Plants come in varieties that are either cultivated or grow wild. Cultivated plants are planted by colonists in a growing zone or a hydroponics basin, mainly for food. Wild plants grow naturally throughout the map. Some wild plants spread themselves via seeds. Animals mostly graze on wild plants but will happily eat cultivated crops as well, including tamed animals. Since Alpha 17, they leave ash on the ground when burnt.
Growth Rate Factors
The medium used to grow the plants in matters for both for growth speed and if growing a plant is even possible in any given spot.
Most plants have a Fertiltiy requirement of at least 50%. However, most Trees come out with a measily 30% Fertility.
Most plants have a <fertilityFactorGrowthRate>, which is used to determine how "picky" a plant is about how fertile its terrain needs to be. A plant with a <fertilityFactorGrowthRate> of 0 will not care if it is planted on fertile soil or sand; it will grow at the same rate on any terrain tile that will accept its roots. In contrast, a plant with a <fertilityFactorGrowthRate> of 1 will not grow so well if it is planted on anything less fertile than standard soil.
Note: Beyond 100% Fertility, high Fertiltiy Sensitivity becomes a bonus rather then a penalty. For such cases highly sensitive plants are preferable.
- Sand: 6%
- Gravel and Marshy soil: 70%
- Soil and Lichen-covered dirt: 100%
- Fertile soil: 140%
- Hydroponics: 230%
(GRF(F)) Growth Rate Factor: Fertility = 1 + ( fertilityFactorGrowthRate × (Terrain Fertility − 1))
For normal growth rate, plants require temperature between 10 (50 ) and 42 (107.6 ). Plant growth rate drops by 10.0% for each degree Celsius below 10 (50 ), and by 6.25% for each degree above 42 (107.6 ). The plant's info window will show 'Out of ideal temperature range (growing at xx% of normal speed)'. Plants will not grow when the temperature falls below 1 (33.8 ) or rises above 57 (134.6 ). The plant's info window will show 'Out of ideal temperature range (not growing)'. If the temperature drops below -10 (14 ), it will either die or lose its leaves, depending on the type of plant. Leafless plants cannot grow, and will take a full day to regrow their leaves after the temperature rises back above -2 (28.4 ).
(GRF(T)) Growth Rate Factor: Temperature = (Temperature(T)) ÷ 10 ; Temperature(T) < 10C
(GRF(T)) Growth Rate Factor: Temperature = 1 ; 10C ≤ Temperature(T) ≤ 42C
(GRF(T)) Growth Rate Factor: Temperature = (58C − Temperature(T)) ÷ 15 ; 42C < Temperature(T)
Most plants typically require at least 51% light to grow.
Decorative Plants typically require at least 30% light to grow.
This minimum light value can be modified by changing a plant's <growMinGlow> value. When a plant lacks adequate light its info window indicates this with the text 'Needs light level: ##%'. Over that minimum a plant's growth rate will increase until it reaches its optimal light level (100% standard). A plant's optimal light level can be modified by changing its <growOptimalGlow> value.
Most artificial light sources only provide 50% light. Only decorative plants can grown under such poor light conditions. The sun lamp provides 100% light in its radius, and is thus usually required for any indoor growing.
(GRF(L)) Growth Rate Factor: Light = (Light(L) − growMinGlow) ÷ (growOptimalGlow − growMinGlow)
All plants rest from hour 19 through hour 5. More accurately, plants rest for 11h of the day, leaving 13h of the day for growing.
During the plant resting time period, plants will not grow no matter the light level.
A new constant, Growing Ticks/Day, can be found by multiplying Ticks/Day by 13/24 Around(~0.541)
Growing Ticks/Day = (60,000 Ticks/Day × 13/24) = 32,500 Ticks
All plants receive an instantaneous growth of 5% when sown/planted.
This is relevant because it means that all plants only need to grow 95% from the moment they are planted to become fully grown (100%).
You'll see this show up in a later equation as a new value: Growth Remaining
You can use this value to help determine how long a plant has left before it is fully grown.
Growth Remaining = (1 − 0.05) = 0.95 ; Plant was just sown/planted
Growth Remaining = (1 − Current Growth) ; Plant was sown/planted some time ago
Actual Growth Time
The Growth Time displayed in-game can tend to confuse a player into thinking a plant will be fully grown in X number of days.
Due to the various Growth Rate Factors (Fertility, Temperature, Light) and every plant's need to rest, the growDays or "Growth Time" listed in-game is not an accurate/intuitive representation of how long a plant actually takes to grow.
For example: A Raspberry Bush (3:growDays), on Soil (1:Fert), experiencing optimal temperature and light 100% of the time (1:Temp, 1:Light), will take approximately 5.18 actual in-game days to grow.
It is important to remember this when setting up your growing zones.
Actual Growth Time = (Growth Remaining × 60,000 Ticks/Day × growDays) ÷ (Growing Ticks/Day × GRF(F) × GRF(T) × GRF(L))
Even if they are not harvested or eaten, plants do not live forever. The counting of their lifetime starts when the plant is sown/spawned. Since plants only grow during certain hours, and growth rate varies greatly under different circumstances, it is possible for a plant to die before it reaches full maturity or even while still on the initial progress. This is called "dying of rot".
The lifespan of a plant is calculated by simply multiplying the plant's growDays by its lifespanFraction.
Most vanilla plants have a default lifespanFraction of 5, but some go as high as 8. Trees do have this property as well, but due to their long growth time this is rarely relevant
|Grow Days||Harvest Yield||Real Grow Days||Nutrition Per Day (normal)||Nutrition Per Day (fertile)||Nutrition Per Day (gravel)||Nutrition Per Day (hydroponic)||Fertility Sensitivity|
Real Grow Days = Grow Days ÷ 0.55
Nutrition per Day = Harvest Yield × Nutrition (0.05) ÷ Real Grow Days
|Name||Beauty||Minimum Yield||Maximum Yield||Product||Growth Time||Fertility Factor|
|Name||Beauty||Minimum Yield||Maximum Yield||Product||Growth Time||Fertility Factor|
|Beauty||Minimum Yield||Maximum Yield||Product||Growth Time||Fertility Factor|
- This is the fraction of the day were plants don't grow, 0.45 is used in above calculation. Plants for more information
- Normal soil (1.00) is used in above equation.
- This is 0.8 , Saturation for more information
- This is 0.05 for raw food, Food for more information
Plant Growth approaches
The player has a number of options to get plants grown for food and raw material. Each of them has their up- and downsides and a proper mix of them is nesseary to be resistant to disruptions, inclding seasons.
You just define a growing zone, select the plants and let nature and your pawns set to growing do the rest. Optionally a field can be surrounded by a wall. This will keep pests out, allowing the plants to grow in peace. However tamed animals need to be excluded manually.
- No cost, excluding the worktime to sow and harvest
- Avalible at the start, regardless of technology level
- Entirely dependant on the "Growing Seasons" of a tile
- Highly vulnerable to off-seasonal temperature variations
- Can not be roofed, as this blocks sunlight (however see Greenhouse)
The Greenhous is a walled and roofed growing zone, with a sunlamp providing the nessesary light. The usual goal is to add full artificial temperature control to otherwise fertile soil.
- avalible with electricity research, wich is at the start for many Scenarios
- relatively low cost for enclosure and sunlamp alone (however, consider energy production)
- full resistance to temperature variations
- slightly increased growth, due to persistent 100% lighting level from sun lamp
- uses the often still fertile ground
- energy outtakes will only stunt growth, not kill existing plants on their own
- Sunlamps need incredible amounts of power - 1-2 solar generators worth of production - for the entirety of the plants non-rest cycle
- Energy production can cost incredible amounts of resources, both upfront and in maintenance/refueling
- may require reserach
- still requires fertile soil, so usually can not be placed under mountain roofing.
Hydroponics is the knowledge of growing plants without Soil, often using a nutrient bath. In game it requires the setup of a greenhouse with one or more Hydroponics basins. Often the growing zone is entirely cut out as the basins conflict with it.
- can be placed anywhere construction is possible, including inside mountains
- Basins provide a effective fertility of 230, easily doubling growth speed of many plants
- only minor additional power cost for the basins (compared to the power hungry sunlamp)
- full flooring can be used to speed up movement and thus passing through, harvesting and sowing speed
- 100 tiles of useable space per sunlamp, meaning theoretically 25 basins worth of space per sunlamp possible (slightly less useable in practice)
- Plants with high fertility sensitivity grow especially well
- needs incredible amounts of resources - both steel and components - for the basins
- if the basin is disabeled in any way - both power outages and breaking - plants will die within the ingame hour
- a basewide power outage will wipe out the entire plantstock in all basins, requiring extensive replanting and possibly disrupting food production
- only a select few crops can be grown in the basins, usually ones with growthtimes under 10 days