Planting, Growing, and Harvesting Okra



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Okra is traditionally a southern U.S. plant that thrives in warm weather. Here’s how to grow okra plants in your own garden!

Okra is easy to grow and use and looks great throughout the growing season due to its beautiful flowers. It’s also rich in vitamin A and low in calories, which makes it a great addition to your diet.


  • You can start okra seeds indoors in peat pots under full light 3 to 4 weeks before the last spring frost date.
  • You can also start okra directly in your garden 3 to 4 weeks before the last spring frost date as long as you cover the plants with a cold frame or grow tunnel until the weather warms up. Make sure that the covering is 2 to 3 feet tall so that the plants have room to grow.
  • If you do not start your okra plants early, wait until there is stable warm weather. You can plant okra in the garden when the soil has warmed to 65° to 70°F.
  • Plant okra in fertile, well-drained soil in full light about ½ to 1 inch deep and 12 to 18 inches apart. You can soak the seeds overnight in tepid water to help speed up germination.
  • If you are planting okra transplants, be sure to space them 1 to 2 feet apart to give them ample room to grow.
  • Okra plants are tall, so be sure to space out the rows 3 to 4 feet apart.


  • Eliminate weeds when the plants are young, then mulch heavily to prevent more weeds from growing. Apply a layer of mulch 4 to 8 inches high. You should also side-dress the plants with 10-10-10, aged manure, or rich compost (½ pound per 25 feet of row). You could also apply a balanced liquid fertilizer monthly. Learn more about soil amendments and preparing soil for planting.
  • When the seedlings are about 3 inches tall, thin the plants so that they are 10 to 18 inches apart.
  • Keep the plants well watered throughout the summer months; 1 inch of water per week is ideal, but use more if you are in a hot, arid region.
  • After the first harvest, remove the lower leaves to help speed up production.



  • The first harvest will be ready about 2 months after planting.
  • Harvest the okra when it’s about 2 to 3 inches long. Harvest it every other day.
  • Cut the stem just above the cap with a knife; if the stem is too hard to cut, the pod is probably too old and should be tossed.
  • Wear gloves and long sleeves when cutting the okra because most varieties are covered with tiny spines that will irritate your skin, unless you have a spineless variety. Do not worry: this irritation will not happen when you eat them.
  • To store okra, put the uncut and uncooked pods into freezer bags and keep them in the freezer. You can then prepare the okra any way you like throughout the winter months.
  • You can also can okra to have it throughout the winter.

Recommended Varieties

Wit & Wisdom

Okra is sometimes called “lady’s fingers” thanks to the vegetable’s long, slender shape.


Cooking Notes

Okra can be consumed in a number of ways—raw, pickled, stir-fried—you name it!

Reader Comments

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I want to plant okro. I am from Cameroon leaving in Douala

When is the appropriate time to start. What are the things needed for the cultivation of okro.

growing okra

am from Botswana and I have planted okra but it has been affected by a hash coldness, the leaves, flowers and fruits were affected but the stems are still okay now I wanted to find out if there is still anything that can be done.


Cleaning up the bed to start planting next week, realized some of what I was pulling up was baby okra plants. Reseeded itself from last year (our first try for okra). The question is, will these plants produce, or should we start over? These were from starters we got at the garden center. Wichita Kansas

okra seedlings

You can certainly try some of them out. How they turn out will depend on whether the cultivar you obtained from the garden center was a hybrid or not. If it was a hybrid, the next generation of seeds may not produce plants that have the same characteristics of the parent. Traits that might be good or bad may show. Also, even if the parent plants were not hybrids (such as open-pollinated or heirloom varieties), if they were not isolated from other varieties of okra by about 500 to 1600 feet, then they may have cross-pollinated, thereby creating offspring of varying traits. To be on the safe side, to know that you will have plants bred for quality harvest and vigor, you might want to start over. But if you’d like to experiment, then you can try keeping some of those seedlings and see how they develop.

Can i mix cuncum and okra together? please I'm in Nigeria.

Sir/ma; I want to mix cucumber and okra together. What is the spacing and is it visible in this month march also I need it to be simplified. Thank you

I've had a bumper crop this

I've had a bumper crop this year and now am letting the top pods grow large and hopefully dry for seeds, but it will freeze here soon. Do I leave the plants & pods out in the garden (will the freeze matter) or should I cut the plants and hang inside to let the pods finish drying?

It’s best if you can let the

It’s best if you can let the pods mature and dry on the plant while it is in the garden. However, severe freezes can damage the pods. If you expect one, you might want to cut the plant and hang it inside to dry (perhaps put a paper bag over it, so if the pods do shatter, you won’t lose the seeds). Good luck!

Pennsylvania Okra grower

I grew Crimson Okra and it has done exceeding well. The plants themselves are 4+ feet tall and the fruit of the plants are beautiful. The flowers are picture perfect. I did save some seeds for next year so I can enjoy this plant again.


Is okra perenial or do you have to pull up the stalks and replant every year.

okra - perennial or annual?

Okra is a perennial in the tropics, but in temperate areas, it is grown as an annual. In the United States and Canada, it is most commonly grown as an annual.


Can okro grow in october

Okra in October?

Okra needs hot weather and lots of sun. We are going to presume that you are in the United States and tell you no, okra will not grow in October. If you are in a tropical environment—or in the southern hemisphere, where hot summer weather and long days are just beginning, you probably can grow it in October, assuming conditions are favorable.

Okra plant

I once went to Brazil and I happened to bring okra seeds to Lesotho, where summer normally starts around August, so I was not sure whether it will be a good idea to start planting it- however, I waited until October 22nd- I planted it and it's now ready to harvest- most people from West Africa are surprised that this plant survived in Lesotho- the problem with us in the family is that we don't how to prepare it.

I live in Cooper, Tx and as

I live in Cooper, Tx and as of Nov 12, 2016 I have okra plants 6 to 7 ft tall still producing okra on a daily basis.

overwintering baby bubba okra in containers

Question...if I move my okra plants indoors and put them under t5 grow lights for the winter, should I cut them back? How much ? Allow them to flower and attempt "being the bee" to accomplish indoor pollination ? I adore the flowers, so it is not critical to try to pollinate the flowers to get fruit, should any flowers appear during the short winter days. Any advice would be appreciated on indoor overwintering of okra. TY :)

okra overwinter...

Hi, Jackie, We can not find a lot of enthusiasm for overwintering okra…but we say, try it and see what happens! Gardening is an experiment and pushing the envelope makes it fun. We would suggest cutting back too much because when you take it in, it will need to adjust to the new environment, so let it do so with most of its strength. If it has to adjust to a pruning, too, it might weaken. We hoe you get some pleasurable days from your okra!

The results....

I lost the bookmark to this page when my laptop crashed...ooops. Ok, I brought the okra plants indoors, waited a few weeks to top them, and babied them. I got lots more flowers, a handful of fresh okras (I'm a pretty good bee) and then the plant stem withered and it died. It was a fun experiment despite the grim ending. Zone 5a upstate NY.

Okro cultivation

Please what are some of the nutrient requirements for okro

Okra died withing two weeks of planting.

I live in Corpus Christi, Tx and have fall garden every fall. Planted okra two wks ago and its dead already. Watered lightly each morning and has plenty of sun. I planted eggplant right next to it, and its doing fine. Any Advice would be appreciated.


Hi Jeff,

It’s tough to be sure about the reason for its demise. Sometimes the reason plants fail has more to do with how they were treated before they ended up in your hands. With regard to watering, however, it is always best to give plants a good deep soaking and then let them almost dry out before watering again. It could be that your lighting watering applications evaporated before reaching the roots, or the okra lost the competition for the sparse resource to the eggplant.

Harvesting Okra too big and hard to boil

Can Okra too big and hard to boil be soaked in water and then fried? or is there a way to make use of Okra too big and hard to boil

overgrown okra

If okra pods become too large, they’ll get very woody and hard. When this happens, it is mostly unsatisfying to eat. Some people instead let the pods dry out and use them in floral arrangements, or they save the seeds for next year. If the pods aren’t too woody, you can try cutting them up in large pieces and boiling them in a soup, then straining out the tough parts (some of the interior that is still soft may flavor the soup).

Commercial Seed Source for Okra "Prelude"

Please can you help me in locating any seed company where I can procure Okra Prelude?
Ayo Ogungbuyi


I live in Split, Croatia , very hot. Started over 50 plants on my balcony. 2 of them grew which I transplanted in our garden which has very rocky, dry soil. Surprisingly 2 plants began producing fruit. Which I picked . Now 3 weeks later I noticed a new growth of okra even more prolifical. How long will my 2 wee plants produce?

Prune okra shoots?

We planted our okra from seed almost 3 months ago. The weather has been very hot (98 average) with very little rain. We've been watering like crazy and the plants look very healthy; however, instead of producing pods, most of the plants have already produced off-shoots. Will cutting the off-shoots help increase production on the plants that have not yet had their initial harvest?

okra fruiting

Hot temperatures can cause okra to slow down a bit, although they like warmth. Hot temperatures also can affect flowering. Avoid too much nitrogen, which can deter flowering, encouraging leafy growth instead. As far as pruning the side branches, we’d suggest keeping the branches intact until there are signs of flowering/pod formation. If they are just beginning to branch out, the next step might be to flower. Make sure that your plants have adequate spacing so that they can soak up that sun.

Holey, brown young okra plant

I live in East Tennessee (lots of rain, summers of ~70 - 90 degrees F) and I started my first garden this year with the help of my dad, who has experience. I made a roughly 4' x 4' raised bed and filled it with an even mix of clay (the natural soil) and mushroom compost, with just pure compost on the top ~6" of soil. I have been watering the seedlings every day since I got them at a charity garage sale, when they were each about 2"-4" tall. I transplanted both yesterday (5/31), allowing for about 1.5 - 2.5 ft of space around each in every direction.
Now, the okra is about 5' - 6' tall and the smaller, bottom leaves have brown wilted edges, and the bigger top leaves have holes. What could be causing this, and how could I treat it (organically, please)?
Your advice is appreciated.

Fusarium Wilt or Japanese Beetles on Okra

One of the main causes for brown discoloration and wilted leaves in okra plants is Fusarium wilt. Fusarium wilt is a soilborne fungus that could have been transmitted by the natural soil that you included in the raised bed. An easy way to confirm Fusarium wilt is to cut and peel back a small section of the bark on the main stem close to the soil line. If this shows brown discoloration inside the stem, the okra has been infected with Fusarium wilt. Unfortunately, this cannot be treated. Do not use this soil with other plants that are not resistant to Fusarium wilt. Another possible culprit is the Japanese beetle, which could be eating holes in the leaves and making them appear skeletonized. Diseased plants are especially vulnerable to Japanese beetles, so both could be occurring simultaneously. Look to our pest page on Japanese beetles for tips on how to control them organically.

how to grow Okra

would you please advise me if I can seed the Okra seeds fresh from the fruit or should I dry the seeds before seeding. The same question as for peppers.

Thank you

The Real Question

Hi, Jeff: Although it is possible to grow okra and peppers (in general) with seeds direct from the fruit, it is usually best to dry them, since the state of being dry sometimes sends a signal to the seed that it is now OK to germinate. The more important question is whether the okra and peppers are fully mature (i.e., no green peppers) to allow for maximum seed development. Thanks for asking!

okra from seeds

Thank you for all the information on your website. I grew up having a backyard garden most of my life. I am growing okra for the first time here in my new home, in Baton Rouge, La. I have a small yard so I built two garden boxes, 3' x 3' and used with new garden soil. I started seeds in a smaller box and transplanted plants 8" apart. I hope this is not too close.
I started a compost bin but until it is ready I will use liquid fertilizer. What would you suggest?

Okras in Container & best soil type

I live in South Florida and it is my first time growing Emerald, Louisiana velvet, and crimson spineless. The summers are extremely hot which is supposed to be amazing weather for okra. I planted two seeds in each pot in the far corners and some with one seed in the center. Lately, I have been noticing that my Okras seems to be stunted they are no longer growing and the leaves seem to be turning yellow. I am not sure whether it is the soil I choose to use or if it is the amount of water I am giving them weakly.

yellow leaves

Conditions are amazing for growing anything if conditions are right. Yellow leaves and stunted growth are signs of fusarium root or stem rot. That’s typically a sign of “bad” soil. Was your soil “new” or used? If you were growing in the ground, we would recommend crop rotation.

If you have any more seeds, and want to try again, empty and sterilize the pots. Use new soil‚ rich in organic matter and slighhtly sandy (so it’s not too dense). Presoak the seeds before planting. (Some say freeze it to break the hard shell; can’t recommend that, never tried it.)

Better luck this next time—

Soil type

The soil I used for the contained garden had POTTING SOIL W/ AIR-LITE AND PINE FINES: COMPOSTED HORSE MANURE, WOOD CHIPS, SAND, MUCK, AIR-LITE, AND PINE FINE SHAVINGS does that sound like a good mixture? It is my first time as a Gardener so I did not want to go to Wal-Mart or Home depot for soil instead I went to my local Garden shop where it was presented as "fresh" to my Knowledge. However for my main garden my Okras came up nicely nicely and I only added compost, horse manure and earthworm casting fertilizer to my sandy soil. I am trying to stay more organic as I possibly can. Even though the bug may be coming pretty soon.
Thank you very much by the way for replying your advise is highly needed.


We appreciate that you appreciate our advice. Please understand that, from a distance like this, we don’t have all the answers. Every situation is unique. Hearing that you had success with okra in the ground, with soil amended as you say, suggests that maybe you should have done the same—used the same soil—in the pots. If you have seeds, that may be an option.

Going back to your original problem, the okra are stunted and the leaves are turning yellow. We suggested that you might have fusarium root or stem rot. Here we are a few days later … still the same? You might be better off starting all over. We can’t comment on the soil you bought as good for this purpose (maybe the vendor can). If this was me/us, and we had a couple/few seeds remaining, we would start over, using soil that has proven successful—the mix that you used in the ground-growing plants.

Clearlly you know what you’re doing, if you had success; the aim is to repeat it … so do the same thing.

We really hope this helps. Gardening is somewhat trial and error, no matter what the gardener’s experience level (that includes me/us).


Okras in container

Thank you again for the advice.

Okra and potatoes

Any thoughts on growing okra in the same square foot bed as potatoes?

okra and potatoes

Okra has been grown with sweet potatoes, but I couldn’t find information about planting with regular potatoes. If you want to try, make sure that you plant the taller okra so that they won’t shade out the potatoes, which also like full sun. Potatoes will require hilling, so provide enough space to do so. The two plants are in separate families, so that should help with certain pests and diseases.

Growing okra and storing22

Do you wash the okra before storing them in plastic bags for freezing

You should wash, then blanch

You should wash, then blanch the okra before freezing. 

Okra in plastic bags

I live in Cape Town, South Africa.
I have planted the okra in plastic bags in about one foot of soil and they have borne well this year.
They are now about 2-2 and half feet high.
Can I leave them in the bags.
Can I transplant them into the ground.

Growing Okra In the Tropics

I live in Puerto Rico. I am growing Okra on my balcony. I wonder if because it is summer all year round, will my plants give pods all year or do they need a rest?

growing okra in the tropics

Sir, I live in Panama which. I have a lot of experience growing okra in the tropics. Depending on what type of okra you grow, you will have a different experience with how long is your harvest season. Many US variety's will produce quickly, then have a very short harvest season, then decline and die(if planted in the tropics). If you grow short day variety's, and this will vary, your harvest season will also vary. There are thousands of different variety's of okra, many are well adapted to short-day climates but we don't really have access to the seeds as they are mostly from Africa. You can try contacting Echo, in Florida and ordering a variety of okra they call African okra. This variety can live for several years and produce well over a very long season. You then prune this plants and they will produce again. I know, this is a late answer but I hope it gets to you.

Okra growth stages

Dear sir let me know the growth stages of okra. The initial, mid, final and maturity stages when and after how many days.

Will my Okra keep on producing next year?

I am near Phoenix AZ and this year I planted about 10-15 soaked seeds directly in the ground below a grapefruit tree ( for shading ). I did very little to get the ground ready. I have a lot of gravel and the soil tends to be hard as a rock so I barely scraped it and threw potting soil on top and then spread the seeds and worked them into the soil so they would be covered to some extent. Yes, I know this is not the way to properly plant, but I had great success. My plants are close to each other ( 6 to 8 inches) about 6' tall and produce lots of pods. I harvest the pods when they are no bigger than 2" long so they are tender. Of course because the plants are so close to each other I keep missing pods and discover them when they are 6" long. I leave them to mature on the plant and cut them down only when I see them turn brown. I have enough of them to last me 100 years. We are now in November and I am still harvesting daily. What will happen if I do not cut them down? Will they produce next year also or do I have to start all over with new plants? Can I treat them as a perenial plant?

Yes, you can grow okra as a

Yes, you can grow okra as a perennial. Just cut the plants back to 2 to 3 feet this month. The plants will slow down over the winter months and then start growing and flowering in early spring. Give the plants some fertilizer over the winter.

grow as a perenial

that is great!! thank you. I did notice that the flower production slowed down. I will cut them down to 3 ft and see what happens next spring. thank you again.

Hi !

Hi !
i am Riya from india.

My Okra plant is just 1 feet tall with very small leaves.
Its been 2 months from the germination and it started its first pod.

Is it good to go? y because i heard and read that the plant go 7 feet tall and does its first pod.
Which means mine is unhealthy or wat?
Please explain.

Thanks all
Cheers :)


hi riya....

some kind of okras would not grow taller...
some will. be short bushed type...

i know its late to reply...
hope you enjoyed well..


Had a wonderful okra crop this year. Planted spineless and not. Put good fertilizer under seed planting. Then let them grow.Fertilized again mid season. Now mid-October and plants are 12 ft tall, still producing. Have harvested a lot of okra. I have four rows with about 20 plants in each row.

Okra seeds

What if my okra flower fails o mature into pods and fall down those the plant have any deficiency or any disease

i got the seeds at home

i got the seeds at home depot.

this is my first time growing okra. i have one plant in growing in a container on my terrace. i got about 1/2 lb of okra every other day in the beginning of the season. now i get an okra a day.
i make mine into a dry curry. i don't like slime either! if you cut into your okra when it is totally dry it will not become slimy. also cook in oil before adding any other liquid, that also keeps slimming at bay
only problem i am having with my okra is now it is about 7 feet tall. the leaves are not as large and are sort of scrawny. should i have pruned the top when it was about 4 foot tall so it would have branched out? i plan to bring the pot indoors for the winter and see how it does under a grow light!

You can prune the tops of

You can prune the tops of okra plants. This will cause more side branches to grow and you may need to prune some of the side brances as well. Some gardeners cut the plants to about 2 feet after they have slowed down producing pods

Where can I buy Cajun delight

Where can I buy Cajun delight okra seed?

thanks for this page coz i

thanks for this page coz i can used this post to applied it on my studies especially my garden....

I have been raising okra

I have been raising okra since I was old enough to garden with my dad, in the forties. Clemson spineless has always grown tall and very productive in TX. This year we had an abundance of rain and instead of being tall it is about 4 ft tall and very thick and not many pods. About six plants that were smaller when it rained are growing and producing like they should. Should I thin those that are very thick and not putting on pods, and how much? At the rate these are making I don't see it hurting much.

How likely is it that I will

How likely is it that I will get okra plants to grow by buying okra from the supermarket and planting the seeds? Do the seeds have to be dry and hard? Supermarket okra are soft and supple. Can I wait for the okra pods to dry and shrivel up to get good seeds to plant?

Some people have had success

Some people have had success growing okra from the supermarket--it might depend on the variety and any treatment the pods went through before they reached the market. Hybrid varieties will not come true to seed. If saving seed, dry the pod thoroughly--seeds should be dry and hard.

We usually have a bit of

We usually have a bit of trouble with okra, but this year, the crop is really good. There is a "mess" every day. I love okra. It is Nature's little laxative!

Have you noticed that the leaves of the okra plant follow the sun in its paths across the sky each day? This is a phenomenon call heliotropism or phototropism. Some plants do this; the most well-known of which is the daylily, whose flowers last only one day.

P.S. NEVER cut okra into pieces to cook it. Always cook it whole, with the stem still attached. It will not release its mucous nearly as much that way. NEVER NEVER put tomato or vinegar in the pot with okra. Spoils it.

Not true, cutting okra up and

Not true, cutting okra up and frying it is just as delicious. As for tomatoes, this is an idiots opinion! Fried green tomatoes and fried okra mixed together is absolutely delicious. Dummies can ruin almost anything simple.

Folks in the south have eaten

Folks in the south have eaten stewed okra and and tomatoes our whole life. Only a yankee would say something like mixing okra and tomatoes together would spoil it. That is totally, absolutely BULL Crap!!!

Ha, just goes to show you

Ha, just goes to show you that you are a took. I am born and raised in Alabama. No one knows okra better than the folks from the Deep South. Most southerners know that when okra is thin or things aren't bountiful like they should be, fried green tomatoes make okra go father if it's not what you would hope. My great grandparents have been doing this since the 1920's. Dummy's are more prevalent than ever folks.

I LOVE the slime okra puts

I LOVE the slime okra puts off! It's great in stewed tomatoes. Just ate some in fact :)

Please help! I am in (blazing

Please help! I am in (blazing hot) NC and just moved so got my garden started late this year using seedlings that I purchased. This is my first time growing okra. The seedling came as a 6" tall cluster of skinny stems with maybe a single round leaf on each of them. Since I consider myself lucky when I find a "two-for" seedling in a container for purchase, I assumed that this was just one okra plant and surely it wasn't like TEN okra plants! Well I've been wondering when my okra was going to do anything because my tomatoes are taking off but no baby okras growing, so I googled some info and discovered holy cow, okra has a single tree-like stem that grows super tall - so I transplanted like 10 plants TOGETHER! Now they are over 1' tall and have the bigger okra-plant-leaves and the stems are probably 0.5 cm wide. Should I thin this cluster at this point, or is it way too late? Should I wait and see if like 10 "trees" will grow in a cluster like that and actually produce, or risk injury to other roots by thinning so late? Thank you in advance!

Tough call. Overcrowding

Tough call. Overcrowding might affect the yield and possibly the health of the plants. Some gardeners do keep a few clumped together, but I haven't heard of ten together. It would also depend on how closely they are clumped (less than 1 inch between stems, or 3 to 5 inches between, etc.).
Since the plants will likely grow much larger, it might be best to thin them now, even though they are a foot tall. You might try removing most of them, leaving 1 to 3 plants together. Keep the healthiest plants, and preferably, the ones furthest apart from each other. Do not pull the thinnings up though, or they might injure the roots of the other plants (which are fragile). Use pruning shears to cut each stem off at the soil line, being careful not to injure the stems or leaves of the plants that you are keeping. Just leave the roots of the thinned plant(s) in the soil. Good luck!

Thank you so very much for

Thank you so very much for taking the time to write such a helpful response! The stems are less than 1/2 cm apart - so close that I really thought okra was a shrub rather than a tree :-( I heeded your instructions this morning and will hope for the best! Thank you!

I am from India. Okra is one

I am from India. Okra is one of my favorites. It is very easy to grow and taste really good. I had successfully planted okra last summer in my home ground. This time I purchased okra seeds that seems to be hybrid ones with spineless pods. The plant is shorter and produces small pods. Last year they were really big ones.

am a project student willing

am a project student willing to plant okra using urine as a fertilizer, how many weeks/months will it use to germinate using a green garden.

I want to start planting okra

I want to start planting okra on a commercial level, starting with least 4acrers of land in africa , Uganda ...want advise do u give me especially on managing this kind of project?

One thing to keep in mind

One thing to keep in mind about okra is it is high quality food which spoils very quickly so you would need to sell or process it immediately ! Fresh Okra only lasts about 2 days before spoling. You would have to can it , pickle or freeze or pickle it if it needs to be transported or stored. You could use to make canned soup (gumbo ) Another thing to consider is if you have enough available water for irrigation or rain to produce a good crop.
Use quality seed of a spineless variety, and use gloves to pick as even the spineless is rough enough to wear skin off your hands. Cost of fertilizer can be reduced by using manure or diluted 20 to 1 urine . Break curses off of land before planting as well.

I want to start planting okra

I want to start planting okra by mid feb 2015,so that by mid april I will harvest it.Wat Can I do?

Any time between late spring

Any time between late spring and mid summer, depending where you are. To make it less confusing, there are two simple things okra requires: heat and water. Provide it with that and it will explode with growth. Remember to water routingly for the first 3 weeks at most every other day depending on temp. for a good healthy start and keep in mind it gets big! I recommend to plant dwarf varieties, but even those get big, had one at around 8ft one hot summer. Good luck!

Hi there . Could anyone reply

Hi there . Could anyone reply please . I'm growing okra in high drop system green house .where there water running 24 hrs as we have half green house tomatoes.Is that right ?? ? Or how much water & feed need to okra plants ??

is it okey if we plant okra

is it okey if we plant okra during rainy season?

Though okra is quite

Though okra is quite adaptable, you should avoid planting okra during heavy rain. The crop needs well-drained soil and water logging should be avoided.

I hav some okra plants...i

I hav some okra plants...i left it on the seed tray for too long. Will they transplant well. If they do transplant well will they hav a normal life just like any other plant or will they suffer

Okra seedlings do not

Okra seedlings do not transplant well. We tend to sow directly into the garden. If you do start indoors, it's best to use peat pots and plant two seeds per pot. Once they germinate, you can thin down to one plant per pot. The timing is 6 to 8 weeks from sowing indoors to setting outdoors.

When my okra plants got to be

When my okra plants got to be five feet tall or so, they began to produce new shoots along the stem. Since my plants grew to over eight feet and eventually toppled, is it useful to cut the main stem, at, say, four feet to force the growth of the side shoots? I'm hoping this will produce more okra per plant, because of more pod-producing stems, and at the same time make the plants less vulnerable to wind and the pods easier to harvest.

Yes, you can cut the tops off

Yes, you can cut the tops off to get a bushier plant. Please see the answer to the pruning question below.

I have recently moved to East

I have recently moved to East Texas. I've planted okra for years. This years garden was a first time area. I was later than normal getting my seeds in the ground. I planted Crimson spineless 80. I thinned to about 3' apart. My tallest plant comes in at 14' tall. All are at least 10' to 12' and producing well. I'm getting over a gallon each day from two 35' rows. Question being. I was thinking about topping it next year to make harvesting easier. When should this be done, or should you do it at all.


Danny in East Texas.

You can prune the tops of

You can prune the tops of okra plants when they are about 5 to 6 feet tall. This will cause more side branches to grow and you may need to prune some of the side brances as well. In warm regions some gardeners cut the plants to about 2 feet after they have slowed down producing pods in the summer. The plants will grow back and produce another crop of okra.

wife planted some seeds this

wife planted some seeds this spring. do not know what kind. still harvesting (Houston, TX area). Stuff is 12-14 feet high, having to use an 8-foot ladder to pick it for her. What kind should she plant next year so it will not be so tall?

I am in Louisiana. I planted

I am in Louisiana. I planted okra and they did great, but I had a lot of hard ones.
What can I do with those? you cannot eat them and they are hard even after you cook them. Can I use them for seeds?

The okra that is too hard are

The okra that is too hard are too mature/old. Okra can grow very rapidly in hot weather and needs to be harvested before it becomes tough. If you can't cut through the pods with a tough knife, those pods are not really suitable for serving. You are not alone: we have often missed the harvest peak--okra goes from flowers to harvest in a few days!

its hard cos its past the

its hard cos its past the normal date of harvest, ur next harvest should be aba 2 weeks earlier than u harvested this time.

I canned my okra and when I

I canned my okra and when I got it out of the pressure canned the okra was pinkish red and the brime was cloudly? What caused that? Is it safe?

When processed in brine, the

When processed in brine, the seeds of okra, which are normally colorless, turn pink and could color the okra pink. Cloudy brine is not harmful. Did you use table salt instead of pickling salt?

i sell my okra at a local

i sell my okra at a local grocery store. i pick a bushel basket full and take there soon as i pick them. every now and then the store has more than it needs and i need to know what the best way is to preserve the okra and keep it fresh looking? it starts getting spots after a couple days and doesn't present very well. open for any suggestions. thanks ryan

Make sure the okra is

Make sure the okra is completely dry, then put in a brown paper bag. Close the bag loosely. Store in a dry location that does not go above 60 degrees F or below 50 degrees F.

I live in Columbus, Ohio and

I live in Columbus, Ohio and this is the first season I've planted okra (don't know the type). I planted the young plants in a pot and the stems grew tall with lots of flowers which turned into lots of okra. My problem is they are so hard that after cooking them (soups, frying, steaming) they're not eatable. Is this because of the type of okra or something I did wrong in growing or harvesting. When harvesting I've cut them off at the stem with a knife. Help!

Once Ones gets longer than

Once Ones gets longer than 3-4 inches it gets quite tough! Pick it smaller..



What can I do to get my okra

What can I do to get my okra to bloom. The leaves are green and big and happy, but no flowers yet. I'm in St. Pete., Fl and I've grown okra the last 3 summers without any problems. Any help will be appreciated.

Bloom should occur within

Bloom should occur within approximately two months after planting. They need long periods of heat to begin producing. If you have had a cool summer the flowers may be delayed.

I live in Phoenix, Az. And

I live in Phoenix, Az. And planted some Clemson Spineless okra in May; about 6 or 8 plants in a raised bed. They are now 4 to 5 feet tall and 1 to 2 inch trunks. But never a blossom. I had them on a drip system initially then thinking they weren't getting enough water switched to a soakerhose. I've had success with Okra in the past. Don't know what's happened this year?

Hi, Andy: Considering how

Hi, Andy: Considering how finicky okra can be, it's sometimes a wonder that it's so widespread and popular. The key thing here is that you've had success before. With Clemson? What has changed? Do a detailed comparison with the past. Water (not too much; a good soaking once a week is usually fine)? Sun (love)? Drainage (necessary)? Soil (need fertile, but low nitrogen to phosphorus level, like 5-10-10)? See any pests? Nematodes on the roots? It's funny, but if any one of these factors gets even slightly out of whack, okra will throw a hissy fit and not bloom. Good luck, and thanks for asking!

one thought is that I have

one thought is that I have sweet potato vines growing beneath the okra (okra is getting plenty of sun). Also, this is the first time I tried okra in raised bed. And I think ititially they were under watered; but that was over a month ago.
Thanks for the tips....I'll consider them.

Hi Andy, My okra does pretty

Hi Andy,
My okra does pretty good and this is my first time to grow it here in Chicago land, however some of the plants get pods which produce nothing and some I get great okra. What if up with that?

I had real nice okra plants

I had real nice okra plants and they weren't blooming and this older lady told me I needed to whip them and remove some of the leaves I did this and they began to bloom and produce okra.

Removing some leaves sounds

Removing some leaves sounds like it might be worth a try; But what do you mean by whipping the plant? Thanks for your input. Andy

I took a class once on

I took a class once on growing vegs, and learned that when you stress plants by being rough they kick it up a notch and grow better. I have been whipping my tomatoes for years! To whip them you just slap the stems with your hand. Not real hard, just enough to get their attention. I do it almost daily, course I only have about 10 plants. Slapping the blossom area helps them to pollinate themselves. This is my first time growing okra and I will definitely whip them too.

Whipping the Tamale

Whipping the Tamale pot

Talking about whipping, I was advised to whip the
pot that I am cooking the
tamales with a kitchen towel to make them cook faster. It works!

I also live in the Phoenix

I also live in the Phoenix area and have not had any blooms. I wonder if it is because only one seedling survived. It is a healthy looking plant now but had not flowered. Do I have to have more than one plant for flowers to form?
By the way, I had raw okra inHawaii and it was fabulous! I was so looking forward to growing my own.

Can anybody tell me what the

Can anybody tell me what the average yield for an Okra plant is? Also, how long can I expect an average plant to keep producing?

Okra's yield really depends

Okra's yield really depends on a number of factors such as: full sun, temperatures consistently above 65 ˚F, 2 inches of watering every 7 to 10 days. Four or five plants generally yield enough produce for most families each season. Once they start producing, you should harvest every 1 to 2 days and the plant will produce pods until the first frost. 

Hello! South Texas here. I

Hello! South Texas here.
I planted some okra seeds into containers with good quality potting soil about a month ago. The temperatures here have been in the 90s, with heat index reaching the triple digits. I'm keeping them watered, and I've used Plant Tone organic fertilizer on them once. All three have sprouted, but they are pretty spindly-looking. I saw that they are only supposed to take about two months or so until harvest time...but it's not looking like that's going to happen! They are outdoors, and receiving full sun all day long. What am I doing wrong? Please help...I want okra! Thanks in advance, -Kim

Hi, Kim, Stunted growth can

Hi, Kim,
Stunted growth can be an indication of root-know nematodes. Pull the plant out of the ground and check for galls—growths—ont he root. These are caused by nematodes, teeny, tiny worms. Propoer soil and later crop rotation can help avoid this. If you planted okra where you planted squash or sweet potatoes recently, last year, or possibly before that, this could be the problem. Okra should not follow vine crop plants, such as those.
Sandy soil with lots of organic matter, with a pH between 5.8 and 6.5, is optimal. Okra also tends to respond to a high phosphate fertilizer (think of your n-p-k numbers: this is the middle one, which encourages flowers and fruit), but nitrogen as side dressing can help during the fruiting period.

Thank you for your

Thank you for your reply!
However, these okra are planted into containers, with a very good organic soil. Can they still get nematodes?

Nematodes are in the soil. A

Nematodes are in the soil. A handful of soil could contain thousands of them. Here's a bit more information: http://nematode.unl.edu/wormge...
Remember, too, that we can not confirm that this is your problem; we only suggest it. If the plant/s is in a pot, why not take one to a local coop extension or nursery and inquire there.
Good luck!

Hi, I live in north Texas and

Hi, I live in north Texas and had great success planting Okra directly in the ground after tilling it. My soil is clay/sand and dries hard as concrete, yet the Okra thrived in it anyway. Why don't you try planting some more seeds in regular soil rather than potting soil? It couldn't hurt to try it and they just might surprise you.

Hi Macs, and OFA, I planted

Hi Macs, and OFA,
I planted some okra seeds directly into the ground and they are doing remarkably well! The plants are nearing five feet in height, with leaves much bigger than dinner plates. Today I will harvest my first okra, although I have no idea what to do with just one. However, I'm seeing beautiful blooms every day. Exciting!
Also, my local nursery told me that 1) I've been using too much Plant-Tone (why plants turn whitish yellow, become spindly, and skimpy looking) and 2) They weren't getting enough sun (same results as too much Plant-Tone). From now on, I'm letting nature do most of the work!
-Kim DLR, from South Texas

My okra is planted real close

My okra is planted real close due to the size of my garden, could this effect it's production? The plants are over 5 ft. and very few blooms. Should I thin them now.

It 's often the heat that

It 's often the heat that stops/slows production—plus, you need to keep them well watered. We're not sure how far apart you planed your okra, but it probably wouldn't help to thin them at this stage. As mentioned on the page above, thinning should actually happen at the seedling stage. When the seedlings are about 3 inches tall, thin the plants so that they are 10 to 18 inches apart. However, we've had okra 6 to 8 inches apart and they've done fine.

Thanx , i have planted

Thanx , i have planted unsoaked seeds and next to the river bank, will there be a negative impact?

You can still seed without

You can still seed without soaking; this just makes them sprout up faster. Okra first grew near the Nile River in Egypt! It likes well-drained, sandy soil and hot weather. I'm not sure if that's near your riverbank but okra can usually tolerate a wide range of soils.

Deer have ate all the leaves

Deer have ate all the leaves and okra off my plants. they are pretty much bare. Will my okra still produce or are they done for?

If you are lucky the plants

If you are lucky the plants may put out new leaves along the stem. It all depends on how much damage the deer did to your plants.

I wish to know how I cam use

I wish to know how I cam use okra seeds to plant okra. I tried twice and I was unsuccessful to plant okra using its own seeds. Once I dried the seeds and once I used fresh seeds from okra itself.

Can anybody give me tips on how to plant okra from its own seeds?



That is what happens to GMO

That is what happens to GMO seeds, they are only fertile once. Get organic seeds and you will have better luck.

I've had difficulty getting

I've had difficulty getting okra seeds to germinate too, but I just wasn't waiting long enough. Seriously, I had several sprout in a pot two weeks after I totally gave up and planted something else on top of them.

One other trick that might help is gently cutting the seeds to break the hull, as is commonly done with Morning Glories.

We've had great success

We've had great success planting okra from the previous year's seeds, but we deliberately left pods on the plant until they completely matured and dried out and started to split. That way we were sure that the seeds were fully matured.

Just a thought - are you

Just a thought - are you trying to use seeds from pods you bought at the store? If so, this will never work as pods used in cooking are immature and the seeds are not fully formed. If you want to grow Okra at all, you will have to beg or buy seeds from mature pods. A clue is that mature seeds should be round and dark-colored a bit like very tiny peas. If you were starting with white, flattened seeds, they were definitely immature. My own method for saving seed is to allow one or two pods to mature and dry on the plant near the end of the season. The pods turn brown and woody and when they split open, I collect the seeds. I hope this helps

what is the efect of spacing

what is the efect of spacing on the growth and yield of okra?

I grew 2 25' rows of okra

I grew 2 25' rows of okra last year, didn't thin them, and regretted it. I couldn't get to the okra pods growing in the center of the rows, and I couldn't even get down between the 2 rows. Due to the tallness of the plants at harvest time, and the stickiness of the plants, I failed to obtain a full harvest. This year I've planted 4 rows, but I'm going to thin as recommended. However, the deer loved the pods I left! So not a total waste.

I live in DE and would like

I live in DE and would like to plant okra. As okra require hot temperatures, will planting them from seeds give the plant enough time to grow and bear fruit in the summer? Also, how deep should the soil be for the plant. I'm thinking of planting in pots and need to know how deep the pots should be.


Hi I'm from Weymouth

I'm from Weymouth Massachusetts My first experience growing okra was fantastic and I plan to plant some this year as well. I soaked the seeds over night placed them in two long deep flower boxes and sat them on my patio. lots of sun, I also believe the heat from the brick kept the boxes warm. I was picking okra from my plants every day. I did not space them a distance apart they had no problems growing.I froze a large container and had them last week. Hope I have good luck this year as well.
Happy gardening !

Hello We want to research on

We want to research on Okra in the university. to calculate Crop water requirement by FAO standard equations, we need Kc (crop coefficient) and period of the four growth stage. Can you help us in this case?

Hi. We are a mother &

Hi. We are a mother & daughter living in the Buffalo, NY area. We grew okra twice in the past few years. Our Clemson Spineless did not grow very tall, but we did harvest pods. It did better the first year than the second. We planted in the same space, which may not have been very smart, and the weather was not as hot and dry the second year. We have two seeds started inside, left over from a previous packet. We were wondering if this year (2014) will be good for okra in our area. If it won't be, we may wait to buy more seed another year. We are on a non-smart phone, with no access to a computer in the home, so it is very difficult to find websites that will load on this phone to research this ourselves. If anyone has this information, or knows of non-smart-friendly sites for us to view on this matter, we would very much appreciate that. Happy Growing, and Good Harvests!

Okra tends to be a southern

Okra tends to be a southern plant. It could be tricky to grow in upstate New York because okra prefers a long season in warmer temperatures. 
You'd need to start the seeds indoors very early in the spring and then to hold off planting them until late June when the soil is warm. Nights should be in the 60s and days 85 or warmer. It takes 50 to 60 days to harvest.
To germinate, first soak the large seeds overnight. Plant in a very sunny spot with warm soil so the okra stay cozy!

We have dear friends in the

We have dear friends in the Stuttgart area of Germany. They are avid gardeners and produce so well in a limited area that I am amazed. They also produce a few okra plants. They begin them in their southern window,in very early spring, let them grow rather sturdy and then plant them on the south side with heat deflection from the light colored stucco. Before they had met us Okies, they had never eaten okra.

For just about any crop that

For just about any crop that doesn't do well in cold weather there is a simple trick.Start the seeds in early spring relative to your areas climate. Next all you need is to build a simple green house. Heavy plastics hold lots of heat even in cold climates. Junk wood or poles the proper hight are free depending on where you look. In short you can grow anything as long as you prep your garden according.

i have heard of an okra that

i have heard of an okra that no matter how big it gets it is as tender as the small ones. i checked at our feed store in my town and told them what i was looking for. they said that was a cowhorn okra. is that what it is and is it really that good?

The cow's horn okra is an

The cow's horn okra is an heirloom and dates back to the Civil War. The large pods are spineless and tender up to 10" long. You can find seeds online.

thank you for your reply.

thank you for your reply. that is what i found at my hometown feed store. thank you for confirming. i am going to have a great crop for my first time.

So glad to hear this. I was

So glad to hear this. I was worried thst my okra was defective. Lol i was going out one day and it wasnt ready to pick...then the nect dsy i had 6-8 inch long pods. Lol i was almost scared to eat it. I was given heirloom seeds but nobody said it was cowhorn or hiw big it would get. Lol

There is a brand of okra i

There is a brand of okra i can buy frozen (Montana brand) that are 1.5 cm or smaller. It is a variety (size) of okra common in middle east, I believe Egypt. I live in Texas and would like to try and grow this small variety. Can you help me figure out what variety this is, where to buy it, and how to grow it. Thanks.

Okra originates from Egypt

Okra originates from Egypt and there are Egyptian manufacturers of frozen okra, but we do not know what seed they use. Here is the Montana site if you wish to contact them: http://www.montanaeg.com/ Hope this helps.

Baker Creek sells a plant

Baker Creek sells a plant called "pink okra" which is really more oh a hibiscus, but the pod is still edible (okra is closely related to hibiscus according to the Baker Creek blurb on pink okra). The pods are small but stubby, so may or may not be what you're looking for. I'll be trying them for the first in time this year.

Baker Creek sells a plant

Baker Creek sells a plant called "pink okra" which is really more oh a hibiscus, but the pod is still edible (okra is closely related to hibiscus according to the Baker Creek blurb on pink okra). The pods are small but stubby, so may or may not be what you're looking for. I'll be trying them for the first in time this year.

Try "Israeli" or "Jade" -

Try "Israeli" or "Jade" - both available from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange - dedicated folks who are not as "political" as Baker Creek tends to be. I have also had no off types nor poor germination with SESE (unlike BC).

Those of you in the DFW,

Those of you in the DFW, Texas area, plant that okra! I've had tremendous success with multiple varieties. I've even experimented with three and four varieties intermixed, and they do great. They need the heat. I live in a neighborhood with a day care center behind my house. That property is inclosed with a concrete fence (the type that's cast and painted to look like brick). That wall is on the west side of my house at the back of my yard. That thing gets HOT! I plant okra along that wall across the back of my gardening space. The okra thrives with that incredible heat, and the beautiful, tall okra plants protect the rest of the garden from the searing heat that radiates off that fence. When the okra starts producing, we eat okra every single day and still have enough to freeze. Please try frying/sautéing your okra whole. Whether you dredge them or leave them naked, cooking okra whole preserves their flavor and greatly reduces the slime factor. The more you cut okra, the more slime you get. Frankly, I can never get back inside the house before I've eaten several pods right off the plant.

Thanks! We live in DFW and

Thanks! We live in DFW and are going to try planting okra for the first time this year. Going to pick up some okra plants next week at the farmers market. We are a family of 4, how many okra plants do you suggest to feed 4? Thanks!

Glad you're interested in

Glad you're interested in okra! I typically have between 12 and 20 plants. It's just the two of us, and that keeps us in okra all season plus some to give (if we're "okra'd out") and some to store. When the plants start producing, I can collect a few pods a couple of days, then cook them. At the height of their production, there is enough for us to eat daily without that wait. If. I have more plants, I usually end up giving away a bit and storing it. I've made pickled okra refrigerator style, and I freeze a lot. If your little ones are small or particularly sensitive, you might want to harvest the okra yourself. The plants do make you itchy. I hope you'll have as much success as I've had. Sometimes by the end of the season I have to send my 6'4" husband out to harvest the okra; I've had plants grow well over seven feet tall. Good luck!

Thanks for the heads up on

Thanks for the heads up on the itchiness! My daughter helped me cut okra one day and she got an itchy rash from the slime so they don't touch it anymore. I have sensitive skin too so I will make sure to use gloves when harvesting. I picked up four okra plants this weekend and we are growing them in pots on our patio so I doubt they will get above 6 feet, but we are looking forward to hopefully getting some good meals out of them! thanks for all the helpful info!!

There's a dwarf strain of

There's a dwarf strain of okra. The plants only get about 3-4' tall. That would be perfect for container gardening. Also, if you're crazy about okra, there's a long pod variety. Pods get 6-7" long and are just as tender and delicious as young, small pods on a standard okra plant. Okra is very easy to grow from seed. At the end of the season, I leave a few pods on the plants to grow and then dry with the stalk. Happy OKRA!

We live just north of Dallas

We live just north of Dallas and got a lot of rain yesterday. The okra was doing great until this morning. They are all droopy now. Not sure if they got too much water and not enough sunlight yesterday? Supposed to be cold tonight so we brought the pots indoors. We'll see how they look tomorrow, but right now, they don't look so good. :(

I grew a standard okra last

I grew a standard okra last year in a patio picker self watering planter (don't know the type, the starter plants I bought were just lab led okra and it had spines). Grew about ten plants in one container. They did fine. Grew about 4 feet tall. Was picking a good meal every day.

The leaves were good, too, though they were fuzzy and did have a little slime. We're great in stews or rolled up and dipped in humus. I tried a red okra too. It grew fine, but I planted it late in the season and only got one pod before things turned cold. The red had a thicker woody stem and thick roots that grew into the self watering screen. I was able to separate the roots without damaging the screen (yea!).

Going to try clemens spineless from seed this year. I'm hoping the leaves will be fuzz free, because for me, that was the only downside of eating the leaf

Thanks for the info! Do you

Thanks for the info! Do you know the dimensions of your patio picker?

If you can get the plastic

If you can get the plastic bags they throw newspaper in
then you can wear them as gloves when you pick the okra. I usually use the plastic grocery bags as gloves since we usually have so many. Keeps from itching.

Great tip! Thanks!

Great tip! Thanks!

We live in Texas and would

We live in Texas and would like to plant okra in a pot this summer. The pot has approx 2 ft diameter and is probably 3 feet tall. How many okra plants will fit in this pot?

Okra is spaced about a foot

Okra is spaced about a foot apart so your container has to be quite large. We'd use a container a least a foot deep, too.


A good sized heavy container

A good sized heavy container should also be considered given the height of the okra and the potential for wind to tip the pot.

You can grow okra closer

You can grow okra closer together in a self watering container. I grew money about 6 inches apart. The dirt part of the container is only about 8 inches deep, with a water res about 4 inches deep.

We plant 6 to 8 plants in the

We plant 6 to 8 plants in the center of 30 gallon pots (recycled tree containers) - use a blend of native loamy sand and Metromix. Fertilize every 2 weeks with tobacco blend fertilizer (lower nitrogen) and water every 4 to 5 days now - will be every other day in July. They produce great - which makes me happy because the whole house loves okra - people, dogs, parrot included. Try marinating in Green Thai curry paste with a splash of coconut cream (thick stuff but NOT sweetened) and thread onto 2 bamboo skewers (like the okra are rungs of a ladder) and throw on a medium grill. OMG! Red Thai curry paste works great too.

I live in Sierra Leone, West

I live in Sierra Leone, West Africa. I have high interest in growing okra in a large scale for profit making. But in Sierra Leone we have only 2 season, the dry season that starts in November and ends in April with no rain at all, and the raining season starts in May and ends in October with only few days of no rain.Which of these two seasons could be the best for me to engage in extensive growing of okra to achieve my goal?

Hello my friend. I now live

Hello my friend. I now live in South East Europe and will try OKRA for first time.
I lived many years in Zimbabwe where Okra/Ladies Fingers are part of the staple diet with sadza (mealie/corn meal).
As you are in Afrika, and I know the west African climate is tropical, you may well try and find other African websites to help you in your quest.
Good Luck!

I live in Virginia at an

I live in Virginia at an elevation of 2500 feet. Every year I plant okra and every year I am disappointed. I have tried different varieties and have probably had a little better success with "North and South" variety. My plants put on good vegetative growth, put on lots of blooms but no fruit. The small pods that form at the base of the blooms look healthy at the time of blooming but they turn brown and fall off a few days after the bloom. We tend to have a lot of cool nights and I am wondering if that is the reason why the pods don't develop. The daytime temperatures are normally in the 80's. I dearly love okra so any insight concerning this problem will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Hi Jerry, Fluctuating

Hi Jerry,
Fluctuating temperatures will cause flowers and pods to drop. Try growing okra in containers or raised beds; the soil will be warmer. Also try some of the dwarf varieties that mature faster. Good luck!

Thanks for the information.

Thanks for the information. I'll definitely give that a try and see if I have better luck. It will be a good experiment worth trying.

maybe a soil analysis from

maybe a soil analysis from your Ag extension office in order? Bet you need some phosphorus and/or some potassium and always magnesium (we use Epsom salts)

We live at 2300 ft. in N.

We live at 2300 ft. in N. Georgia Mountains and have grown CLEMSON SPINELESS since 2002 and have never has a problem. Local grown Okra is one of the largest selling items at our Farmer's Market and we have one of the largest around. Over 1,000 shoppers every Saturday when the season opens until the season closes. So large, that they had to expand the parking lot by 1/2 again and they are in the process of building a 3rd sales canopy. The County Fire Dept. is on hand to handle the parking. Lots of people at highter elevations than me growing Okra. Check out Union County Farmers Market in Blairsville, Ga. You might want to check our temperature history as compared to yours to see if Clemson Spineless will help you.

Hope this helps you.

please can you tell me when i

please can you tell me when i can use the seeds..i live in malta...
thank you..

Just sharing: Thank you for

Just sharing:

Thank you for your okra advice! I live in an apartment in Central NJ and started some okra in a pot this summer. Because my balcony has an eastern exposure (and I planted late), my most vigorous plant produced one, enormous pod. The variety is Pitre's Red Cowhorn.

I brought my plants in for the winter: I now have two, "normal-sized" pods in my living room on that same vigorous okra plant. I am going to cut them now and not wait 'til they get enormous like their inedible sibling!

I live in California, about

I live in California, about 2700 ft in elevation. The okra (green type) grew to over 6' and produced LOTS of okra. It is now November, with temps reaching in the low 40F and they are still putting off green pods. Wondering if I left the plants in the ground, could they become permanent? I have enriched the soil with horse manure, and water 2x daily during the summer. ?

Do you get frost? Okra will

Do you get frost? Okra will keep bearing until frost which will indeed kill it.

we DO get frost - usually by

we DO get frost - usually by now, but it's still warm. Thanks for your reply.

I am growing okra on

I am growing okra on southwest FL and surprisingly the plants are only about 18 inches tall,about 45 days old and already bearing small pods, the variety is Clemson Spineless,can someone tell me if is this normal?

This type of okra is ready to

This type of okra is ready to harvest in 50 days to 64 days, so you're approaching that zone. You must have had some nice growing conditions! Harvest pods when 3 inches long for the most tender, flavorful okra.

I planted some okra plants

I planted some okra plants here in Austin, but the Okra is the pink kind and it's hard like card board! I really prefer the green okra to fry. How do I cook the pink ones that are like card board? I'm thinking of just pulling it up and staring over and making sure I get the green okra plants next time!

If you have a special variety

If you have a special variety of red okra, the red color will disappear when you cook it and the pods will look green.
Okra pods--of any variety--need to be harvested when they are very young--no more than 4 inches long.  It's when they get longer that they get tough like "cardboard." If okra is hard to cut with a sharp knife, its too tough for cooking.

According to the Baker Creek

According to the Baker Creek website, pink okra (not to be confused with red okra just for clarity sake here) is not a true okra, but a close cousin in the hibiscus family. The pods are still edible, though. I'm planting some this year to try them out. No idea about recipies, but thanks for the heads up about them being like cardboard in the raw state. Wonder how t he'll hold up to pickling? Another thing to try is grinding the seeds up to see if they make a good "okra coffee". From what I've read, okra coffee has to be judged on its own merits. Don't try to compare it to regular coffee, you either like it for its own taste or you don't.

Please i'll be very happy if

Please i'll be very happy if you can add the diagram of the life cycle of the okra plant

I had a very productive

I had a very productive summer crop of okra here in Washington, D.C.Okra grew over 6 feet and I had to pick it every other day.I have had plenty of okra all summer. When is it time to pull it up to start the fall garden?

Glad to hear that you had a

Glad to hear that you had a productive summer. Pull your okra plants now. Try cold weather vegetables like lettuce, collards and cabbage for a fall garden.

Hey, I've been trying to grow

Hey, I've been trying to grow okra from seeds for about 1 month now, not having a great success rate. I live in Adelaide, South Australia and it's mid spring here now. Just wondering if okra will grow here? the vegetable is pretty much unheard of in Australia

Okra needs warmth to

Okra needs warmth to germinate and grow. You can start seeds indoors if you like. When seeding okra directly in the ground, wait until the air temperature is at least 16°C and plant in full sun. Before planting soak the seeds overnight or nick each seed to encourage germination.

Quite excited! Planted seeds

Quite excited! Planted seeds 3 days ago in paper cups and now I see the sprouts. I placed them inside the bathroom to get some warm moisture but not yet directly under the sun. When is it safe to bring them out to get full sunlight before I transplant them in my garden plot? How many days after they sprouted?

Dory, where do you live?

Dory, where do you live?  Okra is usually planted in the spring once the soil has warmed or in the fall about 3 months prior to frost. Even in southern Texas, this would be first part of August so they have time to grow before frost. If you are in a place without frost, work the soil about 8 inches deep and mix in compost about 2 inches deep. Plant once your seedlings have their second true set of leaves and space 18 inches apart. Water in. Then keep soil fairly dry; water every 7 to 10 days.

Does cutting the stem and

Does cutting the stem and leaf just below the okra pod hell or hurt the plant or growth?

Leave the leaves and harvest

Leave the leaves and harvest pods daily to keep okra producing.

I let my pods get to big and

I let my pods get to big and woody to use. The seeds inside are still soft. Are these edible or should I just toss these and wait for some smaller ones?

Usually, if the pods are too

Usually, if the pods are too mature, the pods are tough. Try cutting through a pod with a sharp knife; if they are tough, they're unsuitable for eating. If not, go for it!  You should remove old pods from the plant or it will stop producing. Or, you can choose to save the seeds for next year by leaving some pods on the plant and harvesting them when they become fully mature and almost dry.

You can dry the seeds and

You can dry the seeds and grind them like coffee beans and put in a coffee maker to make a drink like you would coffee. I'm being careful here because from what I've read, people call this okra drink "coffee" in reference to how it's made, not what it taste like. Folks who thought they were going to get a coffee flavor are disappointed in the taste, but those who drink it for its own flavor seem to like it. I haven't tried it yet but am planning to this year

I want to save some of my

I want to save some of my okra seeds to plant next year how should I dry out the pods ? I prefer to take them off the plant first

Saving okra seeds is fairly

Saving okra seeds is fairly easy. Just let the pods dry on the plant. When you can shake the pods and hear the seeds, the seeds are dried out and ready. Store them in a cool, dry place.

My okra is 3ft. tall I live

My okra is 3ft. tall I live in Michigan I haven't seen pods yet but have noticed flowers is it time to be patient and still let grow or should I clip the flowers to get the pods please let me know I know that I did plant them to close for a first time grower I've have about twenty in a 2 x2 area please reply

Our sources suggest that, in

Our sources suggest that, in your area, pods should follow flowers in about five days. However, remember that okra is a warm (hot!) weather crop; cool, wet, cloudy days will retard it maturity. Be patient. When pods get to be 2 to 3 inches, long, start picking. If you wait for them to get larger, the plant could stop producing—and they get tough as they larger. Good luck, yours sounds like a great crop!

I live in N Ga. I planted

I live in N Ga. I planted Okra the First of July. It looks GREAT, however there are NO blooms. Its about 4' tall and looks very healthy. I am hoping to get some out of all my efforts. Hopefully next near I can get an earlier start. Its the Middle of August now and the days are getting cooler plus we have had lots of rain. But again, it looks extremely healthy. Thanks

Please advice watering

Please advice watering sequence for Okra plant. We have pretty sturdy leaves growing, with less yield. Also advice the type of pruning needed.

Okra likes a drier climate so

Okra likes a drier climate so let the soil dry out between waterings to avoid rot. It really depends on your climate. A half-inch of water per week is adequate (including rainwater).  Pick the pods when they are 1 to 4 inches. Don't wait too long.

do you have to stake and tie

do you have to stake and tie as the plant grows? Like a tomato plant?

Okra can get quite tall as it

Okra can get quite tall as it matures so, yes, a stake might be needed to support to keep your okra plant from leaning over.

I've had great success with

I've had great success with Clemson Spineless in Austin, TX Zone 8. They are extremely sturdy plants. I never staked them, and they stood about 3.5 feet tall. Once they really got going, I had to pick at least every other day (until first frost) to keep okra from getting too woody. Good luck!

My okra plants are over 5'

My okra plants are over 5' tall but are not producing pods??? I've only cut 4 pods from over 25 plants?? help?

How's the weather? Okra needs

How's the weather? Okra needs temperatures above 80 degrees to grow--hot, hot, hot! Pods usually appear in two months. Often, slow growth is slow in the beginning --and then very quick! 


I live in QUITO ECUADOR.The average daily temp is 70 degrees F.Will OKRA grow at this temp?If not will putting transparent plastic around the plants help and how should I make the greenhouse for each OKRA plant?

You can make a

You can make a mini-greenhouse for your okra plants using bent pvc pipe or even strong wire to support the plastic covering. We make them by pounding short pieces of iron rebar into the ground and slipping the pvc pipe over them to create hoops. Cover the hoops with plastic. Be sure to make it tall enough to allow for growth of the plant and either cut vent slits to avoid cooking the plants on sunny days or open and close the ends each day to avoid overheating. Even a heavy-weight reemay row cover will raise the temperature within the hoop a few degrees.

I'm trying to figure out if

I'm trying to figure out if my okra is still good...at least good enough to make pickles with them. I received a 1/2 bushel of okra that I've been trying to use up for the past 2 weeks. It still looks pretty good in the box on my dining room table with no refrigeration. I cut one open last night and there is a BLACK SEED CANAL but the other seed canals looked fine as did the outside of the okra. They are starting to get a couple of brown spots but they are not soft or black on the outside. Any advice would be most appreciated!

would like to see a picture

would like to see a picture of okra in flower stage,never grown it before want to be sure and get full plants

I planted some okra seeds a

I planted some okra seeds a couple of weeks ago and are now about 3 to 4 inches high. If I thin them out like its recommended can I replant the ones I pull out somewhere else?
Can the ones I take out be saved or will they died if I transplant them somewhere else.

Here's a yummy way to enjoy

Here's a yummy way to enjoy okra. Pick, wash ,and cut into disks. Fry in a small amount of hot oil (no coating). When crisp, drain on paper towels, and sprinkle with garam masala. Garam masala is a spice blend used in Indian cooking and can be found in Indian grocery stores. Great as a snack or as a side dish with pork loin.

has anyone tried okra chips?

has anyone tried okra chips? i think you liquid nitrogen them and add salt. tried some at the grocery store the other day and they were DELICIOUS!!

interested in the okra

interested in the okra chips???? Can I get more info?????


I planted some okra seedlings in my garden bout 6 weeks ago and they are growing very slow....is that ok or do I need to replant...they've only grown 2 inches taller in the last month

be patient

I had the same issue with my plants last year. Give them time. Okra won't start to really take off and grow well until the heat hits consistently and the soil warms up. Once warmer days arrive though, watch out! My Clemson spineless was well over 10 feet tall by late summer in 2012.

Can you freeze whole then

Can you freeze whole then thaw without it being soggy like peppers

Yes, you can freeze okra. The

Yes, you can freeze okra. The smooth types freeze better than the ridged types. Here are instructions from the OK cooperative extension: How to freeze okra: Select young tender pods and separate into small pods (4 inches or under) and large pods. Wash. Remove the stems at the end of the seed cells, being careful not to expose the seed cell. Water blanch small pods 3 minutes and large pods 5 minutes. Cool promptly and drain. Leave whole or slice crosswise. Package, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Seal and freeze.

Okra up north.

How long will okra last in weather that changes often and doesn't always reach 75 degrees?

We can only say that okra is

We can only say that okra is most productive when the nights are at least in the 60s and days 85 or warmer. If it’s not hot or hasn’t been sunny, then your okra may just need a little more time to grow.

Are there any other vegatables that okra should not be planted ?

What should okra not be planted close to?

Okra can get along with most

Okra can get along with most plants and we do not know of any bad companions. Good companions are eggplant basil and pepper. Okra prefers soil with a near-neutral pH between 6.5 and 7.0, so that fits many plants.

Okra companion gardening

In my experience, okra does not like tomatoes. The plants that grew next to the tomatoes were very small and didn't produce much.

I have lots of them from

I have lots of them from Ghana & are Clemson spineless. They are very sweet cos of our tropics & good land. Anyone in need of commercial quantities can link up for us to do business. +233 20 8332838. nexlinks@gmail.com


I have a question or two can you block plant okra and if so what would be the best setting out measurements for transplants

For square foot gardening

For square foot gardening plant 1 or 2 plants in a square. If you are planning bigger blocks plant the okra in rows 2 feet apart.

I grow okra in a 42"x42"

I grow okra in a 42"x42" raised bed garden. I plant 8 plants in the garden.

First row -- 10" from edge of garden -- 3 plants at 10" apart

Second row -- middle of garden -- 2 plants at 14" apart and 14" from the edge of the garden

Third row -- 10" from opposite edge of garden -- 3 plants at 10" apart.

My okra plants grew to about 7' tall last year and produced enough okra to have for dinner once a week and I froze enough large sandwich freezer bags to give away 8 packages and still have enough to have it once a week through the winter. Just ran out about a month ago.

okra taller than 5 or even 6 ft

I have had okra plants up to 7 and 8 ft tall never seen any like that a had a cop stop and look thought i was growing weed because of it being so tall

Tall okra

Mine got very tall as well. I fertilized with about 1 TBSP of fertilizer when plant was about a foot tall. again when blossoms appeared. Cover fertilizer with dirt and water.

Okra also makes great

Okra also makes great pickles. You can google any pickle recipe and make it into a refrigerator pickle if you don't want to bother with canning. I make a lemon okra pickle that's delish when the weather's warm.

Lemon Okra Pickle

Would you care to share the recipe for lemon okra pickle.

how to put up and store okra

You should wash okra, let it dry, then cut it and freeze. Works alot better than trying to cut it frozen. Just shake out the amount you want, flour or meal while frozen, and fry.

Botanical Name: 

Abelmoschus esculentus

Plant Type: 

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