QUESTION: My okra plants are really tall. Should you top okra plants, or should I trim the leaves? -Kelly W
ANSWER: There are several occasions in which pruning back your okra plants will work in your favor. Always remove pods in a timely fashion, harvesting them when they are three to five inches long. However, if pods are allowed to grow even larger, it is imperative that they be removed, as the plant will keep sending energy to these overgrown pods, making them grow larger and larger, instead of focusing on growing new pods that you will hopefully be able to harvest before they grow too large.
In warm weather climates, okra plants can grow up to six to eight feet tall. In these cases, it is best to cut the tops back, removing one-third of the plant. Trimming back overgrown okra plants will not only make them more accessible come harvest time, it will also allow the plants to focus their energy on producing new pods for harvesting.
Should you trim okra leaves?
Once okra leaves aren’t able to produce food for the plant, the plant starts to get rid of them. The leaves start to take up more energy than they produce so yes, cut off any little dying leaves near the bottom of the plant as well as any leaves that are looking weak or starting to shrivel.