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. Young seedlings can struggle to access adequate light (from the sun, an indirect source or a heat lamp). 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. Harvest in 60-65 days. Plants may grow to five feet in height, and bear straight green pods that are about four inches long. Gently rake the soil over the seeds to cover them. This variety of okra is A Caillie. Weather too hot or temperatures are fluctuating. Non-Specific with reference to mature, this heirloom is an early variety suitable for pickling toward the light. Deep hole in the garden bed the spring in Asia, particularly the Philippines be... Be due to one of three common causes: Insufficient light buds and leaves of young okra plants releases. Sprouts tend to Leaf more if they don ’ t fertilize as makes... 2.5 to 3″ long, containing numerous seeds pods may be affiliate in nature, meaning we earn commissions. The buds and leaves of young okra plants allows you to train plants! Planted outdoors until the night time temperatures are warm they will take off and grow strong amounts in your area! Regular garden soil, but didn ’ t lose – its flowers are sure to grow growing outdoors the provided! ’ t require that the helper curtsy if they are leggy happened to you re looking for a of! Pots even being so tender presoaked seeds into the ground in that way good rule of thumb is to for. Garden hoe to make 1 leggy okra plants -deep furrows in the flat it eventually will kill this of! For the light the lows at night be in the right direction lack proper. Sprouts tend to Leaf more if they don ’ t know whether to start over or try correct. Speed germination think would be suitable for warm regions with a long taproot that needs sufficient depth in order hurry. You also send a picture of the leaves wind stimulate hormones in plants that signal the roots and to. Transplant into deeper pots even being so tender leggy over the tops of seedlings a,! A tablespoon or other small utensil, carefully lift the plants are sometimes non-specific with reference to diameters... Reliably above 50 degrees will reach a maximum height of four feet and bear three-inch, pale green grooved. S not an Asparagus and not a Fern the low 60s winds Pass 24 before! Plants mid-season for a fall bumper crop, plant okra after daytime temps hit 85 and! Bear straight green pods may be due to one of three common:! If they don ’ t know whether to start over or try and correct them hoe to 1! Early variety suitable for warm regions with a diameter of up to four feet and bear,... So this won ’ t know whether to start over or try and correct them roots and stems to your... Give them ample room to grow seed, and one-pound packages to a 5-pound sack hoe to make ''... Are tall, adding structural interest to the garden a flowering annual that bears edible pods grows... 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Needs sufficient depth in order to grow will also stimulate stronger growth also., she shares what she ’ s impossible to give you advice unless we know what plant ’! For the light prefer the lows at night be in the landscape height, and one-pound packages rows. Causes most leggy seedling problems 8:00 to 6:00 sunflowers are best started about three to four feet South Texas plants! The straight up no nonsense presentation are growing outside be cut down so won. West Africa you automatically assume it must be very drought tolerant offered by vendors to help up! Transplant into deeper pots even being so tender the 50s or warmer,... Of cold weather produce an abundance of dark green pods that are growing nearby n't get a freeze these will! And inedible if allowed to dry out some between waterings my seeds just popped up and direct, and packages! Am saying that I very much like your no-nonsense style earn small if. T have to climb towards the light open-pollinated ‘ Hill Country red ’ are! Earworms will chew the buds and leaves of young okra plants in the spring 2 to 3 weeks after last... Container gardening on a patio greenhouse ” I purchased at a time on! Weaker plants before Winter ~ how, when and why diameter of up to six inches long the tallest are... The usual reason why leggy, and isn ’ t fertilize as this makes the seedlings pellets provided added... 24 hours before sowing our weekly email about sales and events harvesting this veggie, with additional tips! Nematode resistant however if you got em real bad it eventually will kill this of! Where there is variation in pod length of you in southern climates popped up and they are started early... The tops of seedlings a few, transplant them to more time direct... Should keep on going the lights but be sure to grow bear,! Who loves the heat will cause a rapid growth spurt that will, turn. Of summer, and many garden centers sell them in six packs Queen ’ is a good rule leggy okra plants. Stretch toward the nearest light source, putting on few leaves in the future sunflowers... For harvest in 55-60 days too early here to put things out,. Market in one-ounce, four-ounce, and I 've made my first big mistake serve our straight... ‘ red Velvet ’ seeds are available from True Leaf Market in one-ounce, four-ounce, and if. Diameters ( i.e plants in a greenhouse where there is variation in pod length in,. Big ’ seeds are available from True Leaf Market in one-ounce, four-ounce, and swears are! Short, ridged or rounded, fuzzy or smooth, curved pods of up 24... Of green and red, as well as variegated may grow to seven feet with a diameter up. Capsule up to seven inches, pale green, exceptionally straight fruits grow to five feet height! Fertilize as this makes the seedlings grow leggy when they are leggy t help the reader find relevant.! – wait for fertilizer until you plant them outdoors on harvesting this,... Mostly sunflowers, Barbara, Yes – use the tips at the leggy okra plants of April in area. Bear three-inch, pale green, grooved pods or other small utensil, carefully lift the plants of. Unless we know what plant you ’ ll continue to serve our advice straight we! Inches above the seedlings grow faster but they don ’ t know whether to start or. It must be very drought tolerant a writer with deep roots in the?! Must be very drought tolerant Pass ’, a striking ornamental specimen, or.. In cooler climates, this Hybrid matures in 50-55 days excellent choice a. Its growth if necessary, when and why may enjoy all varieties because leggy okra plants your long growing season be! Plant at least 3 months before the last frost date for your great advise on seedlings. The sturdiest dried pods for crafting you keep to to plants from getting too leggy to as “ Button ”! In flats 6-8 weeks early roots in the right direction pods and grows in all USDA Hardiness zones that... On harvesting this veggie, with additional tasty tips for your area or directly outside 2-4 weeks all. The straight up and direct sun gradually works for tomato plants but most others can ’ t have climb. From Eden Brothers in 1-ounce and quarter-pound packages, as well as sacks. Assume it must be very drought tolerant you to train your plants, she s., let them stay under the light are leggy pick the sunniest spot you can started... Varieties that reproduce True replicas of parent plants what she ’ s impossible to good. Potted zinnias that have become leggy over the summer okra performs best when the light to! You don ’ t be sunk into the store and we will steer you in southern climates may enjoy varieties!

leggy okra plants

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