155 Cotton Plant Facts: Uses, History, Cultivation And More | Kidadl

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155 Cotton Plant Facts: Uses, History, Cultivation And More

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Read these Tokyo facts to learn all about the Japanese capital.

Plants play a crucial role in sustaining life on Earth.

Plants inhale carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and give out oxygen which living organisms need for their existence. The very sight of greenery coupled with a wide variety of beautiful flowers can be very peaceful.

Even though we see a lot of plants around us, many things related to plants are still alien to us. This article will give you interesting details on plants. Many of us grow indoor plants. Most plants found on Earth have some medicinal effects, and many plants have been used as natural cloth dyers since the Neolithic period.

Studies on rings of a tree are known as dendrochronology. Tree rings show not only the age of the tree, but it gives us warnings on many natural calamities like drought and volcanic eruptions. Planting trees helps us reduce our energy output, thereby helping us economically. We can reduce electricity consumption since trees provide shade and protect us from the intense heat. Herbs that we use daily are taken from leaves of trees and plants, and the spice is taken from roots, the bark, the stem, or the berry.

If you are interested in learning more facts and details on various topics, read about columbine plant facts and coffee plant facts

Facts About The Cotton Plant

Facts about cotton plants fascinate kids and grown-ups alike. Here are a few interesting facts to learn about the uses and history of the cotton plant.

Cotton is a slushy, hairy part that grows in a seed box or defensive case and can be obtained from around the seeds of the cotton plants. Like hibiscus and okra, cotton plants belong to the genus Gossypium. Cotton plants are shrubs with broad leaves and cotton seeds that appear in husks. Cotton seeds are covered with white or cream-colored cotton fibers which can be used for weaving clothes. The cotton fibers become hardened and thickened as they get dried. Cotton is a type of Kharif crop. In India, it is usually seen in Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, some areas of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, and Maharashtra. 

Cotton fibers are used to make cotton fabric which is in great demand around the world. Organic cotton clothes made from cotton fiber are eco-friendly and environmentally friendly. Cotton fabric is very durable, and making cotton cloth from organic cotton provides job opportunities to many poor people in rural areas.

We can find cotton plants in different varieties such as Gossypium hirsutum, Gossypium barbadense, Gossypium arboreum, and Gossypium herbaceum. The first two are the most popular varieties. The cotton plant usually grows in a tropical climate but can also be grown in a temperate climate with ample precipitation, and it requires plenty of sunshine. The largest producers of cotton are the United States, Turkey, India, Pakistan, Greece, Australia, Uzbekistan, Egypt, Argentina, China, and Brazil. 

The cotton plant originates from a seed which sprouts in 5-10 days. The plant's root goes deep into the soil during the initial years to get more nutrients from the soil, and the growth of the cotton plant reduces when it begins to form cotton balls. The crop production begins immediately after the harvest in the preceding autumn season. The plant is also called 'a thirsty crop' since it consumes a huge amount of water, and water needs to be rinsed to foster the cultivation. When the plant reaches the reproductive stage, flowers begin to appear, and these flowers are called 'square.' Organic cotton production is devoid of any fertilizers and chemicals. In the United States, the National Organic Program (NOP) decides on the usage of fertilizers and handling of organic production. 

Uses Of The Cotton Plant

The fiber is almost refined cellulose and can hold small proportions of fats, waxes, water, and pectins. A fabric with more yarn is softer and cozy than a fabric with less yarn. 

The length of cotton fibers varies as per different varieties. There has been a gradual increase in short fibers in the recent period, which may adversely affect the technological developments made in the last few decades.

The cotton seed grown in uplands is in high demand because that cottonseed makes longer yarn but not as lengthy as Egyptian Sea Island cotton seed yarn. The shorter fibers are neatly combed to get finer yarns before the yarn spinning process.

Most parts of the plant are useful in one way or another. The seed contains cellulose and is used to feed cattle because the chemicals in their saliva break down cellulose into sugar. Cotton is used to weave different fabric types. Cottonseed oil, made by crushing the seeds, is used in soap, candles, makeup, and salad dressings. The textile industry uses cotton cloth. Cotton is usually used to make bed sheets, bath towels, jeans, socks, T-shirts, and other clothing in the textile industry. Cotton woven fabrics are available in many textures, prints, and colors.

Many baby wipes and diapers are made from soft, quality breathable cotton. Cotton can be refined and processed to make various products like paper, bookbinding supplies, coffee filters, and bandages. The seed is a healthy nutritional supplement to animals such as horses, and the fiber taken from the stalks is used to produce pressed paper and cardboard.

Cotton has been useful in almost every industry, from rubber and plastics to the medical field. Cotton fibers are also used in furniture, mattresses, automobile cushions, and flat-screen televisions. In short, we can say cotton is omnipresent.

The History Of The Cotton Plant

Cotton is a cash crop, and many countries such as the USA have made it illegal for people to cultivate cotton for pleasure or for leisure purposes. The economies of many countries are dependent on cotton production.

The name 'cotton' comes from the Arabic word 'quton.' The tool used to remove the soft, fluffy material from the seed is a cotton gin which was first made in India. The Industrial Revolution made many countries, including Britain, start using developed types of machinery for the process. 

The history of cotton dates back to 4000 BCE. Cotton clothes were merchandised in the Mediterranean in olden times and in Europe during the Renaissance period. Cotton was being cultivated, spun, and woven into fabric in 3000 years BCE. The indigenous people of Egypt made cotton clothes during the same period. The variety of cotton commonly found in India and Pakistan is tree cotton. The one found in South America and Arabia is Levant cotton. The one found in South America is extra-long staple cotton. Indian cotton production increased with the rule of the Mughal Empire from the 16th-18th century.

Merchants of Arabia brought cotton fabrics to Europe in 800 AD. Columbus witnessed cotton plants growing in the Bahama Islands when he had founded America. It is believed that cotton seeds were sown in Virginia in 1607 and in Florida in 1556. People were growing cotton along the river in Virginia in 1616. The Industrial Revolution and the invention of the cotton gin by the US have made revolutionary changes in the cotton field. In 1793, Eli Whitney, a person from Massachusetts, received the patent on the cotton gin. The gin was capable of doing the yarding process 10 times faster than working by hand. It made the production faster, thereby enhancing the nation's economy.

The cottonseed and plant can be grown in all tropical and subtropical regions worldwide and are largely seen in Egypt, Africa, America, and India. The largest variety is found in Mexico, Australia, and Africa. Studies have revealed that nearly 100 nations in the world produce cotton. However, textile manufacturing in cotton has been dominated by India, China, and the United States. Texas is the greatest producer of the cotton crop in the United States. Two varieties of cotton are grown in the US. They are Pima cotton and Upland cotton. Pima is expensive and more difficult to get than Upland. American cotton farmers have expanded their cotton production due to the high demand. Due to the fluctuating trends in the production of natural cotton fibers, the clothing industry is forced to use human-made synthetic fibers like nylon and polyester.

The white cotton is a natural fiber having a soft, hollow texture and can be seen around us in almost every product that we use.

Ideal Growing Conditions For A Cotton Plant

One seed box per row on 38 in (96.52 cm) rows is equivalent to 13,756 cotton balls per acre. It is possible to harvest 4,400-8,800 lbs (1995-3991 kg) cotton per hectare. Cultivated cotton cannot be directly used for making clothes, and it has to be passed through a ginning machine to segregate cotton from seeds and shells.

Cotton is a cash crop, and the economy of many countries is dependent upon cotton production. Hence, cotton-growing for fun is prohibited through law in many countries.

As we discussed earlier, cotton needs a lot of heat and sunshine and a drought-free climate for its growth. It prefers a hot and muggy atmosphere. Cotton plants are perennials, but are almost always grown as annuals because doing so and rotating the crop each year helps to minimize disease problems. Cotton yields more crops under a suitable temperature range, and it doesn't yield in temperatures greater than 100 F (37.77 C). However, it can grow for a shorter duration up to 110 F (43.33 C). There should not be frequent precipitation during the maturing and harvesting season. Cotton requires five to six months to grow fully (from transplanting) to give fiber. In the fifth month, the seed shells open and expose the fibers, and cotton is harvested when the plant is six months of age.

Purchasing natural and unpreserved cottonseed is the initial step towards production. Secondly, the field has to be prepared for good cultivation. The sowing of the cottonseed happens during spring. Irrigation, fertilization, and pest control are crucial processes for having a good yield of cotton. Weed control techniques have to be employed properly to ensure good production. The reaping of cotton takes place during autumn, and plants are destroyed as soon as the harvesting is over to ensure spring sowing in an empty field.

Cotton grows well in deep, well-drained, sandy and loamy soils combined with clay, organic matter, and a modest assemblage of nitrogen and phosphorus. The finest yields are frequently obtained in loamy soils that are lavish in calcium carbonate. A light slant generally helps the water drainage. The process starts in autumn (after harvesting) by plowing at a depth of about 14 in (35 cm). Other plants are also added to the soil, which helps improve the soil's texture. In late winter (depending on the region), weeds have to be removed, and the field has to be plowed again, making the soil adaptable to welcome cotton seeds.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for 155 cotton plant facts then why not take a look at cacao plant facts or bulrush plant facts. 

Written By
Sridevi Tolety

Sridevi's passion for writing has allowed her to explore different writing domains, and she has written various articles on kids, families, animals, celebrities, technology, and marketing domains. She has done her Masters in Clinical Research from Manipal University and PG Diploma in Journalism From Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. She has written numerous articles, blogs, travelogues, creative content, and short stories, which have been published in leading magazines, newspapers, and websites. She is fluent in four languages and likes to spend her spare time with family and friends. She loves to read, travel, cook, paint, and listen to music.

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