Hydroponic okra is full of health benefits and you have endless varieties to choose from! Hydroponics is incredibly efficient in how it utilizes resources. Impressively, you can even use up to 99% less water growing hydroponically. Just make sure you have tall enough grow lights for this tall plant!
Read on to learn about growing this unique plant in your hydroponic garden.
Can You Grow Okra Hydroponically?
You can grow okra hydroponically. You can grow anything hydroponically with the right setup!
Okra grows to be quite tall so you need to consider that when choosing your grow lights. Besides that, okra doesn’t need anything fancy.
Let’s discuss growing hydroponic okra in more detail!
Varieties of Okra you can grow Hydroponically
There are many kinds of varieties of okra that you can grow hydroponically, including Clemson Spineless, Burgundy, Star of David, and more.
- Clemson Spineless dominates the okra world in stores and seed sales. It has few spines on it branches and pods, as you may have gathered from the name. The plants can grow up to four feet tall!
- Burgundy okra is another kind of okra that you may be familiar with. It’s sought after due to its beautiful color. The pods are quite large and extra tender.
- Star of David is a heritage okra variety. It comes from the Eastern Mediterranean and can grow taller than you! You will have to account for this height in your hydroponic setup. The leaves are a gorgeous shade of purple. But be careful- this okra variety is quite spiky!
What Are The Benefits Of Growing Okra Hydroponically?
Growing okra hydroponically has plenty of benefits.
To start, hydroponic growing is much more efficient than traditional growing. You can use up to 99% less water in a hydroponic system compared to growing in soil.
You also have complete control over all the variables in a hydroponic system, allowing you to fully optimize growth. From the amount of light your plant receives down to the micronutrients it’s uptaking, you’re in charge of it all!
Okra can also be grown hydroponically all year round, regardless of how long your growing season is outdoors. In the same regard, it can be grown anywhere in the world even if it doesn’t typically thrive in your growing zone.
Surprisingly, okra has beautiful blooms before fruiting so you can enjoy the wonderful flowers in your hydroponic garden until they fruit!
Hydroponic Okra Health Benefits
Okra itself is full of many benefits too! While low in calories, it’s chock full of vitamins C and K.
It’s also full of antioxidants, which fight free radicals in your body. This can help prevent cancer.
Okra also may be able to help control blood sugar levels by preventing sugar from being absorbed during the digestion process.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the health benefits of okra. More research is being conducted every day to see how okra can help fight diseases and give us the nutrition we need!
How to grow Hydroponic Okra
Now that we’ve discussed the basics, let’s talk about how exactly to grow hydroponic okra.
Should you pick Seeds vs Clones?
Hydroponic okra- and all okra for that matter- is almost always grown from seed.
Once you choose the variety of okra that you want to grow, find a reputable seed source (preferably organic) and get some seeds!
Soak your okra seeds in room-temperature water for roughly 24 hours. This will soften the seeds’ coatings and help them sprout more quickly.
Now that you’ve prepared your seeds, plant them about an inch deep into your growing medium of choice.
Your seeds will take about two weeks to germinate, after which you can transfer them to your hydroponic system!
Planting medium for hydroponic Okra
Hydroponic okra isn’t picky about planting medium. Coco-peat and vermiculite are common choices due to their great drainage.
Coco-peat is made of harvested strands from the outside of coconuts that are then processed into coco-peat.
Meanwhile, vermiculite is a naturally-occurring mineral that is often used to aerate soil in traditional gardens.
Hydroponic Okra Nutrient Requirements
For hydroponic okra, the fertilizer should have an NPK of 20:10:10. NPK is the ratio of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium in any given fertilizer.
Keep in mind that you need to use a hydroponic fertilizer and not one for traditional soil gardens! Hydroponic fertilizers contain micronutrients that soil fertilizers do not. This is because plants would usually get those micronutrients from- you guessed it- the soil!
Hydroponic okra likes a pH between 6 and 6.5. The EC should be between 2.0 and 2.4. Lastly, the PPM should range from 1400-1680.
If you’re growing your hydroponic okra outdoors, you need to be on the lookout for your typical outdoor garden pests.
Aphids and mealybugs would be your greatest concerns. Look on the bottom sides of the leaves to check for them. To treat affected plants, spray them with neem oil daily.
If you have an aphid infestation, ants are likely to follow suit. You can control ants using turmeric or boric acid.
Thankfully, if you grow your hydroponic okra indoors you won’t have to worry about pests!
Light for hydroponic Okra
Hydroponic okra needs at least 12 hours of light each day. This will mimic the full sun that they need when grown outdoors.
As mentioned before, you need to have grow lights that are tall enough to accommodate this tall plant.
Harvesting Hydroponic Okra
You’ll find edible fruit on your hydroponic okra after about two months of growing.
Once the fruit reaches 3-4 inches in length you can harvest it! The more you harvest your okra, the more it will produce.
Keep the stem intact so none of the juices come out!
Will okra grow in a 5-gallon bucket?
Okra will grow in a 5-gallon bucket. Plant a couple seeds in your bucet and then prune all but the strongest seedling.
A 5-gallon bucket is only large enough to contain one okra plant.
Can you grow okra in aquaponics?
You can grow okra is aquaponics! Aquaponics is a highly sustainable hydroponic system.
Media Bed is the best aquaponic setup for okra.
How long do okra roots grow?
Okra roots can grow quite deep!
Okra roots have a main tap-root. The supporting roots grow deeply to support the weight of the tall plant.
Can you sprout okra seeds?
You can sprout okra seeds. In fact, sprouting okra seeds is recommended rather than taking cuttings and creating a clone.
Hydroponic okra may not appear in many hydroponic gardens that you’ll come across, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth growing! Okra is delicious and underrated. It will make a unique addition to your hydroponic garden and leave your guests in awe.
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