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8 Perfect Companion Plants for Okra

As okra prefers to grow in full sun in well-drained soil but needs consistent moisture, you want to select companions that like similar conditions.

Okra is an interesting plant to add to your vegetable garden. It grows quite tall, up to 2 metres, so can be useful for shading low-growing plants such as lettuce and spinach that would otherwise bolt during hot sunny weather.

The plant also has the most stunning hibiscus-type flowers that should attract bees and other pollinators to your garden. The star-shaped fruits are best harvested when they’re around 10cm long to ensure that they’re nice and tender and not woody.

As okra prefers to grow in full sun in well-drained soil but needs consistent moisture, you want to select companions that like similar conditions.

Here are a few of the best companions for okra.

Cucumbers

Cucumber 2 | Fruit & Vegetables

From my experience, cucumbers are thirsty plants and need lots of water to thrive and produce their delicious fruits. This makes them the perfect companion for okra which needs similar conditions.

Capsicum

Capsicums also like to grow in a sunny position and will benefit from regular watering. They are also said to deter cabbage worms which can be a problem for okra. 

Melons

Once again, melons require ample water to produce their gorgeous fruits. Plus, they can happily scramble around the base of the okra plants if you don’t want to grow them up a trellis.

Basil

planting basil | Fruit & Vegetables

Basil is a worthwhile companion for many of your vegetables and this includes okra. Thanks to its pungent aroma, basil is said to repel quite a number of pests such as stinkbugs, aphids, spider mites and whiteflies. 

Okra will also provide some shade for your basil plants so that they don’t bolt in the hot summer sun.

Eggplant

Eggplants have a somewhat similar growth habit to okra and need full sun and plenty of water to produce their fruits. This makes these two ideal companions.

Zucchini

zucchini 4 | Fruit & Vegetables

If you have plenty of space in your garden, growing okra and zucchini together is a great idea. Both these plants love the sun and their flowers need pollinators in order to produce fruits.

Having a range of different types of flowers to attract bees is a good practice to follow.

Beans

As we know, beans are legumes and help to fix nitrogen in the soil. This is beneficial to other plants because more nutrients will be available for stronger and healthier growth.  

Edible Flowers

Nasturtiums flowers | Fruit & Vegetables

Edible flowers such as nasturtiums, pansies and violas make great companions for okra because they’ll increase the chance of attracting pollinators to your garden. These are essential for pollinating the okra flowers so that they produce fruits.

What should you not plant near okra

Avoid growing root crops such as potatoes and sweet potatoes near your okra because these plants can increase the amount of nematodes in the soil. Nematodes are fond of feasting on the young roots of okra and will damage your plants.

FAQ

Can you plant okra close to tomatoes?

Yes, okra can be planted close to tomatoes. This will help with pollination as bees will be attracted to the yellow colour of the tomato flowers. Plus, both okra and tomatoes like plenty of water.

How close should you plant okra together?

Okra plants can grow quite large, so you need to space them around 45 to 60 cm apart.

Does okra require full sun?

Yes, okra will thrive and produce lots of flowers and fruit when grown in full sun.

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Annette Hird

Annette Hird is a gardening expert with many years of experience in a range of gardening related positions. She has an Associate Diploma of Applied Science in Horticulture and has worked in a variety of production nurseries, primarily as a propagator. She has also been responsible for a large homestead garden that included lawn care, fruit trees, roses and many other ornamental plants. More recently, Annette has concentrated on improving the garden landscape of the homes that she has lived in and focused a lot of energy on growing edible plants as well. She now enjoys sharing her experience and knowledge with others by writing articles about all facets of gardening and growing plants.

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