The Slowcook at Spydog Farm The Slowcook at Spydog Farm

Saving Okra Seed

November 5th, 2009 · 5 Comments · Posted in garden

Do monster pods hold next year's okra crop?

Do monster pods hold next year's okra crop?

Saving okra seeds should be easy, right? You can’t hardly miss the seed pods. But the ones I saved from last year resulted in zero germination. What did I do wrong?

The only thing I can think of is I didn’t leave them on the plant long enough. I wasn’t going to make that mistake again. I let our biggest, most impressive Clemson Spinelsss plant take all the time it needed to produce these giant pods. The plant itself grew to eight and a half feet tall, with a stem like a young oak.

I will find a safe place for these pods. They will dry and hopefully produce a bumper crop next year.

We do love our okra. And from the way okra thrives here in the District of Columbia, I think it loves us, too.

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  • fastweedpuller

    You might be right. I leave mine to dry on the plant and it results in pretty decent germination. (Okra’s not a fabulous germinator in my experience though.) I don’t have nearly the luck with okra that you do, though; not hot enough here, except in the greenhouses, and in there space is pretty precious!

  • Cornelia at

    I’ve posed this question to the HOMEGROWNers – they’re a knowledgeable bunch. I’ll let you know if they have any advice for you.

  • Ed Bruske

    El, I get very good germination from seed packets. In the past, I direct-seeded in the ground. This year I thought I’d be clever and start them in seed cells. No such luck. We do have an ideal climate for okra. Not so much fun for us humans in summer. We just dash out of the air conditioning to collect the pods for dinner.

    Cornelia, thank you. Do let me know what you find out. That’s a great service.

  • Cornelia at

    From a master gardener member
    “Well Okra is native to Africa and is a true heat loving plant, more so than peppers. The minimum soil temperature for okra seed germination is about 60° F., but the optimum germination temperature is 95° F. The temperature really makes a difference: at soil temperatures of about 60°, germination takes 27 days, whereas at about 75°, germination may take only 13 days, and in ideal conditions perhaps a week. Not sure if germination was the issue, but this is a common issue for Okra.”
    Hope that’s helpful. All the best!

  • Ed Bruske

    Cornelia, thanks for that. I think the real issue here is, at what point to pick okra pods to ensure that the seeds inside are viable.