I'm surprised you had leggy plants outside. Sun Requirements. I still have time, but didn’t know whether to start over or try and correct them. My seeds just popped up and they are leggy. Thanks for your message, Susan. Here are some of the reasons that seedlings get leggy, and what you can do if this has happened to you. © Ask the Experts, LLC. See our TOS for more details. The plants in the mallow family, including okra, grow in zones 3-9. Some of mine are leggy, too. Hey could you identify this one with hard surface. If you’re growing under artificial lights such as fluorescent or the long, tube gro-lights, position the bulbs only about 3″ from the tops of the plants. ... but decided to look at older posts first. Don't do this too early or you'll end up with taller, weaker plants before it's time to plant them outside. I’m in NE and it’s still very cold. And note that you may prune plants mid-season to a manageable height for easier harvesting, and to stimulate further pod production. COPYRIGHT © 2020 ASK THE EXPERTS LLC. Uncredited photos: Shutterstock. Give okra a try this year. I have leggy okra. When you really need help, you don’t require that the helper curtsy. How to Plant Okra. Dwarf plants reach up to four feet and bear three-inch, pale green, spineless pods in about 50 days. Using a tablespoon or other small utensil, carefully lift the plants out of the flat one at a time. Soil Requirements. Introduce them to more time and direct sun gradually. Also, put a fan on them to simulate wind – on a timer so that the seedlings get stimulated by the breeze for two or three house a day. If there are only a few, transplant them to larger pots and grow them on indoors. The flavor is generally mild, but there is variation in pod length. Okra is amazing, especially when its many pods are cut up, battered, and fried.. Okra, in all of its golden, delicious, and tender glory, is also one of the easiest plants to grow on our homestead. What did the flowers look like earlier in the season? spray gold and feature in a holiday arrangement, How to Plant and Grow Ginger in Your Home Garden, How to Grow and Care for Gaillardia (Blanket Flowers), How to Grow and Care for Poinsettia Plants, Identifying and Controlling Cabbage Maggots, When and How to Blanch Maturing Cauliflower Heads, How to Identify and Control Bot Rot on Apple Trees, 27 of the Best Lily Varieties with a Guide to Divisions. It's too early here to put things out. The actual plants are very leggy (tall)- over 2" tall and have fallen over in the last couple of weeks because they can't support themselves, so should I stake the plants? Hello Mary – Many people mistakenly believe that fertilizer will make plants stronger. Environmental “stresses” such as wind stimulate hormones in plants that signal the roots and stems to grow strong. This exceptionally large plant bears fruit abundantly, and makes a bold statement in the landscape. Famous for use in soups, stews and relishes. For a good fall crop, plant at least 3 months before the first fall frost. An heirloom variety with a large habit that will reach up to six feet tall, it produces creamy-colored ivory-green pods that can grow to seven inches long. Zinnias are best started about three to four weeks before planting outside, so the end of April in this area. Sometimes, seedlings live indoors longer than they should because of bad timing with frost or slow turnover with older plants … So for plants such as zinnias, for example, that germinate and grow quickly, they shouldn’t be started before the end of April. And if you’d like to save seeds from year to year, select open-pollinated varieties that reproduce true replicas of parent plants. All of us gardeners–very experienced ones included–sometimes need specialized help, but the advice is frequently so watered down with social baggage that one has to sift through what the adviser said for politeness’ sake to read what wasn’t and is truly helpful. Okra grows a long taproot that needs sufficient depth in order to grow. Be sure to grow your plants in as much light as possible. Plants may reach eight feet tall and bear eight-inch, dark green, spineless pods. It’s one of the most prolific, too; I begin to dislike okra pods as the season comes to a close, to be honest!. You really can’t lose – its flowers are sure to attract beneficial pollinators, whether you eat the pods or not! I haven’t heard of okra being used as a substitute for plastic, but the bast fibers could be used in textiles and other materials, similar to what’s more commonly done today with hemp or flax. Leave three or four inches between plants. Tomatoes shouldn't be planted outdoors until the night time temperatures are reliably above 50 degrees. This is the usual reason why leggy, tall thin seedlings develop. There is no one way to prevent leggy plants – some get leggy because they aren’t in enough light (reaching for the sun) and others because they have been given too much water and fertilizer, or are growing close to other plants so are trying to out-compete them. This giant heirloom takes 90 days to mature. Be sure to grow your plants in as much light as possible. Okra, Abelmoschus esculentus, is a flowering annual that bears edible pods and grows in all USDA Hardiness Zones. Gently passing your hand over the tops of seedlings a few times every day will also stimulate stronger growth. My veggie patch is mostly sunny with … So it’s impossible to give you advice unless we know what plant you’re talking about. These broccoli seedlings are short and strong because they have been raised in a greenhouse where there is lots of light. Pruning your okra plants allows you to train your plants, improve the quality of the okra and to restrict its growth if necessary. I am not saying you’re impolite. Soak seed overnight in warm water to speed germination. Start plants inside 4-6 weeks before the last frost date for your area or directly outside 2-4 weeks after the last expected frost. Packets containing 1 gram of ‘Cajun Delight’ seeds, or approximately 18 seeds to get your okra patch started, are available from Seedsurvivor via Amazon. Hi Jane – Her background includes landscape and floral design, a BS in business from Villanova University, and a Certificate of Merit in floral design from Longwood Gardens. If your newly germinated seedlings look like this, it may be due to one of three common causes: Insufficient Light. Asparagus Fern. Most leggy plants become sturdier once they are growing outside. Step 1 Select the correct tools to prune your okra plants. High Temperatures – High heat can also be a cause of some leggy seedlings. I cut back each wilted flower to the 3 leaf stem below it but it seems if I cut back 6 inches, it grows out 9 inches (example) and by summer end they are leggy and weak stemmed. Okra seeds can be hard to get to germinate. To facilitate the process, either gently crack the outer coating with nail clippers or soak them in water overnight. I let my pods dry on the plant but eventually they all become brittle and shattered and could not be used. Dark green pods are 3-5 inches long, and slightly curved. Keep synthetic fertilizer to a minimum until the plants are growing outdoors. If you are planting okra in a raised bed, the okra plants should be about 12 to 18 inches apart, and the raised bed needs to be at least 12 inches deep. If you are planting okra transplants, be sure to space them 1 to 2 feet apart to give them ample room to grow. the full habit), so a good rule of thumb is to allow for a width as wide as the maximum height. I have some leggy okra and one leggy zinnia. Space okra plants 10 inches apart in a very sunny area that has fertile, well-drained soil with a neutral pH of 6.5 to 7.0. Plants reach a height of about four feet, and spread up to 48 inches in diameter. Benefits of Leggy Okra Plants Okra produces pods from the ground up. These earworms will chew the buds and leaves of young okra plants, stunting their growth. Plants are 3-4 feet tall with a diameter of up to 24 inches. Which variety do you think would be suitable for pickling? ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. (Note: in the future, sunflowers are best planted directly into the garden once the danger of frost is past.). Virtually spineless, slightly curved dark green pods may reach nine inches in length. The melons, pumpkins, etc. For those in the North, like me, choose those with the shortest dates to maturity, and start seeds indoors to maximize growing time before temps turn chilly. Something went wrong. Improve native soil by mixing in several inches of … The generous pot size offers you plants with a well developed root system, giving you a head start to fruit. Hi all, I hope this hasn't been answered before but I read through a ton of threads and couldn't find a specific answer. Descriptions of the tallest plants are sometimes non-specific with reference to mature diameters (i.e. Unfortunately, there … If you cut some plants down (most perennials) they will grow back shorter in the same season but other plants (lavender, for example) will die when cut back hard. Can they be cut down so this won’t happen? Okra grows in regular garden soil, but it does best in fertile loam. Quick Guide to Growing Okra. I’d like to drive bushier, shorter stalks but not reduce flower production. Plants grow to five feet with a diameter of up to 48 inches, a good size for container or small-space gardening. Can you also send a picture of the leaves? I am looking for a variety of okra referred to as “Button Okra”. In reality, fertilizers make plants grow larger and faster but they don’t help the plants to become sturdy. May I simply note that I very much like your no-nonsense style? I lately found that they also can be of a less edible type, some are having thicker fibers Marianne, Once you harvest the lower pods, you don't need to worry about checking … Don’t put tender plants out into the direct sun – either place them in mostly shade (the dappled sun through trees is good) for a few days or put them outside during a stretch of cloudy weather. Space the furrows 24" apart. Okra starts are typically more difficult to find than seeds, though some nurseries do carry them. Pods may pale in color during cooking. Okra does best with about 1/2-inch of water per week, depending on rain fall amounts in your local area. The vegetable plant stems stretch toward the nearest light source, putting on few leaves in the process. Likewise, some nearby plants benefit okra. Sometimes people are tempted to fertilize tiny tomato seedlings in order to hurry their growth in the spring. Seeds are open-pollinated. Product photos via Burpee, Eden Brothers, True Leaf Market, and Seedsurvivor. GARDENER'S PATH® IS A REGISTERED TRADEMARK OF ASK THE EXPERTS LLC. I’ve read that Philippine Lady Finger Okra is a high-yield variety great for pickling. Which variety of okra has the least slime? Come into the store and we will steer you in the right direction. Let them stay under the lights but be sure those lights are only 3 or 4 inches above the seedlings. Those of you in southern climates may enjoy all varieties because of your long growing season. Pre-soak seeds in water for 24 hours before sowing. 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