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Growing Okra

Growing Okra

Jambalaya Hybrid Okra


Tender, heat-loving plants grown for their pointed seed pods. Pods have a mucilaginous texture and can be used to thicken soups and stews, and are often eaten battered and fried and in gumbos. A favorite of Southern gardeners, but also suitable for more Northern areas. Sow or transplant seedlings outdoors two weeks after the last frost in spring when soils have warmed. Cover seed with ½ to 1 inch of soil. Can be sown indoors 6 to 8 weeks before outdoor planting time for earlier harvest. Space plants 18 inches apart with 3 feet between rows. Harvest pods regularly when they are young and tender. Okra freezes well for storage. Plants are quite attractive, especially purple types like Carmine Splendor (02717).


For full sun in well-drained, moist soil. Very tolerant of hot, humid conditions.

Fertilizer Recommendations

Use full rates of Algoflash All-Purpose Liquid Fertilizer 6-6-6 (51085), Nature's Source Plant Food Concentrate 10-4-3 (51012), or Neptune Fish & Seaweed Fertilizer 2-3-1 (51221).

Alternative Products

Tomato, Tomatillo, and Pepper are other warm-season vegetable crops.

Complimentary Products

Okra is a heavy feeder that benefits from regular fertilization. Use Weed Control Porous Film Mulch 3' x 50' (53304) to control weeds and warm the soil. Floating Row Covers can be used to create a warm microclimate and protect newly planted seedlings.

Product Recommendations

Okra is somewhat difficult to transplant, so plantable 4" Round Jiffy Peat Pots (53230) or Super Size Jiffy-7 Plant Starters (53233) are ideal for starting seed indoors.

Okra Facts

Usually free from serious pest and disease problems. Aphids, Corn earworms, stinkbugs, and fusarium wilt occasionally occur. Classified as Abelmoschus esculentus, Okra is related to ornamental Hibiscus and is originally native to Africa.

Growing Tips