How to Grow Okra Indoors


Found towering overhead in full-sun gardens and fried to perfection alongside mashed potatoes, okra is a hardy, high-yielding crop that's been a Southern staple for centuries. Okra is drought and heat tolerant, thus, growing okra outdoors is a cinch. Replicating its preferred environment and successfully growing okra indoors requires a bit more preparation.

Step 1

Soak okra seeds in water overnight. Place three seeds per peat pot in germination tray.

Step 2

Place germination tray under halide light fixtures in well-ventilated area. Use 40 watts per square foot of gardening space. Leave lights lit for 8 to 10 hours per day.

Step 3

Moisten peat pots daily. Water should remain present, but the peat pots should never drip or become soggy.

Step 4

Remove the two weakest plants three to five days after seeds sprout.

Step 5

Break open sides and bottom of moist, drained peat pot and place entire cell into soil-filled gardening container. Plant shallowly, 3 to 5 inches deep, as okra prefers well-drained soil.

Step 6

Water each plant with 1 inch of water per week. Maintain lighting schedule. Pods appear in approximately two months.

Step 7

Harvest pods of 2 to 4 inches long every two to three days. Pods will continue to produce after first harvest.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not overwater. Okra prefers well-drained soil and should be kept in porous pots when growing indoors. Wear gloves and long sleeves when harvesting. Many people have skin sensitivities to the hairs on okra pods.

Things You'll Need

  • Okra seeds
  • Peat pots
  • Germination tray
  • 3- to 5-gallon gardening containers
  • Metal halide light fixtures


  • Gardener's Supply Company and Grow Light Information
  • Earth Friendly, Water Wise Gardening
  • Walter Reeves: Author, Gardening Expert

Who Can Help

  • Okra variations, seed types, growth periods and gardening advise
Keywords: okra, indoor, gardening, grow, lights

About this Author

Jessica Williams, a writer, editor, and artist from Atlanta, began her professional writing career in 2007. Following a stint in corporate advertising, she currently works as a glass artist and freelance writer/editor. Her works appear on Web sites like eHow, Healthy Theory, Answerbag and LIVESTRONG.COM. Williams holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Georgia.