Sesame is a robust plant that can grow in many types of soils. However, the crop grows best in well-drained, fertile soils with neutral pH. High salt and waterlogged soils are not good for sesame cultivation. 90 to 120 frost free days are a typical requirement of the sesame plant. Warm climate favors a faster growth of the crop. The oil content of the plant is influenced by the photoperiod. The extensive root system of the sesame plants renders it as a drought-tolerant plant.

Dehiscence time of sesame varies and hence farmers cut the plants by hand and store them upright till the seed capsule bursts open. It is important to keep the small seed free of moisture and hence the harvested crop needs to be stored at 6% or low moisture conditions. The seeds are cleaned and hulled after harvesting and are passed through an electronic color-sorting machine that discards the discolored seeds. The seeds of consistent color are usually favored by customers and hence the need to sort seeds by color. Seeds that are off-size or immature are separately used for sesame oil production.