Okra not setting

mulberryknobJuly 7, 2011

Does anyone have any suggestions for getting okra to set pods. The blooms are shriveling. I have laid another soaker hose next to the plants so now there is one on each side of the row. Is it just lack of water or is it the heat? (104 here today, with a HOT west wind) I am hoping more water will help. Anybody else having this problem?

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Our Okras are setting fruits very well. I have been harvesting at least 7-8 pods every other day since last 6 days. I water them once a week but deep enough to soak at least 6-8". I not applied any fertilizer yet, thinking to give Organic MG spray this evening. -Chandra

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 5:25PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7


Some varieties of okra won't set pods once daytime highs are around 104-106 degrees. I don't know if that is what is going on with your specific plants or not, but suspect it might be.

In addition to keeping the plants well-watered and well-mulched, it might help them if you could shade them somehow. I get better performance in this weather from virtually anything I shade. It is hard to shade okra though because of its height. I usually use okra to shade other veggies.

Maybe the plants are slightly hungry? That can slow down pod development sometimes.

I'm betting it is the heat though.

My plants are producing although they are not producing as heavily as they do in milder weather. Our high temps so far in July have been: 100, 101, 103, 104, 102, 106 and so far today, 106.

Did you look at the dropping blossoms to see if you see any sign of pest damage on the flowers?

The only other possibility I can think of aside from heat, fertility, or pest damage to a flower would be European corn borer damge to the stalks of the plant. Sometimes they tunnel into the stalk and do enough damage that the plants just fail to thrive although they do not necessarily die.

This heat is ridiculous. I never, ever thought I'd see temperatures high enough to prevent okra from setting pods. I wonder if okra pollen gets sticky in the combination of high heat/high humidity like we sometimes see with tomato plants?

Oh, and watch for worms that look like cotton boll worms. They sometimes attack blooms.


    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 6:09PM
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They shouldn't be hungry. The plants are very large and vigorous. I'm suspecting not enough water. One soaker hose that doesn't work very well has not given them enough water. They are mulched but will throw some more of last autumn's leaves over the new hose. I did go out and thin some of the plants out as they seemed too thick. These are just the common Clemson Spineless. If you two are getting okra and are even hotter than we are, then I'm not giving up.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 9:59PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Oh, absolutely do not give up! Okra is well worth fighting for!

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 10:07PM
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