Helping You Become a More Successful Gardener
Gerald L. Klingaman
It's hard to believe that okra is in the same family as hollyhocks and hibiscus. This tropical annual vegetable originates from Africa and has large edible pods that are a American Southern favorite eaten fried, stewed with tomatoes or used to thicken gumbo.
Mature plants become quite tall and have a sturdy upright habit. They have big, spiny, palmate, dark green leaves and produce pretty creamy yellow hollyhock-like flowers with burgundy centers. When these heat-loving plants are mature and producing, their long, ribbed, upright green pods grow quickly and require harvest while young, small and tender. On average, they require 75 to 85 days to harvest.
Okra requires full sun and well-drained soil with ample nutrients. It is easily grown from seed, and plants begin to bear fruit in the midsummer and will continue through to fall. They require warm days and nights for good production, so refrain from planting them outdoors until the threat of frost is past. Purple-fruited varieties may be used ornamentally in mixed borders, and mature okra pods turn tan and woody when dry and can be used in everlasting flower arrangements.
12 - 4
H1, H2, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
4'-6' / 1.2m - 1.8m (5)
2'-3' / 0.6m - 0.9m
Early Summer, Summer, Late Summer, Early Fall, Fall
Drought Tolerant, Average Water
Green, Light Green
Green, Dark Green
Dried Flower / Everlasting, Edible, Herb / Vegetable, Mixed Border
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