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Okra


Abelmoschus esculentus

Okra

If you love okra, chances are you're from the South. This mainstay of Southern cooking is most commonly eaten breaded and fried or in gumbo, where its thick, viscous texture adds body and flavor to the regional favorite.

Not surprisingly, this Southern favorite thrives in hot weather and warm soil. Although it's great fried or in gumbo, it can also be steamed, boiled, baked, grilled, or pickled. Okra is drought-tolerant, although it needs moisture during flowering and pod set.

Light:
Sun
Plant Type:
Vegetable
Plant Height:
2-8 feet tall
Plant Width:
1-3 feet wide
Top Varieties

Abelmoschus esculentus 'Annie Oakley II' is a good variety for the north because of its short growing season. Plants grow 3-4 feet tall and produce spineless green pods. 48 days
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Abelmoschus esculentus 'Burgundy' offers deep red stems and pods. The pods turn deep purple when cooked. The plant grows 7 feet tall. 60 days
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Abelmoschus esculentus 'Clemson Spineless' is a classic green variety that produces pods up to 9 inches long before they become tough. Spineless plants grow to 5 feet tall. 56 days
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Abelmoschus esculentus 'Little Lucy' has the same coloration as 'Burgundy' but grows only 2 feet tall and produces 4-inch-long pods. 55 days
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Harvest Tips
Some okra varieties have spines on the leaves and stems, so wear gloves when harvesting. Cut pods from the plant when they are 2-4 inches long, about five or six days after flowering. Harvest pods frequently during hot weather because they quickly become too tough to eat.
Propagation
Seed