Do you love growing okra in your vegetable garden? Learn the best okra companion plants to get a better harvest with fewer pests and healthier plants!
Companion planting is more than just repelling pests in the garden- it’s a way of planning and planting your garden so that everything works together to prevent pests, build soil, increase yields, reduce weeds, save space and more!
Below you will find a list of okra companion plants that you can grow alongside okra in your garden to prevent disease and have fewer pests. Plus a list of what you should keep separate from your okra.
If you are just getting started growing okra check out my articles on How to Grow Okra from Seed to Harvest for a basic guide on growing this vegetable.
The Ultimate Guide to Okra Companion Plants for Your Garden
Pick up a copy of my Companion Planting Guide and Binder to help you design the perfect garden beds with companion planting in mind. Everything you need to know about companion planting in an easy to read format so you can start companion planting sooner!
The Best Okra Companions for a Better Harvest
Lettuce: Growing lettuce at the base of okra plants can benefit both crops. Lettuce helps crowd out weeds while the okra plants provide shade.
Peas: Growing peas in the same bed as your okra will help build the soil. Peas will fix nitrogen in the soil and the okra can take over the same space once the peas have finished for the season.
Radish: You can grow radishes throughout your okra rows to help break up the soil so that the okra plants can develop deeper roots. The okra provides shade for the radishes. Plant the seeds about 4 inches apart from each other.
Calendula: Calendula is a great all-purpose companion plant in the garden. It can draw in pollinators to give a higher yield and it has some pest control properties as well.
Flowers: Flowers are a great way to bring in all sorts of beneficial bugs- like pollinators! Okra needs pollination to produce the fruit of the plant. Plant annual flowers throughout your garden. Here are 11 of my favorite flowers to plant in the garden.
Okra Companion Plants for Pest Control
Sunflowers are a trap crop for some pests that bother okra, planting them at the perimeter of the garden helps to keep the pests away from your okra plants.
Basil: I love planting basil throughout my garden. Not only does it give a great harvest itself, but it also has pest control properties. Basil can help keep aphids and flea beetles off of your okra.
Nasturtium: Nasturtium are a great plant to grow with okra. It will help trap aphids and control many different beetles!
Garlic/Onion: Garlic and onions are a members of the allium family, most of which will repel pests like aphids and spider mites. Try planting them around your okra rows.
What NOT to Plant with Okra
Guess what? You are in luck- okra can pretty much be planted with everything!
But here are some considerations to think about when planting your okra rows:
- Okra can get quite tall so when planning your garden be sure to plant okra where it won’t shade plants that need lots of sun.
- Okra is often used at a trap crop for pests like aphids, stink bugs, and leaf footed bugs. You can use this to your advantage by planting sacrificial okra plants close to affect plants (such as tomatoes) but if you are growing okra to eat, be sure to plant a trap crop FOR the okra to keep the bugs away from it!
Essential Oils to Pair with Okra in the Garden
Sometimes companion planting isn’t quite possible. Maybe you have a small garden or even a container garden. Or maybe some of the best companions are crops that don’t grow well in your area.
Whatever the reason, if companion planting the above crops isn’t an option, essential oils can be helpful in the garden as a replacement.
Here are some essential oils to use in the garden to help with growing more okra!
Rosemary Oil: Rosemary is a great companion, but also a perennial herb that might not have a home in your vegetable garden. Rosemary essential oil can be used to help control pests such as aphids and flea beetles.
Peppermint Oil: Mint is fabulous at pest control, unfortunately because it self seeds so readily, it can also take over a space. Use peppermint oil instead to help control pest like aphids on your okra!
Tea Tree Oil: Tea tree is a great anti-fungal and can help prevent disease such as powdery mildew.
Basil Oil: Just like basil is a great companion plant, basil oil is a good companion oil for okra. It will help with pests such as aphids and many worms that might munch on your plants!
You can also check out this article on Using Essential Oils in the Garden for recipes and instructions on HOW to use the essential oils.
Once you have harvested your okra, check out some of the following articles to learn how to store, use, and preserve your harvest!
Okra can be dried, frozen, pickled, or pressure canned. Dehydrating is my favorite way to preserve okra because it reduces space and rehydrates beautifully for most uses such as soups and even fried okra!
Here’s How to Dry Okra using an electric dehydrator.
If you’d like to try canning, here are some options:
Canning Pickled Okra (Water Bath Canner)
And of course you can always freeze okra as well. Simply blanch or bake the okra for about 3 minutes and then cool and either freeze whole or chop and freeze. You can also bread them before freezing if you want to use it for fried okra!
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