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

02 Jan 10, Barb (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Thanks for the tips! I've been worried about our Okra growing soooo slowly. I'll keep nurturing them and we look forward to them taking off once they are well established :-)
26 Jan 10, Kathie (Australia - tropical climate)
My concern is not knowing when to pick. Grown from seed (packet) and then transplanted, they grew to about 60 cm very quickly and have a few 'fruit' on them. I left them sit on the plant and they dried and split. I do have more on now. I found the website from the queensland dpi a bit helpful. I can't put in the website but I googled growing okra - pages from Australia.
18 Feb 10, Jayaprakash (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
(Canberra) I planted Okra seed in November and harvesting now. Growth was slow at teh beginning due to cool night temperatures this time
26 Feb 10, Barb (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
We're harvesting Okra most days now. I clip them off the plant when they're a bit bigger than my biggest finger and store them in the fridge. Once we have about 6-7 we cook them. Our favourite is with tomatoes: saute onion, then saute Okra a few minutes, add tomatoes and cook about 10 mins, let sit 5 mins. You can add spices like cumin/cardamon too if you like.
26 Feb 10, Hoi (Australia - temperate climate)
I love okra, do you think if i start planting it now and it will last through winter? Or does it die during winter and spring back to life after that? I am not greeb thumb but trying my best... home grown vegies are the best in taste! my kids love it and so am i
07 Mar 10, bazbina (Australia - tropical climate)
i grow my okra in Brisbane qld and get the best results-in sandy soil ,i love cooking them in my favorite best way to cook okra is the Lebanese way ,which you have to deep fry first as a whole until golden brown so the gummy feel goes away,and then you saute 1 slice onion,1 clove of garlic,coriander 1/2 kg cube sliced lamb meat,cook all together until meat are golden add 2 cups of water bring it to boil for 20 minutes with lid on until meat is tender .add some of your favorite spice such as cumin ,nutmeg,white pepper and after it has been reduced add 2 table spoon of pomegranate paste or tammerin Indian paste same taste ,and 3 soup spoon of tomato paste bring to simmer for 10 minutes ..served with rice dish on the side
24 Mar 10, Kathie (Australia - tropical climate)
Simple quick recipe - Wash the outside and dry with a paper towel. (If they are wet they seem to get extra gooey.) Fry up some bacon, then add sliced okra and fry further. I did try them deep fried in crumbs but that was in the southern states of America!
03 Apr 10, Raelene (Australia - temperate climate)
Have tried for past three years to grow okra, with no success. Have asked many people, and no -one knows what it is or how to grow. Love it in stews and soups. This site has helped, but now have to wait until next spring/summer to try again. I am in southern victoria.
09 Oct 10, Dana (Australia - temperate climate)
Okra needs really warm weather and plenty of sun. Southern Victoria may be too cold for it to succeed. You could try starting the seeds early and planting in the hottest spot in your garden.
02 Dec 10, Sam (Australia - arid climate)
I have heard of using black plastic as mulch, or no mulch, to help warm up the soil for Tomatoes. (The dark colours absorb more heat, whereas straw mulch reflects the sun's heat away). Then you mulch later on when the weather warms up. Maybe that will help with your Okra. Even 20C is very warm, for soil. Maybe you need to plant it a little later or in better sun?
Showing 21 - 30 of 353 comments

It’s not a good idea because zucchini takes up a lot of space at the bottom, and the roots will compete for space, I’ve grown okra and it needs space and sun to produce. Why not grow zucchini in the middle of any plant that will get burned by the summer heat, if you cut the bottom layers of the zucchini and put sticks to train it up, it’ll provide shade for lettuce, celery, anything that can grow in partial shade, zucchini can be used as an umbrella with plenty of room to plant on the ground around it.

- Sandra G

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