How to Care for Okra Plants

Overview

Okra is a vegetable native to the northern region of Africa but now can be found throughout the world. If you are an okra lover, you will benefit from growing your own plants since it ends up being much cheaper than buying it in stores. This plant does best in hot climates, but it can be grown almost anywhere that has a warm summer. With the proper care, you can have a large, healthy crop of okra every year.

Step 1

Plant the okra in a sunny spot of the garden. If starting from seeds, plant each seed 1/2-inch deep with each seed spaced 4 inches apart. If planting seedlings, they should also be spaced 4 inches apart. Make sure the chosen spot does not get below 55 degrees at night as this can harm the plant. If necessary, start the plant indoors and transplant it in the summer to ensure a long growing season.

Step 2

Add a total of 1 inch of water to the plants every week. The soil should remain moist at all times and never dry out. Keep in mind that excessively soggy soil can harm the root system.

Step 3

Thin the plants out to 1 foot apart once they reach a height of 3 inches. If okra plants are too crowded, they may produce less than ideal vegetables.

Step 4

Remove weeds on a weekly basis. The best way to do this is to simply pull them out by hand.

Step 5

Add 4 inches of mulch around the okra plants once they reach a height of at least 5 inches. This will help the soil retain moisture as well as prevent weeds from growing.

Step 6

Harvest the okra once they are between 2 and 3 inches and are still firm. Cut the vegetables off just above the cap.

Things You'll Need

  • Okra seeds or seedlings
  • Water
  • Mulch
  • Knife

References

  • Garden.org: Okra
  • FruitsAndVeggiesMatter.gov: Okra
Keywords: okra care, plant okra, grow okra, harvest okra

About this Author

Kenneth Coppens is a part-time freelance writer and has been for one year. He currently writes for Demand Studios, eHow, Associated Content and is the Indianapolis Craft Beer Expert for Examiner.