How to Plant an Okra Seed


Okra is a vegetable that prefers to grow in warm temperatures. Okra plants grow tall and produce vegetable pods that are often used in soup and stew recipes, as well as a fried or boiled vegetable side dish. It is loaded with nutrients and fiber but is often overlooked as a vegetable option. Planting okra in your garden requires warm temperatures. Starting okra indoors does not work well--the seedlings don't do well when transplanted. For best results, sow okra directly into the soil.

Step 1

Plant okra when the soil has warmed up. Okra prefers hot weather and warm temperatures and resists growing in cool temperatures.

Step 2

Select a site with full sun that has average, moist soil. While okra likes moisture, it does not like soggy wet soil.

Step 3

Soak your okra seed in lukewarm water for 24 hours before planting. This will help soften the seed coat to make germination easier.

Step 4

Build up your soil to make rows that are shaped like small hills.

Step 5

Plant the okra seeds 1 inch deep into soil, and space them 6 inches apart. If you have more than one row, the rows should be 3 feet apart.

Step 6

Water the okra seed on planting day, making sure the soil around it is moist, but not wet. Follow up with watering the seedling with 1 inch of water per week if there has been no natural rain. Okra is tolerant of low moisture conditions, and does not need excessive watering.

Step 7

Thin seedlings to 18 to 24 inches apart when they are 3 inches tall.

Tips and Warnings

  • Okra will not survive a frost, so if you have one coming to your area, harvest your pods or cover them well to protect them.

Things You'll Need

  • Okra seeds
  • Garden rake
  • Shovel
  • 10-10-10 fertilizer


  • University of Illinois Extension: Watch Your Garden Grow: Okra
  • Garden Hobbies: How To Grow Okra
  • Plant Answers: Gardening Column: Okra
Keywords: growing okra, planting okra seed, starting okra seed

About this Author

A freelance writer for over 12 years, Traci Vandermark has written extensively on health and fitness topics. She is a student of health, fitness and nutrition at the International Institute Of Holistic Healing, certified by the American Association of Nutritional Consultants. Her articles have appeared in Catskill Country Magazine, The Lookout Magazine, Capper's, Birds and Blooms and Country Discoveries, to name a few.