Growing Okra, also Ladyfinger, gumbo

Abelmoschus esculentus : Malvaceae / the mallow family

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec

(Best months for growing Okra in USA - Zone 5a regions)

  • S = Plant undercover in seed trays
  • T = Plant out (transplant) seedlings
  • P = Sow seed
  • Grow in seed trays, and plant out in 4-6 weeks. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 68°F and 95°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 14 - 24 inches apart
  • Harvest in 11-14 weeks.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Peppers (Capsicum, Chili), Eggplant (Aubergine)
  • Okra on flowering plant

Raise seedlings in a similar way to capsicums - warmth is essential. Pick pods when they are about 5 - 8 cm (2-4 inches) long. Cut the stem below the pod with a knife. If the stem is too tough to cut then the pod is probably inedible!

Wear gloves when picking as okra are often covered in tiny irritating hairs (which disappear when cooked)

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Okra

Use pods cut or whole in soups or casseroles as a boiled vegetable, or stirfry. Freeze uncut okra pods for using later - they'll keep for months frozen.

Your comments and tips

02 Mar 23, Martha Chigova (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
Can I plant okra in March
30 Jan 23, Sharon (USA - Zone 10b climate)
Can i grow okra year around? What variety to plant?
01 Feb 23, Anonymous (USA - Zone 10b climate)
Not advised. Choose any variety.
13 Oct 22, Farin Bourne (Canada - Zone 3b Temperate Warm Summer climate)
There are some amazing recipes of okra on YouTube for curried and fried okra
04 Sep 22, Ted Ledbetter (USA - Zone 4b climate)
I am in zone 4b never have good luck growing my okra tried it for a few years now northern lower Michigan.any help thank you ted
12 Sep 22, Anonymous (USA - Zone 5b climate)
Did you plant it at the right time.
15 Jul 22, Joanna (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
Has anyone grown Okra in Christchurch? I bought seeds coz I'm curious about them but it doesn't look like they grow in our Temps?
05 Mar 23, Dave Sinclair (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
N Otago /Waitaki River. Planted 12 seeds, late Dec, 3 seedlings 2 survived. 6 5.3.23. Yes they do grow, In Hot House, but they like 20-30 degrees cel 24 hours a day. Dave.
29 Jul 22, Tim (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I've grown it in Chch before. It grew well (lots of vegetation) but I didn't get a very big harvest off it.
18 May 22, Janet Ann Shpak (Canada - Zone 4b Temperate Warm Summer climate)
Soil Temps have to be pretty high for okra. Is it better to wait until late June to plant in zone 4b?
Showing 1 - 10 of 353 comments

I'm in 10b (not so huge difference), I sowed directly in a container outside, also late June and they are doing awesome :)

- Milena

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