was really hot and then about twice a week. After approximately 45 days pinkish/yellow flowers appeared.
The flowers die off and become bolls. Once the bolls have formed, stop watering. The plant will start to dry and the leaves will fall off. As it dries, the bolls will split open and the cotton will emerge from within.
The drying process took quite a bit longer than I thought it would. It took at least a month after I stopped watering for the bolls to dry and open. I had cotton balls in November.
Inside the cotton, you will find the seeds. I removed them and dried them to replant next year. I had so much fun doing this!