Originally developed at Clemson University and improved in 1980 for an earlier, more productive harvest. These heat-loving plants produce dark green, grooved, straight pods with a full-bodied flavor that okra lovers find utterly delectable. Related to hollyhocks, the plants' beautiful flowers make them a pretty addition to the flower garden and they attract pollinators.
• Botanical Name: Abelmoschus esculentus
• Days to Maturity: 55 days
• Family: Malvaceae
• Native: Unknown; probably tropical Africa and Asia
• Hardiness: Frost-sensitive annual. In frost-free areas, okra may be grown as a perennial.
• Plant Dimensions: 4'–5' tall, 24" wide. Can grow taller in areas with long growing seasons.
• Variety Information: Okra pods can grow up to 9" long, but are best harvested at about 3"–4" for culinary use, before they become tough. The pods of 'Clemson Spineless 80' are dark green, straight, and slightly grooved.
• When to Sow Outside: 1 to 2 weeks after your average last frost date.
• When to Start Inside: Recommended for short season areas: 4 to 6 weeks before your average last frost date, when soil temperature is at least 70°F, ideally 80°–90°F. Use biodegradable pots to reduce root disturbance.
• Days to Emerge: 10 –15 days
• Seed Depth: ½"–1"
• Seed Spacing: A group of 3 seeds every 18"
• Row Spacing: 4' apart
• Thinning: When 4" tall, thin to 1 every 18"
• Harvesting: Okra is most tender when harvested at about 3"-4" long. Cut the thick stem with a sharp knife. The use of gloves and long sleeves is advised, as some people have a skin irritation reaction to the foliage. After initial harvest, removal of the lowest set of leaves will increase production. Harvest regularly; if pods are allowed to mature, plant will stop producing.