Guide to growing Okra in Containers

Not all of us in India are familiar with the name Okra, So you might even wondering “What is Okra?” But lady finger plant is something that everyone knows. I remember the trick  my mom used to make us eat Okra. She used to say “If you eat okra, you will become an expert in mathematics!”. I did eat a lot of that but looking at my math skills I think that was just a lie to make us eat. ;-).

Nevertheless, Okra is a nice vegetable to grow and as well as to eat. Okra belongs to the same family as Hibiscus, Roselle (gongura) and cotton. Growing Okra is very easy. If you are thinking How to grow Okra in containers, this article is for you.

 

Growing Okra in containers means you need to get a sunny spot in your garden, because Okra plants love good amount of sunlight and they grow up to 7 ft tall.

Planting Okra seeds

Using a large container/pot is essential for its growth.I grew mine in 10L containers. I had around 10 of them prepared for sowing. Sowing the seeds was very easy. The seeds were sown in those containers; 2 in each of them.  It took around 5 days for them to germinate. I got almost 100% germination. This time I used treated seeds. Treated seeds are those that are pre-coated with fungicide(Thiram) to avoid  problems like damping off. Treated seeds usually have a distinct color coated on them to differentiate them from other seeds and also to indicate they are coated and hence poisonous.

 

Growing Okra-How to grow Okra in Containers

Planting Okra seedlings

Growing Okra-How to grow Okra in Containers

Growing Okra in pots

 

After they start showing the true leaves, thin them to just one per plant. I know its difficult to remove the plant that you so passionately sowed. Trust me if you let them grow in bunch, none of them will yield properly. So go ahead and thin them.

I grew them using hydroponic nutrients I made for tomatoes. I also have one container having soil and has Okra growing in it. You can grow them in soil as well and not much difference in yield. For soil, I use red soil+cocopeat+compost+bone meal and for hydroponics, plain cocopeat was used.

19-June-2010

After a month and 4 days since germination, they have grown about 2 feet tall and are flowering every other day. You can see lot of pods growing. It is better to grow about 5-10 plants of Okra since the plants yield a pod almost every other day and if you have 10 plants growing, you get 30-40 pods every week.  Not bad right?.

Growing Okra-How to grow Okra in Containers

Growing Okra in pots

 

Growing Okra-How to grow Okra in Containers

Okra flowers and Fruits

 

This variety you see below is called “Alabama Red”. It is a stout variety of Okra. Everyone who saw this got excited. It gets matured very quickly. As it matures, it develops a red colored skin.

Growing Okra-How to grow Okra in Containers

Okra variety Alabama Red

The red coloration is not seen here since it was picked quite early.

MyGarden 1465

Growing Okra is very easy.  Watch out for aphids and mealy bugs during the growing season. Check under the leaves for signs of infestations. Aphids are usually spread by ants. Control ants by sprinkling turmeric powder or boric acid or pesticide chalk such as Laxman Rekha.  Mix a teaspoon of neem oil and dish soap together well so that they form a light brown colored cream. Mix it with a liter of water and spray. It worked for me. You have to spray it continuously for a week.

Mealy bugs can be controlled by mixing spirit(rubbing alcohol) and water in 1:1 ratio and spraying. It controls aphids as well.

Hope this will help to start Okra this season.

 

Summary
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Growing Okra - How to grow Okra in containers
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Growing Okra in containers explained step by step with pictures in this post. It explains how to grow Okra in container/pots.
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