It’s time to put up the summer harvests and begin preparing for winter and next spring. One way to prepare for spring is to save seeds from plants you grew this year that you enjoyed so that you can grow it again next year. Okra is a southern garden favorite that is very easy to collect and save seeds from. There are only a couple steps to saving seeds from okra.
First A Little About Okra
Okra is botanically known as Hibiscus esculentus or Abelmoschus esculentus but we’ll just keep it easy and call it okra. In it’s most common culinary form here in the south okra is fried, but it can also be pickled or used in a variety of dishes. I grew two types of okra this year ‘Bowling Red’ and ‘Star of David’. Both germinated great but neither of which grew well due to the grazing deer. Despite the deer I did manage to get a couple seed pods of the ‘Bowling Red’ variety. ‘Bowling Red’ grows 6-7 feet tall when not persistently grazed upon by wildlife.
Okra flowers are very similar in appearance to an ornamental hibiscus but are smaller in size. If sited in the right location okra can be a very nice edible ornamental plant!
How to Save Okra Seeds
- Once pods form on your okra plant harvest a few for drying.
- Keep the pods in a dry location and let nature gradually do the work.
- When the pod is dry and crisp break it open.
- You should see several internal chambers where the seeds are located. Remove the seeds onto a plate or paper towel.
- I like to save the seeds in a coin envelope, but plastic baggies, jars, and containers can work too.
- Make sure you write the name of the Okra variety and the date on the outside of the envelope so you can keep track of the seeds. Old seeds will lose viability over of time.
That’s all there is to saving okra seed. You can do the same procedure with ornamental hibiscus too. Do you grow okra? What do you like to use it for?