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Okra Companion Plants

When planning your garden, it can be important to keep in mind what types of plants tend to do well when planted near each other. These plants are called companion plants. They can help each other grow and thrive through a variety of benefits they provide each other. Learn about companion planting and what okra companion plants you should consider when planting your garden this year.

Fresh organic green and red okra isolated on a white background .

Why Companion Planting

Companion planting pairs plants that thrive together in the same general area of the garden. This allows them to work together to deter pests, boost growth and production, and allow for beneficial insects and pollination. Companion plants can enrich the soil and diversify the garden, which can improve your overall crop. They can also help each other in an organic garden, by allowing for different nutrients in the soil to increase other plants’ growth and boosting harvests.

Alternatively, if your plants are not compatible, it could cause issues for you down the road. Plants that attract the same diseases and pests are more susceptible, and more likely to get sick or damaged. They can interfere with the growth and health of other plants, too, by using up all the same nutrients in the soil or soaking up all the water before other nearby plants can get what they need. Companion plants can help reduce these negative side effects of gardening.

Cantaloupe plant with 2 cantaloupe

What to Plant With Okra

When selecting companion plants for your okra, you should consider the needs of both your okra and the other plants. These needs include temperatures, sun/shade preferences, and watering needs. Oka thrives in warm regions, so your companion plants should also do well in similar conditions.

Okra grows on tall stalks, often reaching 6 feet by the end of the summer. Be sure to plant only companion plants that don’t need a lot of sun and maybe even those that prefer shade, because okra can reduce the sun in that area of your garden.

Because of okra’s height, some of the best companion plants for okra include lettuce. The tall plant shades the greens from the hot sun. Another plant that can benefit from the shade of your okra is melons (which also have the added benefit of attracting pollinators to your plants).

Another great option for companion planting with okra is peas. Planting the peas and okra together, the okra seedlings won’t crowd the peas until temperatures are higher, allowing you to harvest the peas. Peas add nitrogen to the soil naturally, so they can help with the overall health of the soil, too. Eggplant is another option for soil benefits, because eggplant releases potassium for the okra to benefit from.

peas growing on the farm

Like peas, you can also plant radishes at the same time as okra. Plant the okra and radish seeds together, about 3-4 inches apart per row. The radishes loosen the soil as their roots grow, allowing the okra to grow strong roots deeper into the earth.

Additionally, you can find companion plants that help with pest and disease prevention for your okra. These plants can repel certain insects from the area, protecting each other from damage by common pests.

By planting peppers after you harvest the radishes, you can protect the okra from cabbageworms, which are known to feed on okra leaves.

Another plant you can grow alongside okra is tomatoes. When companion planted, tomatoes act as a trap crop, luring stink bugs away from okra plants.

Summer sunflower bud close up. Shot using all natural light

Beyond fruits and vegetables to pair with okra plants, flowers can be a great option to increase pollination in the area. Sunflowers work well, as they attract pollinators who can then visit the okra, encouraging the okra flowers to bloom. Herbs can also be a great addition to your okra. You can plant basil near your okra, repelling flea beetles from your plants to reduce the chance of damage to your okra.

Companion plants can naturally support each other so they can grow strong and healthy. By naturally improving the soil to deflecting pests that may cause damage, companion plants for your okra can ensure a healthy harvest at the end of the season.

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    • Hi Mae! Northern Georgia is planting zone 7, you can grow peas in your zone you just want the soil to be a minimum of 50 degrees. You can lay plastic over the soil a week before you sow your seeds to help warm the soil up. Finding okra plants is difficult online, local garden centers and nurseries are usually the best choice. If you are on Facebook look up gardening and your town to see if there are any local gardening groups sometimes you can find someone who will do some swapping.

  1. Hi, I live in Blacksburg, SC and plant okra from seed every year. I have a small garden and plant about 20 spots with 1 foot between them. Two rows of 10. Two seeds per whole. I plant eggplant between them. No thinning is necessary.

    The plants grow quickly and produce very well once it gets hot. I have been told they will grow to about 6ft. Mine grow from 8ft to 10ft. My suggestion is to start from seed and plant in a sunny area once the last frost has passed. Clemson spineless seem to produce the best harvest, but Burgundy grow well and add color to your garden. They taste the same when fried or roasted.

    • Hi Mark, we’re so happy to hear about your okra plants! Thank you so much for sharing your tips with us and fellow gardeners. We hope you have a fantastic season, happy gardening!

  2. I am sorry, but tomatoes DO NOT repel stink bugs. These bugs damage tomatoes. I pick tens of stink bugs every evening from my tomatoes.

    • Hi Julia, thank you so much for bringing this to our attention. You are correct, stink bugs often plague tomato plants by feeding on their foliage and fruit. When grown alongside okra, tomatoes act as a trap crop, luring stink bugs away from okra plants. We have updated the article to better reflect this information.

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