Okra plants can grow up to 8 feet tall. Trimming okra back makes it easier to harvest the vegetable. Pruning will also allow the plant to focus on saving energy for new growth.
Just exactly how do you prune okra? Let’s find out.
How To Prune Okra?
To prune okra cut off or pinch the shoots when the plants reach a height of 25 inches. This will allow the okra plant to branch out more and will increase the okra production. Cut back around one-third of the tops of the plants in the late summer months. In warmer climate, okra plants can grow up to 8 feet high. Using this pruning technique will force the buds to grow on the main stem, which in turn will enable a late secondary yield. Prune your okra between 80 and 100 days before the frost arrives.
Pruning Okra Leaves
When the okra leaves are no longer able to supply energy to the plant, the okra plant will get rid of those leaves.
Leaves use energy if they are still connected to the plant, so you need to cut off any dying leaves or ones that look shriveled or weak.
You want to aim to prune okra leaves around the end of winter or at the start of spring before the okra starts to grow.
Don’t cut off the leaves when the okra is actively growing, as this will make the plant grow substantially slower.
Ensure you use the right tools when pruning, or you can damage the plant.
Use hand pruning shears with one thin and one thick blade. Ensure you make clean cuts.
Protection is important as okra plants have tiny spines that can cause itchiness and irritation. Wearing long sleeves and gloves is important.
Benefits Of Pruning Okra Plants
The good thing with okra is when you prune it, the plant continues to produce pods.
Pruning allows you to remove the damaged and dead plants and to help maintain the health of the plant.
Pruning okra can help to remove the branches that are rubbing on each other and are crowded. This helps to increase the fruiting.
It also helps to restore the density, vigor of okra and will rejuvenate the old branches.
If you find the fruits are extra small in the late fall, then you can go ahead and prune just every second plant quite thinly.
With the others, you can just chop a little off here and there.
If you notice leaves turning yellow, feeding your plant with organic fertilizer.
Pruning Sick Okra
If you use shears to prune diseased okra, then you need to ensure that you disinfect them after each cut.
Doing so will keep the disease from spreading to the healthy okra plants.
You can disinfect the shears with nine parts water to one part bleach.
Oiling Your Shears To Avoid Rust Contamination
Oiling your pruning tools after you have cleaned them will help to prevent rust from forming on the shears. It will also prevent a transfer to your okra plant the next time you prune it.
Pruning your okra is easy to do once you know how to do it. It can be very beneficial for your plants. If you grow okra in pots, then you can prune the same way you would in the garden or in planter boxes.
Okra is easy to grow and trouble-free most of the time when cared for properly.
The yellow blossoms and beautiful pods offer a beautiful season-long attraction.
If you are pruning your okra plant you can increase the yield of your orka harvest and you will end up having plenty of okra to eat, freeze, and pickle.
Read what to do with overgrown okra next.
Frequently Asked Question on How to Prune Okra
How Do You Stop Your Okra From Growing Too High?
Okra plants grow most during spring and summer. Warm weather causes it to grow high and decreases pod production. Try and cut the plants down to between 12 to 20 inches in height. Try to cut above two healthy, green leaves.
When Should You Prune Okra Leaves?
Try to get most of your pruning done in the spring and summer months. This is when they are actively growing due to the extra light and warmer conditions.
Can I Get A Professional To Prune My Okra?
Okra is quite easy to prune once you get a hang of it. If you feel you can’t handle the job or are not confident enough, you can surely get a gardener to prune it for you or show you how it is done.