< Previous
To Top

Growing Okra

Botanical Name:

Abelmoschus esculentus


Traditionally a southern favorite, Okra is a member of the hibiscus family that produces, small, slender, edible green pods, with a mild flavor and ridged texture. When cooked, the pods release a viscous substance that is sometimes used as a thickening agent. Prefers warm climates


Planting Time:

Start indoors three to four weeks after the last frost date or sow seeds directly outdoors when soil warms to 68ºF. Warm climates can start a second crop in early summer.


full sun


deep, fertile, well-drained soil with a pH of 6.5 to 6.8


Plant seeds _ to _ inch deep spaced 2 to 3 inches apart in rows 12 to 24 inches apart. If you prefer, stratify (nick) and soak seeds prior to planting to speed germination. When seedlings reach a height of four inches, thin by cutting extras with a scissors. Transplants should be spaced 12 inches apart.


Keep soil evenly moist (not wet) to encourage continuous production of pods. Plants are susceptible to stem rot, so avoid getting water directly on plants.



Mulch around plants to control weeds and retain soil moisture. Apply an organic fertilizer, like compost tea, every few weeks to boost production.

Harvesting & Storage:

Pods should be harvested when they are young and tender and have reached a length of 1 to 6 inches. Harvest frequently to keep plants producing. Okra is highly perishable and should be frozen, pickled, canned or eaten within 24-48 hours of harvesting. Dry over-ripe pods for arrangements.

Diseases and Pests:

Common okra problems include cabbage worms and aphids. Remove worms by hand and spray aphids with an organic insecticide or spray them with a hose.

Add your voice! Click below to comment. ThriftyFun is powered by your wisdom!

August 16, 20110 found this helpful

Thanks for printing an article on how to grow Okra. I live in New England, and would like to try it in a few large containers next year. If I use organic soil for potting early started plants, do I need to mix anything else into the soil 1st to ensure an abundant growth when transplanting outside; ie: fertilizer or lime, or some other soil amendment so the PH will be right?


Do I use just plain seed starting soil to start them & do I need to use heating pads or lights? Hope you can answer this in a future article or as feedback on the site. I love southern foods & growing my own foods to save $, but it can get expensive when you invest time, labor & $ & nothing comes up. I'd like to get it right the 1st time. Thanks for any help.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

Add your voice! Click below to comment. ThriftyFun is powered by your wisdom!

Related Content
In This Guide
Okra Plant with Blue Sky in Background
Growing Okra
< Previous
Home and Garden Gardening Growing VegetablesApril 17, 2006
fried okra
Cooking Okra
Pickled Okra
Pickled Okra Recipes
Drying Okra for Crafts
Small isolated okra with more in the background.
Freezing Okra
Halloween Ideas!
Ask a Question
Share a Post
Desktop Page | View Mobile

Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact Us

© 1997-2017 by Cumuli, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Published by .

Generated 2017/10/09 11:14:26 in 1 secs. ⛅️️
Loading Something Awesome!