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)

Your comments and tips

07 Nov 09, Peddo (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Sadia, do not pick yellowish okra, wait a bit longer for the greenish hue. Prakash, throw away any okra that you put ant killer on, what were you thinking? It is poison! Stop ants with a little spray of garlic. Easy to make, crush garlic, add olive oil and water. Dmitri, hey, these growing tips are answers to questions, you get an answer. How far apart? 30cm should do it.
02 Dec 10, Sam (Australia - arid climate)
Even if you're not growing organic, it is absolutely life-and-death important to only use the right chemicals and only use them EXACTLY as instructed on the packet. It is illegal to do otherwise, and for good reason! Farmers are required to undergo training to legally use things that home gardeners can buy off-the-shelf. Do not be fooled into thinking that because it came from the supermarket it's safe! (The same even applies to some organic controls.) Ant dust intended for on-ground application could stay on the plant and very toxic for a very long time, whereas a chemical intended for use on EDIBLE plants would be less toxic and break down faster or wash off cleanly.
10 Nov 09, Khurram (Australia - temperate climate)
Can we ask you for other vegetables as well?
15 Nov 09, Dmitri (Australia - temperate climate)
Hey i have a few Okra plants growing that i have just planted out in the back yard as seedlings and they are growing strong, i have found some small flower buds on the young plants and was wondering if this is common with transplants or if i should cut the buds off and allow the young plants to focus on growing as they are still quite small. My zucchini seem to be growing flowers already and they are only small, recent transplants. Has anyone experience anything similiar?
29 Aug 12, Ravi (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
No! - It is quite OK for okra to start fruiting early - just wait till the weather gets a bit warmer, the plants will then grow up so quickly. Mka esure you keep picking up the okra when they are still tender (4 - 5 inches max)
16 May 16, Ayeka (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I planted okra seeds and realised belatedly that it's the wrong season for this vege. Is there any way I can salvage the plants? They have become strong seedlings, but I read that they don't do well in cold weather. Is planting it indoors until summer an option? Sorry, I am a total newb at gardening.
19 Nov 16, Cecilia (Australia - temperate climate)
Can you grow okra next to tomatoes and basil running out of garden space.
22 Dec 09, Dimpy (Australia - temperate climate)
I planted few okra seeds with seedling mix. They didn't show any groth for a month; then all of a sudden grown for about 3cm. But when transplanted in hot weather, none of them could survive. Any tips for saving them
31 Dec 09, skip (Australia - temperate climate)
I have grown Okra for a few years and have had reasonable success. I buy the Clemson spineless seeds and have found a short pre-soaking helps germination. I have had my best success in growing seedlings in late spring (>20C) and kept away from the elements as the plants are whimps when it comes to cold. I plant out in mid-Nov (Adelaide hills). They are very slow at the beginning and you must be patient. I have found the fastest growth occurs when temps are >25C, but they hate dry hot wind. If you are willing to baby the plants with consistent watering (2-3 times/week) with liquid fertiliser (they're very heavy feeders) and get them to approx 12 inches they grow like a weed after that with little care. Pick the pods at approx 3" but discard any over 5" as they are very woody. Good luck
01 Jan 10, matt berry (Australia - temperate climate)
Have just tried growing okra in Perth and have had great success. Planted them against Nth facing wall out of direct sea breeze. I watered regularly and nursed them to about 40cm and then the took off. Now about 1.2 m. Will have first harvest next week.
Showing 11 - 20 of 364 comments

I would think being in zone 10b you could grow whatever your heart desires!

- Joseph Greene

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