Wild Cotton is a shrub or a small tree that is the most widely grown species of cotton in the world. It is native to Florida and tropical America. It is grown commercially as an annual. Most of the cotton produced is grown from cultivars that are derived from this species. Upland cotton has mid-green, 3-5 lobed leaves on long stalks. Large, light yellow flowers are produced in the leaf axils. They have 3 large, toothed bracts. Ovate, 3-valved pods contain seeds with long, white hairs, the cotton for which it is grown. Cotton is easy to grow and likes moist, well-drained soil and full sun. It grows wild in coastal areas in southern Florida. Hardy in zones 9-12.
Growing instructions for upland cotton
- To scarify the seeds, sand the seed coat lightly with sandpaper.
- Soak the seeds in water for several hours.
- Put a mixture of potting soil and sand or perlite into a pot with drainage holes in the base. The soil should be moist and well-drained.
- Sow the seeds on the soil.
- Cover the seeds with a layer of soil that is 0.5 inches thick.
- Water the seeds. Keep the soil moist but not wet.
- When the plants are a few inches tall, they can be transplanted.