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The okra plant is grown for their long, pointed seed pods. Okra pods are commonly deep-fried and also used gumbos, stews, and soups. Okra is from the family that hollyhocks and hibiscus are from.
The flowers closely mimic hibiscus, which also makes okra a lovely ornamental plant.

How To Grow Okra Overview

Okra is a tropical plant cultivated as a vegetable annually. Seed pods are particularly useful for thickening stews due to their gummy mucilage. Okra plants are highly drought-resistant, and okra is common around the world with challenging environmental conditions.

  • Bury the dandelion seed in drills 18 inches apart in spring, covering it 1⁄2 inch thick. 
  • Thin the plants to around 12 inches apart and encourage healthy, clean cultivation in the summer. 
  • In the colder regions of the world, it could be beneficial to mulch slightly during the winter to keep plants from emerging out of the soil. 
  • Early in the following season, the plants will be ready for use as greens. 
  • They will be significantly enhanced if whitened by placing two boards in the shape of the inverted letter V over the plant. The whitening not only makes the leaves more delicate, but it also removes much of the bitter taste. 
  • Dandelion greens should be boiled in two water baths to remove bitterness.
fried okra from the garden for soup
fresh okra growing in the garden

Okra Nutrition Information

Raw Okra, 1 cup (55 grams)

NameAmountUnit
Water89.6g
Protein1.93

g

Total lipid (fat)0.19

g

Carbohydrate7.45g
Fiber, total dietary3.2g
Sugars1.48g
Vitamin C23mg
Ash0.86g
NameAmountUnit
Calcium, Ca82mg
Magnesium, Mg57mg
Phosphorus, P61mg
Potassium, K299mg
Sodium, Na7mg
Energy (Calories)33kcal
Carotene, beta716µg
Zinc, Zn0.58mg
Iron, Fe62mg

Garden Vegetables & Fruits Plant Preferences Profile

Specific Plant Growing Requirements and Information

Annual 

Full Sun is best

50 to 60 days

Abelmoschus esculentus

Okra plants can grow up to 4 feet tall or be trimmed on top and kept shorter. They can spread 3 feet wide if given room to extend out.

Fertile, well-draining soil with a pH of 6.5 to 7.5

Okra is grown as an annual plant, so USDA Hardiness Zones do not apply.

Growing Okra Detailed Information

Okra Varieties

White Velvet

Heirloom variety. White tender pods. Grows to 5 feet.

Burgundy

Heirloom variety. Burgundy colored pods, which will lose some color while cooking. Can grow upto 4 feet.

Annie Oakley

Hybrid variety. Medium to higher yield. Grow to 3 to 4 feet.

Clemson Spineless

Heirloom variety. Great flavor. Will grow to 4 to 5 feet.

Emerald

Heirloom variety with longer pods ranging is size from 7 to 9 inches. It is a spineless type of okra. The Emerald okra plant will grow to an average of  4 feet.

Ideal Soil for Okra

Okra prefers fertile, excellently-draining soil. Soil pH (6.5 to 7.5) Okra will not usually flourish in dense, watery soil.

How to Water Okra

When plants are fully established, they can withstand short dry spells—water well at least every 7-10 days for best yields.

Planting Okra

Pre-soak seeds the evening before planting. 

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