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Growing Okra, also Ladyfinger, gumbo

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

Not recommended for growing in New Zealand - cool/mountain regions

  • 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
    Okra on flowering plant

In warm districts okra can be sown in garden beds. Raise seedlings in a similar way to capsicums - warmth is essential. Pick pods within a week of flowers opening - at about 5 - 8 cm long. Pods become tough and inedible if left too long.

Pods have a high gum content so do not appeal to everyone.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Okra

Use pods fresh or dried in soups or casseroles or as a boiled vegetable.

Your comments and tips

27 May 17, Anne (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
I live in Bathurst NSW when would I plant okra
16 May 17, Chris Jacobson (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I started growing from seed then it severely eaten by ? what do I do
17 May 17, Jack (Australia - temperate climate)
If it is a chewing pest such as caterpillars you could spray with Natures Way Caterpillar Killer. This is an organic, natural spray that is harmless to birds, animals, us, etc and is effective against caterpillars. If they are only small plants it could be cutworms that live just below the soil surface.
24 Apr 17, itayi shumba (South Africa - Semi-arid climate)
is it safe to grow okra in may june july months. how productive can the plants be in the winter months, not too much frost in my area
25 Apr 17, John (Australia - temperate climate)
They may be perennial but it would be better to treat them as an annual and replant them each spring. This would also give you young, vigorous plants.
11 Apr 17, James Choche (South Africa - Semi-arid climate)
I have being using this crop for two months now and has proved beneficial. But it is difficult to get it here in Kuruman, sold out within hours of stock arrival. Do you know any suppliers near Kuruman or Kimberley where I can buy just for own consumption?
11 Apr 17, John (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Try buying seed for next Spring planting. Okra germinates fairly easily and if you get started early in the Spring you will have a good few months of harvest. Seed is normally readily available but can also be sourced from online suppliers.
30 Mar 17, Akbar Ally (Australia - temperate climate)
Is ocra leaves edible? How do you cook same?
30 Mar 17, John (Australia - temperate climate)
Okra leaves are edible. the young leaves can be used like spinach, both raw and cooked. The leaves are low in minerals and nutrients but contain good amounts of insoluble fibre which is good for digestion.
19 Mar 17, (Australia - temperate climate)
First time growing okra. plants about 15 cm tall but seem spindly.New leaves and growing.Do they need staking?Howhigh do they grow?
Showing 1 - 10 of 205 comments

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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. GardenGrow is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
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