Growing Clemson Spineless Okra In Containers: Abelmoschus “Clemson” Spineless okra (Abelmoschus “Clemson Skinless”) produces dark green edible pods that can be used in a variety of culinary dishes including soups, stews, and gumbos. Spines do not affect the leaves and stems, so gardeners can touch the plant without irritating it.
This herbaceous warm-season vegetable is hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant zones 5 through 11. It can reach heights of up to 5 feet. The best time to plant seeds is one to two weeks after their last spring frost date. Soil temperatures should reach 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
Growing Clemson Spineless Okra In Containers: 10 Steps To Follow
- Protect your hands with work gloves. Choose a site with full sun for 6-8 hours per day. It should have fast-draining soil and a pH between 6.5 and 7.5. Remove all weeds and rocks.
- Spread 10-10-10 or 10-20-10 granular fertilizer on the garden site at 1 teaspoon per square foot. Use a tiller, rake, or fork to mix the fertilizer into the soil. Use a rake to smoothen the soil surface.
- If the soil is dry, water the garden. Use a pulsating sprinkler to water the ground. The garden hose can be attached to the sprinkler. Water the soil until it reaches 6 inches. After watering, remove the sprinkler from the area.
- Two-thirds of a bowl or container made from plastic should be filled with water. Place the “Clemson-Spineless” okra seed in the bowl. Allow the seeds to soak for at least one night.
- Before draining the water, scoop any okra seeds that are still in the bowl. These seeds should be thrown out in a trash can. Place the remaining seeds and water in a strainer held above a sink. To remove excess water, shake the filter gently. Place the seeds back in the bowl using the strainer.
- Drag a trowel or a hoe across the site and dig a trench measuring at least 12 feet deep in the ground. To ensure future okra plants get maximum sunlight exposure, orient the trench to run north to south. You can repeat this procedure to make additional rows parallel to your first. Place the rows three feet apart.
- To sow, place one okra seed each 1 3/4 to 2 1/4 inches along the bottom of each trench. Sow five to seven seeds per 12-inch row. Each trench should be filled with approximately 1 1/2 inches to 1 1/2 inches of soil.
- Use a rake to spread a layer of mulch 1 inch deep over each row. After planting, wait for germination to occur.
- When the seedlings reach 3 to 5 inches tall, water them. Use the pulsating sprinkler to water the seedlings.
- When the seedlings reach 3 inches in length, thin them to a spacing of 9-18 inches. Each seedling should be cut horizontally with pruning shears or a knife. Place each cut on the ground.
How to Plant And Grow Okra in Containers
Even if your garden is small, you can still grow Okra in containers. Pots are a great way to grow Okra because they don’t take much space. You can also enjoy your own homegrown Okra.
Many people believe that Okra cannot be grown in their area because it isn’t tropical. Okra is a tropical, warm-season vegetable. However, you can grow Okra in containers so that the plants can be brought inside when the temperature drops.
How to Plant and Grow Okra in Pots
- Choose a dwarf or smaller-sized variety of Okra to grow in containers.
- Choose 3-5 gallon pots with drainage holes to house your okra plant.
- The potting mix should be well-drained with a pH range between 6.5 and 7.0. It should also contain plenty of compost or manure.
- Sow 2-3 Okra seeds in a container, 1/2 inch deep and 12-18inches apart.
- Place the okra container where there are six to seven hours of sunshine daily.
- Okra that has been grown in containers must be well-watered with at least one inch of water per day.
Okra is not only a great vegetable, but it also has gorgeous foliage and showy blossoms. It can be used as an ornamental or edible plant. Here’s how to grow Okra indoors.
How to Grow Okra in Containers
After choosing the type of Okra you would like to grow, it is time to learn how to grow Okra in containers. It’s easier than you think!
1: Choosing the Right Okra Variety for Containers
You need to choose the right kind of Okra before you plant it. Different varieties of Okra grow at different heights and produce different-colored pods.
Look for dwarf okra plants under 5 feet in height. You can grow all varieties, but dwarf okra plants will produce the best results when the container’s dimensions limit root growth.
You’ll need a variety that matures quicker if you live in a region that isn’t tropical or warm. These are the best okra varieties to use in containers.
- Baby Bubba Hybrid
- Dwarf Blondy
- Cajun Delight
- Perkins Long Pod
You can choose a large container. With the drainage size of the pot, you will determine how successful you are at growing Okra in containers. Okra is a large root vegetable, so you will need a pot to hold them.
- The pot should be at least 3 gallons large, with a minimum of 10-12 inches in depth and a similar diameter.
- Okra loves heat, so black is the best color for pots. If the pot is dark-colored or black, it will absorb more sunlight.
- Line the container with gravel and make sure there are drainage holes. A plate or tray should be placed underneath the pot.
Some suggested materials include:
- Clay Pots
- Ceramic pots
- Cement Planter
- Brick Planters
- Plastic or galvanized buckets
- Stone Planters
Place Okra Containers in the Right Place
It is best to place the large pot in its exact spot before filling it. Okra needs full sun for proper growth, usually 6-8 hours. Some varieties thrive with as little as 10 hours of sunshine.
Use the correct potting soil to fill the container.
Okra loves well-draining soil. Soggy feet can cause rotting and death. A soilless potting mix with organic matter is an excellent choice to fill your containers.
It would help if you used soilless mixes that contain equal amounts of sand and peat moss.
- You want sandy, loamy soil.
- Before you place the plant in the compost, add lots of compost or aged manure. A constant supply of nutrients is essential for the plant.
- They thrive best in soil with a neutral pH range between 6.5 and 7.0. However, they can tolerate soil as high as 7.6.
- Use potting soil and not topsoil. Potting soil should be loose and light. Topsoil can become compacted, which will hinder drainage and root growth.
How to Plant Okra in Pots
Okra doesn’t like frost or cold weather. If you live in an area with first and last frost dates, wait until the frost danger passes before you plant the seeds.
- Before you can plant, the temperature must be consistently between 55-60 degrees.
- It is possible to grow Okra all year round if you are located in USDA zones 9-11. It is possible to grow Okra in any tropical or subtropical area around the globe.
- To plant a pod in the north, it might be necessary to wait until June middle to plant. Within two months, pods will appear.
Okra Seeds in Containers
Okra’s extensive root system means that they won’t transfer well. This is something you need to keep in mind. You will likely encounter a root-bound plant when you attempt to transplant them. This can lead to shock and death.
- In each container, sow 2-3 okra seeds 1/2 inch to 1 inch deep
- To help your seeds germinate, water them well with a hose. Keep the soil moist until germination occurs.
- Germination takes about 5-10 days. However, the faster they germinate, the warmer the soil and the weather.
Place okra plants 12-18inches apart.
You might consider planting seedlings if you see them at your local nursery. Okra seedlings are delicate because of their taproots. You need to take care when you transplant them into the garden beds.
- You should dig a hole in the garden bed slightly deeper than the container where they were grown. When you plant, they should be at least 1/2 inch deep.
- Gently take the seedlings out of the pot and place them in the hole. Each plant should be spaced 12-18 inches apart. Fill the hole with soil and press the soil in place.
- To help roots grow, make sure to water seedlings well.
Your planter might look empty because the Okra must be placed far apart. Complementary plants can help promote the growth of your Okra.
- Lettuce – It can withstand the sun and still provides fresh greens.
- Radishes – Radishes are a root crop and help keep the soil loose. They also provide another edible salad.
- Mint- Not only does it repel flea beetles, but it also smells amazing!
- Peppers- Unless you have a large pot, you won’t be able to add pepper plants. However, they can repel stink bugs and repel cabbage loopers.
- Nasturtiums – These repel flea beetles and attract pollinators to your okra plants.
- Beans – These beans are great for eliminating any stink bugs that your Okra may attract.
Okra Care in Pots
Okra is a great choice because it’s easy to care for. Okra doesn’t need much care. Here are some things to keep in mind.
How much water does Okra need?
Okra plants require a mixture of moist and slightly damp soil. Regular watering is important for your plants. Okra plants are resilient to dry spells, but they thrive if they get at least 1 inch of water per week.
- You will need to water more during the flowering period and at the end of the production.
- Before you water, make sure to check the soil. It doesn’t matter if the soil is wet at least two inches below the surface. If it is dry, you should water it.
- Once your plants have established themselves, you will only need to water them once a week, but do it regularly.
Fertilizing Needs For Okra Plants
To provide nutrients for your plants, mix composted manure (or compost) into the soil at the beginning. You can side-dress your plants using compost during the growing season for additional nutrients.
- You can also add a balanced, granular fertilizer to the soil at the planting time. It should be well mixed into the soil.
- You can add another dose of balanced fertilizer to the plant when it is 6 inches tall.
- Avoid too much nitrogen in your soil. It can encourage vegetative growth instead of fruiting. Balanced soil is desirable.
- You can feed your plant a fertilizer with low nitrogen levels later in the growing season. You should aim for an NPK ratio of either 5-10-15 or 6-12-12.
Mulch Around Your Plants
Mulching is a smart move because it helps soil retain moisture. Mulch can reduce the frequency you have to water if you live in an area with hot summers. These plants can withstand drought, but it is important to keep the soil moist to ensure optimal growth and production.
Harvesting Okra in Containers
It is important to remember that okra plants need regular and frequent harvesting. Blooms take around 2 to 3 months to develop after they are planted. Expect to wait another week for fruits to appear after the flowers have begun to appear.
Okra can be cut and replanted. Okra flowers almost every day. Each flower self-fertilizes, so there is no need for pollination. It takes between 7-10 days for the flower to mature.
Pick the pods as soon as they are tender. You can make it difficult to eat if you leave them too long. Each pod should measure between 3 and 5 inches in length.
- You can see the first pods you can harvest at the base of your plant. They gradually move up. You can harvest the pods from the top of your plant at the end of the growing seasons.
- To remove the pods from the plant, use pruning shears.
- It is important to check on the plant every day. It takes only a few extra days for the pods to become tough and almost inedible.
- They have thick hairs, eventually falling out unless you get spineless Okra. Since it is not easy to keep the hair in place, gloves and long sleeves are a smart choice.
Common Pests and Diseases that Bother Okra
Okra is not prone to many diseases and pests. The biggest problem Okra has with cold weather is usually cold. However, it would help if you were ready for anything that may come your way.
Another fungal infection can quickly kill your crop. The leaves can become wilted and eventually die. Plants can become stunted or even die from severe infections.
Fusarium wilt is more likely to grow in warmer temperatures, and there are no cures.
This fungal infection can cause discoloration at the soil line and cankers. The leaves will wilt and eventually fall off.
Unfortunately, this fungus is not curable once it has spread. To prevent it from growing in the soil, it is best to practice crop rotation.
The other fungus can cause a cottony fungal growth and small dark green lesions on your plants’ leaves, branches, pods, and roots. The lesions become longer over time. White mold can survive up to five years in the soil.
Rotate your crops regularly to avoid the over-application of nitrogen fertilizer. It is also a good idea to space rows evenly.
Cucumber beetles can cause stunted plant growth and leaves damage. The symptoms can look similar to bacterial wilt and may leave scars on your fruit. Cucumber beetles tend to be brightly colored, with a yellow background or black spots.
To protect your plants, you can use floating row covers. Kaolin clay is also effective for small infestations. Insecticides may be useful.
These pests can cause severe damage to the leaves, often causing large or minor holes. Cabbage loopers appear pale green and have white lines along with their bodies. Natural enemies are usually enough to keep the loopers under control. To kill young larvae, you can also apply Bacillus Thuringiensis.
They can cause galls to form on the roots, which will result in a decrease in plant growth. In hot weather, they can also cause plants to turn yellow if you suspect that Nematodes might be present in your soil, plant resistant varieties.
If you suspect nematodes, check the roots during the middle of the growing seasons. The solarization of the soil can help reduce the number of nematodes.
Frequently Asked Question
What size container can you grow okra in?
It is a large container that can be used to grow okra. It should have a minimum of 10-12 inches (25-31cm). Because the plant can become heavy, a pot with a wide bottom is better. Make sure that the bottom of the pot is draining.
Does okra do well in containers?
Okra, like most vegetables, is well-suited for container gardening. First, choose a large container made from the material you like to grow okra. You should have at least three gallons of storage space.
Does okra need full sun?
Okra thrives under the full sun. It is important to water your plants regularly, especially during flowering and the development of pods. A weekly deep soak is a good idea during prolonged dry spells. Crop rotation and soil management are key to controlling diseases.
How tall do Clemson spineless okra plants grow?
Dimensions of the Plant: is 4′-5′ tall and 24′ wide. Areas with a long growing season can grow taller. Information about Okra varieties: Okra pods can reach 9 inches in length, but they are best harvested between 3 and 4 inches for culinary purposes, as they will become hard. “Clemson Spineless80” pods are dark green, straight, and slightly grooved.
What soil is best for okra?
Okra thrives in soil that has a pH between 6.5 to 7.0. However, it can also grow well in pH as high as 7.6. A generous amount of compost, or other rich organic material, is a great addition to the soil.
What is the best fertilizer for okra?
Okra should be cut or mowed above the soil line. Gardeners will need to fertilize the plants with a 1:2 fertilizer of nitrogen and potassium. This will stimulate new growth and increase flower production.
Is Clemson spineless okra dwarf?
Clemson Spineless is not a dwarf or small variety. They reach 4 feet in height and 4 feet in width. It takes 60 days for the plant to mature. The pods are dark green and spineless. They can reach up to nine inches long.
Why are my okra leaves turning yellow?
Sometimes, the yellowing of Okra leaves can signify that root diseases are present. Okra plants that turn yellow could indicate serious problems. The catalyst that converts sunlight into food for plants, chlorophyll, is missing from yellowed leaves. The plant’s natural resistance against insects and diseases decreases as it becomes starved.
How many seeds does okra make per hole?
you can Plant 2 to 3. Okra should not be planted directly in a garden as it is susceptible to transplant failure. Okra plants can be grown for up to 10 to 12 weeks once they are mature.
Do you need to prune okra plants?
Okra can be cut back to allow it to rejuvenate and produce a late-summer/fall crop. You can trim back the plants with pruning shears or a mower, but leave 6-12 inches above the ground.
Final Thoughts On Growing Clemson Spineless Okra In Containers
For new gardeners, it is easy to learn how to grow Okra inside containers. Okra grows well in almost all regions. If you live in colder climates, it is smart to grow Okra inside pots.
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