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Texas Hill Country Red Okra

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Abelmoschus esculentus

Texas Hill Country Red Okra (70 days)



Okra is said to have originated in Africa and followed the slave trade establishing itself in the Caribbean Islands, Brazil and the Southern United States. 

This variety is a Texas heirloom and was given the name "Hill Country Red" .  The okra is red in color and "The Texas Hill Country" refers to the limestone hills surrounding Austin/San Antonio Area.

However, it is unlikely it was first established there, as this area was largely settled by Germans who opposed slavery, but who were quick to adopt new vegetables through trade. 

It is more likely it originally came into Brazoria County, Texas in the South where there was an active slave trade and many plantations that quickly adopted any new food source.

It is believed slaves themselves were sometimes able to smuggle a few precious seeds with them on their terrible journey. 

Many times they were grown in substance gardens that some slaves were allowed to grow for themselves. 

It is not uncommon for people to bring their food source from a foreign land with them. 

It is however, amazing that any incarcerated person was able to do so.  This is what makes heirloom seeds so special. 

This okra grows 4-6' tall.

Has 3" bronze red fruit that are full of true heirloom okra flavor.

Did you know the leaves of okra can be eaten like beet greens either fresh or cooked?  Okra seeds were also roasted during the civil war as a coffee substitute when Northern forces disrupted trade routes in the South.

Seed Planting Depth

Seeds per gram

Germination Temperature

Days to Germination

Row Spacing

Plant Spacing

100' Row Yield


1/4" 15-18 70-80 10-15 36" 12" 50-100 lb. Full

Abelmoschus esculentus

Planting Tips:

A hot weather plant, start indoors 2-3 weeks before last frost date.  Soak seeds overnight before planting.  Transplant into the garden a month after last frost date.  A heavy feeder, make sure to plant in fertile soil. 

  • Okra is from Africa.  Okra loves heat.  Days must be over 80F to produce decent crops.  The soil must be over 70F.  If you have cool summers wait to plant Okra at the end of May or 1st week in June.  Plant next heat sinks like rock walls or south sides of structures.  Try placing a few bricks or rocks at the base of established plants a heat sinks.
  • Once established Okra is very drought tolerant.  However, watering every 7-10 will produce higher yields. However don't over water.  Okra does like drier soils than most of your veggies. 
  • Ovoid planting Okra in wet, soggy soils.
  • Okra will grow best in soil that has been worked down to a level of 10".
  • Thin plants to about a 12" apart.
  • Fertilize your bed with composted manure before hand, but do not feed too much nitrogen was established.  This will cause luxuriant growth and few blooms/pods.

Seeding Rate:

75-90,000 plants/acre, aproximately 11-15 lb.

Heirloom seeds are hardy but always take care with your garden seeds to give them the appropriate amount of moisture - not letting the vegetable seeds dry out prematurely or overwatering and possibly having them rot.


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