Realistic Biomes

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Civ servers adjust crop growth times to be much longer (on the order of hours or days). Crop growth times are also biome-dependent, and certain crops will not grow in certain biomes at all. This is done in order to balance Experience production, where crops are a primary component, and to encourage trade between nations. Animal breeding times are also increased, and certain animals can't be bred in certain biomes.

This is managed by the RealisticBiomes plugin (source).

Growth rate

There are two types of growth rate:

  • Fixed (Persistent plants such as wheat, potato and beetroot) : growth rate given in hours
  • Percentage based (Non-persistent plants such as cactus, melon, mushroom) : growth rate given as percent of vanilla growth chance.

A biomes growth rate can be checked in multiple ways:

  • Left clicking the ground with plant item in hand
    • Returns the growth time of the item in hand at the free block above the block you're hitting, or the block on the side relative to where you're hitting if it is not the top side. For cocoa for example, you will want to hit a jungle tree on it's side to get meaningful growth time. This growth time includes all factors such as biome, light, and surrounding blocks. You can also do this with fishable items, but in this case the fishing probability will only be reported if it is not zero to spare you from chat spam.
  • Right clicking a plant block with a stick
    • Returns how long it will take until fully grown for fixed growth time crops. This can also be done to view animal growth rates (as fraction of vanilla).
  • typing /rb which brings up a GUI containing the growth rates of plants in current biome.
  • The player created growth rate spreadsheet

In an optimal setting growth takes around 3 hours for small crops like wheat and potatoes, and for trees between 3 to 8 hours. Growth rates are generally lowest in realistic or reasonable corresponding biomes. For example, the biome of deep ocean has one of the worst growth rates. ReaslisticBiome's also changes fishing probabilities and one can hit the ground with a fishable item to see its fishing probability (if it is not zero). Fishing is restricted to water biomes[citation needed].

Soil Bonus

The growth rate of a tile can be improved by placing clay blocks directly beneath. Placing more than 4 clay block below will not improve the rate further. Two exceptions exist.

  • Netherwart growth rates are not improved by clay, but by soulsand. The soulsand block the warts are planted on is not counted for boost.
  • Cocoa growth rates are improved by up to 25 blocks of vine placed immediately below the cocoa bean.
4 blocks of clay directly below a crop will significantly speed up the growth
Growth improvement
Blocks of clay Crop with fixed growth time Crop with fixed growth time (cumulative) Crop with percentage based growth Crop with percentage based growth (cumulative)
1 -33% -33% +50% +50%
2 -25% -50% +50% +100%
3 -20% -60% +50% +150%
4 -16.5% -66% +50% +200%


Crop growth is persistent, meaning crops will continue to grow when chunks are unloaded


Most plants need sunlight, either directly above, or through transparent blocks such as glass. This is not the case for netherwarts and mushrooms.


Placing a glowstone (or redstone-lamp[citation needed]) block above or adjacent to a crop lets the crop grow (albeit slower) in situations it normally would not. This includes crops which are underground or in inhospitable biomes. To grow pumpkins and melons with greenhouse, place the glowstone block adjacent to the free block where the fruit block will grow, and block all other free spots so that the fruit can only grow next to glowstone.

Server Growth Rates

See Realistic Biomes Growth Rates (CivClassic 2.0) for the growth rates on CivClassic.