The requirements of the cotton plant

Cotton is grown between latitudes of 37° north and 30° south in temperate, subtropical and tropical regions and on every continent.

Ideal conditions for the cotton plant are:

  • Long vegetation periods (175 to 225 days) without frost. 
  • Constant temperatures between 18 and 30°. 
  • Ample sunshine and fairly dry conditions. 
  • A minimum of 500 mm of water between germination and boll formation. 
  • Deep, well-drained soils with a good nutrient content.

The map shows all the countries in which cotton is cultivated on more than 1% of the entire agricultural area (arable and grazing land):   

World map of the cotton production area
World map of the cotton production area

Further reading:

ICAC, Cotton Facts (2003) Chaudhry, et al.


Current discussion

Access for registered members only

Upcoming discussions

 Any suggestion for a topic to discuss? Just get in touch with

Previous discussions

Summaries of online discussions held to be found in the library

Search database


No item all

This platform is a joint project by ICCO, SECO, Textile Exchange and HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation. For any queries please contact: [email protected].