Can I grow okra in a pot? Of course, you can. Growing okra in a pot is not difficult with the right tips. In this article, we include all the tips you will need to grow okra in pots at home this season. Learn How to Grow Okra in a Container, grow okra from seeds, and When Is the Best Time to Grow Okra. Also, you will find tips to understand How to Know When Okra is Ready to Harvest.
Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus), also known as okra, is a plant belonging to the family Malvaceae. It is an annual or biennial plant that grows to a height of 1,6-5 ft (0.5-1.5 m) and is a warm-season plant.
When Is the Best Time to Grow Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus)
When to Plant Okra – When to Grow Okra from Seeds in Pots
When Is the Best Time to Grow Okra? The best time to grow okra is during June and July.
When to Sow Okra
When Is the Best Time to Grow Okra from Seeds? You can sow okra indoors in May, when the weather outside is still cold, and then move the seedlings outside in June when the warmer days begin.
When to Grow Okra from Seeds in a Pot
When Is the Best Time to Grow Okra. If you want to grow okra in a Container, you can plant okra seeds in April and May, growing okra in pots at home, and with the heat of June and July, these pots will do very well outdoors.
The okra plant is very fond of heat. Remember that it is a tropical plant and will only bear fruit if it is well exposed to the heat.
How to Grow Okra in a Container
The following paragraphs will look at the general requirements for growing okra. We will also look at tips on how to meet the requirements for growing okra in pots at home as well as growing okra in the ground.
We encourage you to pay close attention and reread as necessary so you don’t miss any tips and have a successful okra harvest.
Growing Okra – Temperature.
Growing Okra – Temperature. Okra requires temperatures in tropical and temperate climates.
The okra plant grows best in places where the summer is long and with temperatures above 68 F (20ºC).
Okra growing in Texas, California, and Florida does very well outdoors. Indoors, and in pots, it is possible to grow okra easily with the following tips.
Substrate for Growing Okra
Substrate for Growing Okra. The recommended soil for growing okra should be rich in organic matter and potassium. It is recommended to fertilize the soil with hummus, which can be hummus prepared at home with earthworms and compost.
How to Grow Okra in a Container: Watering
Irrigation of potted okra. Okra plantation is not drought tolerant.
When growing okra in a container is relatively easy to maintain a certain humidity.
However, the challenge is when planting okra in the backyard, during the summer it is recommended daily watering in the evening or early morning when the soil has already lost temperature.
Likewise, it is advisable to water the potted okra when the temperature of the pot and soil is cooler and not during the hours of sun exposure.
Sowing Okra in a Container – Grow Okra from Seeds in Pots
Sowing the Okra Plant. As already mentioned in the section “When is the Best time to Grow Okra and When to Sow Okra” okra does not tolerate cold well, it should be sown mid-spring, spring, or early summer when the soil has warmed up.
Let’s continue reading How to Grow Okra in a Container Step by Step
How to Grow Okra in a Container Step by Step
How to Grow Okra in a Container Step by Step. Let us first proceed to explain how to plant okra from seeds.
- Select the container for growing okra. The right size for a pot to grow okra is 12” (30 cm) deep and 18” (45 cm) in diameter will allow for having at least two okra plants. A pot of 8” (20 cm) deep and about 12” (30 cm) in diameter will be enough to grow one okra plant.
- Select a suitable substrate for okra plants. The soil should be rich in organic matter and potassium. It is advisable to fertilize the soil with hummus.
- If you choose the larger container, you can make 2 small holes in the soil 4” (10 cm) deep and place 4 to 5 seeds, covering them lightly with loose soil.
- If you choose the smaller pot, it is convenient to work with only 1 hole with seeds to facilitate the development of the plant.
- Consider that usually not all seeds germinate and also some, if they do, will only give some weak seedlings, which will be removed to leave only 1 or 2 very strong and good seedlings to give place to the plant.
- If growing okra in beds or ground, no more than three okra seeds should be sown in each furrow or hole 3-4” (8-10 cm) deep and 30.5-61 cm apart.
- To speed up germination, we can wrap the seeds in moist paper or place them in water overnight, as the seed coat is very hard.
- During okra growing, we should keep the soil moist to encourage germination and growth, especially if we have dry seasons or climates.
- Relocating Okra. When the okra plant is 3” (8 cm) tall, remove the weaker plants and leave only the strongest plants in each furrow. One watering should be carried out after transplanting. However, if you decide to keep it in a container, the okra plant is suitable for growing in pots at home.
- Avoid excess water during flowering and fruit formation and also avoid waterlogging the soil as this encourages fungal diseases. At the end of the plant’s cycle, water is less frequent.
When to Harvest Okra?
When to Harvest Okra. 60-70 days after sowing okra the harvest could be ready.
How to Know When Okra is Ready to Harvest?
How to Know When Okra is Ready to Harvest? When our okra is 4-5.5” (10-14 cm) long, we can harvest it. The okra will be tender and non-fibrous and can be harvested every other day if we see fit.
Okra harvest will occur approximately 60 to 80 days after sowing. It is not possible to give an exact number of days because the number of days from okra maturation to harvest will depend on irrigation, sun exposure, the average temperature during cultivation, and whether it is grown in pots or in the garden.
How to Harvest Okra?
How to Harvest Okra. We should be especially careful about the pungent hairs that okra sheds. For this reason, okra harvesting should be done with long-sleeved gloves and long pants.
To avoid damaging the rest of the plant, use pruning shears to make cleaner cuts while harvesting okra.
How to Harvest Okra. When you see that the stem is hard to cut. This is an indication that the pod is either too old or too mature to be used, as old pods quickly become hard and stringy. Therefore it is recommended that okra is 4-5.5” (10-14 cm) and not more than 90 -100 days after sowing.
Care of Okra Plantation. Weeds that appear should be removed as they reduce the yield of the plant and make harvesting difficult.
Okra Plant – Diseases and pests
Diseases and pests that can affect our okra plant are:
- Verticillium: Fusarium wilt.
- Whitefly: we can see it because of the yellow mottling.
To avoid diseases, crop rotation should be practiced.
Okra Leaves Turning Yellow
Okra Leaves Turning Yellow. The leaves of the okra plant may turn yellow when there is a nutrient deficit in the plant.
Basically, okra cultivation requires soil with a high organic content that can be quickly regenerated by adding hummus or organic fertilizers.
Okra Leaves Turning Yellow. It is advisable to remove the yellow leaves and fertilize the okra plant, as these yellow leaves will not turn green again.
Okra Leaves Turning Yellow. On the other hand, deficit irrigation can cause okra leaves to turn yellow because this plant is not drought tolerant.
Culinary Uses of Okra
Culinary uses of Okra. It has a flavor similar to eggplant, is usually consumed cooked, and, to a lesser extent, is added raw in salads or dehydrated.
If you cook it and add lemon, you can use it in numerous stews, as it is perfect to combine with potatoes, eggs, and other vegetables.
Okra has a mucilaginous juice with which the famous Creole dish Lousiana is made, if we roast them it will not give this juice.
Medicinal uses of Okra – Benefits of Okra
Medicinal Uses of Okra – Benefits of Okra. As a possible functional food, it is widely used in cooking, but also in traditional medicine to cure worms, diarrhea, inflammation, and stomach, intestinal, and kidney discomfort. Its mucilage is a viscous polysaccharide composed mainly of D-galactose, L-rhamnose, and galacturonic acid, as well as proteins and minerals.
The functional qualities of okra mucilage have been widely researched, especially for its possible antidiabetic action; consequently, its application as adjuvant treatment or nutraceutical for diabetes is very promising.
This scientific article summarizes the benefits of okra and its possible use in medicine.
Medicinal uses of Okra. As a balm or protector of the digestive mucosa: due to its richness in soluble fiber and mucilage.
Benefits of okra. It is important if taken for these purposes, to accompany it with the juice that he emits while it is being cooked.
Benefits of okra. It is highly recommended to drink the warm mucilaginous juice of okra in case of gastric disorders or gargling in case of throat infections.