How do i grow okra?

milenka(6)June 26, 2009


How do i grow okra??? Please, i really need help. This is my second year and my okra is not growing, the plant looks happy but it is no more than 5 inches toll , the same happened las year and i really want to be able to grow okra because is my husbands favorite veg. Please help?

I live in Utah , here is dry, we don't have humidity and my garden is in a realy suny area, but of course i water my plants and put some fertilirser every two months or every month. Thanks.

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Mmm. I grow Okra in ground and in containers.

In (15 gallon) containers I am growing "Cajun Jewel" and "Zeebest". They were planted with 9 month controlled release fertilizer and watered twice a week. Every 2 weeks I give them a half / dose of Miracle Grow (1.5 tablespoon to 3 gallons water.) My Okra are doing FANTASTIC! I am using a soil recipe from a member here called 511 which is pine fines, perlite, etc.

My inground Okra are not doing as hot. The Zeebest are about 3 foot tall after 3 months (that is not good) and my7 cajun jewels are about a foot. Granted the inground garden ph is probably through the roof and not very well taken care of. I do not pay attention to the inground garden to much and needs love.

It does sound to me your Okra are under fertilized. Okra likes heat and likes to dry out between waterings. Not sure of temp in utah, but 2-3 times a week watering should be sufficient for okra.

What kind of soil are you in? Quick draining?

    Bookmark   June 26, 2009 at 5:00PM
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Dan Staley

Heat. Heat. And more heat. Mine is not even that tall, but now the heat is kicking in and they are starting to stir. Okra don't mind poor soil, but it must be well-drained.

I haven't tried containers, but I may next year...


    Bookmark   June 26, 2009 at 6:55PM
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anney(Georgia 8)


Have you grown them in containers prior to this year? I've planted mine in containers, too, and am wondering if they'll grow without support (an open-pollinated variety, White Velvet). I had mine in the ground last year and they did pretty poorly, though I admit that I, too, didn't do much to coddle them. When it gets hot enough for okra to really grow, I can hardly bear being outside to check on them, even in the early morning.

But anyway, since this variety grows 4-5 feet tall, I'm wondering if they'll stay upright in containers without support, like a stake. I've found that sometimes containerized plants require support (like my bell peppers) when they don't need it in-ground, maybe because the root structure is not as deep and strong in containers.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2009 at 8:48PM
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I have found Okra to do better in container then in ground (at least in S. Fl.) As far as support goes, this is my third year growing Okra in containers, I have done nothing but plant them. No support was ever needed. Last year, I had the variety crimson spinless from March to October in two containers (about 8 month growing season). It was a great producer.

If you get the chance and you love Okra, try ZeeBest variety. Wow! They have a more mild flavor then anything I have tried, but taste great.

I have grown Zeebest, Cajun Jewel, crimson spinless. So far ZeeBest is my favorite. I know there are more varieties which I plan to plant in the fall.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2009 at 8:57AM
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I gre clemson spinless last year in a container and they did very well. I think I planted them late June or even July. They love the heat and don't seem to really grow if it's not hot enough. It gets into the 100's here regularly and the Okra seem to really thrive in those high temps.

Maybe it's not hot enough in your zone yet.


    Bookmark   June 27, 2009 at 11:05AM
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Thanks to all of you so much. Here in Utah gets really hot in sumer , provably arround 100 is comun. For the last month and 1/2 it's been raining so much and is not as hot as usual so provably i just have to wait til it gets realy hot, and i am going to fertilize more. Thank you for the names of the diferent okras!!! :)

    Bookmark   June 27, 2009 at 11:45AM
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Okra always surprises. Allot of times, I think they just dud. And one day, they just grow and don't stop. Could be like ania_ca said, once the heat sets in is when they get to growing. The varieties I have now, I started april, and they really started growing in late may. I love the look of a full Okra plant, the zeebest have the enormous leaves. Almost like elephant ears, but deep green in color.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2009 at 2:51PM
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Thank all of you for all of the helpful information, I really enjoy this forum and the amount of information I can get. I have crimson spineless okra in my garden "my first time for okra" and it has just begun to grow, how do I get it to produce more pods? I have about 10 plants and only two pods about 6 inches long. I am also getting some bugs eating the leaves?


    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 3:10PM
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Eat those pods, Fred! 6" sounds close to getting tough.

Thanks for the Zeebest recommendation, linchat. I like the sound of big, lush leaves. Do you remember where you got the seed?

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 3:16PM
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fresands -
Okra in Phoenix is just starting to get productive. Make sure it gets regular water, full sun, and lots of heat. They will start sending out side shoots which will also produce.

The pods need to be harvested within a few days after the flowers close because it gets woody and inedible. My personal measure is that when a pod is as wide as my palm, it's ready to cut.

Check each plant carefully, because the pods are close to the stem and upright - easy to miss.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 4:36PM
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Dan Staley

You'll want to check them almost every day as they really pop quickly when producing. The MIL insists that she does this task, and she won't do it without long sleeves and gloves. Ours are just starting to jump out of the ground, as it has been cooler and wetter here than normal. Now that there is some heat, you can almost watch them grow. My favorite is 'Cajun Delight' which is shorter and really produces heavily.


    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 5:44PM
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Zeebest, pretty sure I got them from here. Not at home now, but 99.9% sure. Here is a link.

Here is a link that might be useful: I am pretty sure this is where I got Zeebest variety

    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 4:57PM
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