Fertilizer Guide


Gossypium is the cotton genus. It belongs to the tribe Gossypieae, in the mallow family, Malvaceae, native to the tropical and subtropical regions. The genus Gossypium comprises around 50 annual, biennial and perennials species, making it the largest in species number in the tribe Gossypieae. Cotton is the primary natural fiber used. Cultivated cotton is also a major oilseed crop, as well as a main protein source for animal feed. From the point of view of its cultivation for fiber, there are three types of cotton: long fiber (Gossypium barbadense, 3-4% of world production), medium fiber (Gossypium hirsutum,>90% of world production) and short fiber (Gossypium Herbaceum, 2%).

ClimateCotton is a typical crop from warm areas. Germination occurs when temperature is not below 14°C and the soil has sufficient moisture. The temperature range for Metabolic and biochemical processes is from 23.5°C to 35°C, being the optimum temperature 28°C. It is a water demanding crop, being the month before flowering, the most sensitive period to drought.

Soil: It requires deep and permeable soils for root development. It is quite tolerant to salinity.

pH: 6.5 - 7.5


Nutritional requirements

Cotton nutrient uptake. Source: Rochester, 2007
Yield N P2O5 K2O CaO MgO
1000 kg/ha 163 13 77 71 16
1800 kg/ha 175 27 167 94 36
2400 kg/ha 290 41 250 155 63


Fertigation recommendations

Recommended nutrient dose per hectare
N P2O5 K2O
250-300 80-100 125-250


Foliar fertilizers

Foliar fertilization is the fastest and most effective method to supplement and enrich plant nutrition and to correct nutritional deficiencies when needed. This contributes significantly to higher and better quality productions.

The cotton crop is most responsive to foliar-applied Nitrogen during the boll development period. Potassium is also applied via foliar being the optimum range of response 3 weeks after first flower. Boron foliar applications are essential as Boron deficiency is common in highly leached, acidic sandy soils in cotton growing regions in the world. Lima Europe has a wide range of foliar fertilizers and special products for foliar application.

To verify the safe rate under local conditions, it is advisable to spray recommended rate on a few plants. After 3-4 days check the tested plants for scorching symptoms.

Cotton fertilizer program