Ladies finger cultivation |

Okra cultivation ata aglance

Okra / Bhendi / Ladies Finger cultivation

Okra cultivation ata aglance

Okra is one of the most popular vegetables crops in India. It is liked both by children and adults

The major bhendi (okra) producing states are Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Odisha, Assam, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

Importance of Okra

The crop is cultivated for its young tender fruits, used in curry and soups after cooking

It is a good source of vitamins A and B, protein and minerals

It is also an excellent source of iodine and is useful for the treatment of goiter

Fruits are also dried or frozen for use during off -season

Dry fruit skin and fibres are used in manufacture of paper, card board and fibres

Root and stem are used for clearing cane juice for preparation of jaggery

General Information

Scientific name

Scientific name of Okra is Abelmoschus esculentusis


Family Of okra is Malvaceae

Common names

Ladies Finger, Bhindi (Hindi), Dhenras (bengali), Vendai (Tamil), bhindo (Gujarati), Bendekayi (Kannada), Ventaykka (Malayalam), Asra-pattraka (Sanskrit), etc.


It is an annual erect herb 0.9 to 2.1 m in height, hairy, with 3 to 5 lobed palmately cordate leaves.

The plants bear 12.5 to 30 cm pyramidal pods


Its is predominantly a crop of tropics and subtropics

Bhendi requires long warm growing season during its growing period

It gives good yield in warm humid condition

Optimum temperature

It grows best within a temperature range of 24-27°C

Seeds fail to germinate when temperature is below 20o C.

Highly susceptible

Bhendi is highly susceptible to frost injury


It grows best in loose, friable, well-drained sandy loam soils rich in organic matter

It also gives good yield in heavy soils with good drainage

A pH range of 6.0-6.8 is considered as optimum

Alkaline, saline soils and soils with poor drainage are not good for this crop


Normally the crop is sown between January-March and June- August

The optimum time of seed sowing varies greatly depending upon climate, varieties and their temperature requirement for growth


Varieties released by IARI – Pusa Makhmali, Pusa Paushja, Pusa A-4, Pusa Sawani, Sel 2-2

Varieties released by IIHR – ASel-10 (A. Anamika), Sel-4 (A. Abhay)

Varieties Released by PAU – P-7, Punjab Padmini, Punjab no. 13, Punjab 8

Other important varieties are – DVR 1, 2, 3, 4, VRO 3, 4, 6, 5, 22, 25, Parbhani Kranti, Kiran, Salkeerthi, Co 1, Aruna, MDU 1, Varsha Uphar, Azad Kranthi

Hybrid varieties of Okra – CO 2, 3, COBhH 1

Seed rate

Summer seed rate – 3.5 to 5.5 kg seeds/ha

Rainy season seed rate – 8-10 kg seeds/ha

Seed treatment

Before sowing the seeds are soaked in a solution of Bavistin (0.2%) for 6 hours and then dried in shade

Land preparation

The land should be well prepared with 2-3 ploughing

Well decomposed FYM (25 t/ha) is incorporated at the time of land preparation

Type of seed bed

Bhendi is sown on ridges or on flat soil

If soil is heavy, sowing should be done on ridges.

Application of organic manures

Application of organic manure like neem cake and poultry manures improves the plant growth and reduces fertilizer requirement


Spacing of 75 x 30 cm or 60 x 45 cm is followed depending upon the varities, type of aoil and irrigation facilities

The seeds germinate in about 4-5 days.

Manure and fertilizers

About 20-25 t/ha of FYM is mixed at the time of land preparation

Fertilizer dosage of 100 kg N, 60 kg P2O5and 50 kg K2O is recommended for optimum yield

Nitrogen fertilizers like urea, calcium ammonium nitrate (CAN) and ammonium sulphate should be used for okra

Half dose of N and full dose of P2O5 and K2O are applied at the time of planting

The balance half of N if given 30 days after sowing followed by earthing up operation.

Method of fertilizer application

Fertilizers are applied by opening up a deep narrow furrow on one side of each sowing ridge


A light irrigation is given soon after seed sowing to ensure good germination

The crop is irrigated at an interval of 4-5 days in summer

Moisture stress at fruit setting stage reduces the fruit quality and the yield

Method of irrigation

Normally the crop is irrigated by adopting the furrow method of irrigation

Intercultural Operations

Weed control

Important period of crop growth which should be kept weed free is during the first 20-25 days of plant growth

Number if weeding required for the crop is 3 to 4 weedings

First weeding – seedlings are two weeks old subsequent weddings –  interval of 25 days


Pre-emergence application of Basalin 48 EC (1.5kg a.i./ha) or Stomp 30 EC (0.75 kg a.i./ha) followed by one hand weeding at 20-25 days after sowing

Important Pests of Okra

Shoot and Fruit Borer, Leaf Hopper, Okra Stemfly Mites, White fly and Root-Knot Nematode are the major pests.

Important Diseases of Okra

Damping off, Fusarium wilt, Powdery mildew, Cercospora Leaf Spot, Yellow Vein Mosaic Virus and Enation Leaf Curl are the major diseases.

Integrated Pest and Diseases Management Strategies in Okra

Sowing of YVMV resistant hybrids viz. Makhmali, Tulsi, Anupama-1 and Sun-40 etc

Grow maize / sorghum on borders as a barrier/trap crop for the entry of shoot & fruit borer adults.

Set up yellow sticky and delta traps for white fly

Erection of bird perches @ 10/acre in the field for facilitating bird predation.

Give two to three sprays of Neem seed kernal extract @ 5% alternating with sprays of pesticid,e if needed, for leaf hopper, white fly, mites and aphids etc

Leaf hopper, if crosses ETL (5 hoppers/plant), spray imidacloprid 17.8 SL @ 150 ml/ha

Install pheromone traps @ 2/ acre for monitoring of Earias vittella moth emergence

Release egg parasitoid Trichogramma chilonis @ 1-1.5 lakh/ ha starting from 30-35 days after sowing 4-5 times at weekly interval for shoot & fruit borer. Shoot & fruit borer, if crosses ETL (5.3 % infestation), spray cypermethrin 25 EC @ 200 g a.i/ha.

Rogue out the YVMV affected plants, if any, from time to time.

Periodically remove and destroy the borer affected shoots and fruits.


The fruits are ready for harvest in about 45-60 days after seed sowing

Generally, medium sized (7-10 cm long) tender pods are harvested

As all the fruits do not mature at the same time, harvesting is carried out once in 3-4 days


Normal variety  – 7.5-10 t/ha

hybrid varieties – 15-22 t/ha

Further readings and references on Okra / Bhendi / Ladies Finger cultivation

National Horticulture Board

Handbook of Horticilture

Martin, Franklin W. (1982). “Okra, Potential Multiple-Purpose Crop for the Temperate Zones and Tropics”. Economic Botany. 36 (3): 340–345.



Author: agristudent

Team Agristudent is a young and dynamic team of Agriculture specialists who have acquired specialised knowledge in their respective subjects. Their mission is to create a unique online encyclopedia of agriculture, which can be useful to millions around the world as an online reference library

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