How to Pollinate an Okra Plant
Okra is best known for its fast- and tall-growing fruit and common use in southern and Asian cuisine. Under good and hot conditions, okra can mature just four days after flowering. While okra generally is a self-pollinating plant, you can ensure that the plant produces fruit by pollinating it yourself. Timing is essential when pollinating okra, though, because the plant blooms for only one day. Pollinating okra plant takes only a few seconds of time and employs common household supplies.
Moisten the tip of a cotton swab with a few drops of distilled or filtered water. Although a dry swab will work, the moistened tip will help pollen adhere to the swab.
Remove pollen from an okra bloom with the moistened swab until a modest amount of yellow build-up of pollen is on the swab.
Swab the stigma or center of another okra bloom with the pollen-covered swab.
Discard the swab.
Plant With Okra?
Okra, like many other plants, releases chemicals that benefit some plants that are growing nearby. Likewise, some nearby plants benefit okra. Okra belongs to the same family as hibiscus and blooms large, showy yellow flowers that attract beneficial pollinating insects like bees and butterflies. Growing various types of peppers near okra helps to deter many of the harmful pests that are attracted to okra. Aphid and whitefly infestations are common on okra plants, but they stay away when pepper plants are nearby. Melons and okra flourish when the soil is warm and evenly watered.
- Distilled or filtered water
- Cotton swabs
- University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture; Home Gardening Series, Okra; Craig R. Anderson
- Texas A&M Aggie Horticulture: Okra
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Pollination
- "The Organic Gardner's Handbook of Natural Pest and Disease Control"; Fern Marshall, et al.
- "Master Gardener Handbook"; University of Florida IFAS Extension
- "Vegetables, Herbs and Fruit"; Matthew Biggs, et. al
- "Carrots Love Tomatoes: Secrets of Companion Planting for Successful Gardening"; Louise Riotte