OKRA (Abelmoschus esculentus)

The three main planting seasons for Okra are February-March, June-July and October-November.


Green / light green fruited: Pusa Sawani, Pusa Makhmali, IARI Selection 2, Kiran, Salkeerthi.

Red fruited: Co-1, Aruna

Yellow vein mosaic resistant/tolerant: Arka Anamika, Arka Abhay, Susthira, Anjitha, Manjima (all green fruited).

 Seed rate

The seed rate is 8.5 kg ha-1 for the summer crop sown in February-March and 7 kg ha-1 for kharif crop.

Storage of seeds

Packing of okra seeds in polythene cover (700 gauge) increases the storage life upto 7 months.


For kharif crop, sow the seeds at a spacing of 60 cm between rows and 45 cm between plants. For the summer crop, soak the seeds in water for 24 hours before sowing and give a spacing of 60 cm x 30 cm.


Apply FYM or compost as basal dose @ 12 t ha-1. At the time of sowing apply N, P2O5 and K2O @ 55, 35and 70 kg ha-1. Another 55 kg N ha-1 may be applied one month after sowing.

Note: For reclaimed soils of Kuttanad, a fertilizer dose of N:P2O5:K2O 75:5:15 kg ha-1 is recommended.

After cultivation

Give pre-sowing irrigation, if soil is not moist enough. During summer, irrigate at intervals of 2 to 3 days. Conduct weeding regularly and earth up rows during rainy season.

Plant protection

The important pests are jassids, fruit and shoot borer and root knot nematode.

Against jassids, use quinalphos 0.05 per cent as foliar sprays For controlling fruit and shoot borers, remove all drooping shoots and damaged fruits. Spray carbaryl 0.15 per cent at intervals of 15 to 20 days. For controlling aphids, apply dimethoate 0.05per cent.

For the control of nematodes, apply sawdust or paddy husk at 500 g/plant or neem leaves or Eupatorium leaves at 250 g/plant in basins one week prior to planting and water daily. The effect of this treatment persists up to 75 days after sowing in summer season.

For managing root knot nematode, seed treatment with Bacillus macerans @ 3 per cent w/w. (2.5kg ha-1) and in heavily infested area seed treatment with B. macerans @ 3 per cent w/w. and drenching with B. macerans @ 3 per cent solution 30 days after sowing can be recommended.

In general, insecticides of plant origin may be used, as far as possible.

Yellow vein mosaic

This is a common disease in okra, which shows vein clearing and vein chlorosis of leaves. The yellow network of veins is very conspicuous and veins and veinlets are thickened. Fruits become small and yellowish green in colour. White fly (Bemisia tabaci) and leaf hopper (Amrasca biguttula biguttula) are vectors of this virus. Hence, their control is very important. Use of resistant varieties like Arka Anamika, Arka Abhay and Susthira, and destruction of host weeds (Croton sparsiflora and Ageratum sp.) are also effective.