Saving and storing okra seeds from the home garden is a great way to save money and complete the growing cycle. This step by step guide with pictures shows how to collect okra seeds from your plants then store the dried seeds for next season.
Okra is grown in tropical, subtropical and warm temperate regions. It is a perennial in areas which don’t experience frost however okra is an annual in temperate regions where temperatures drop below freezing.
For temperate areas it is important to collect the okra seed so it can be replanted in the spring after the threat of frosts is over and the soil has warmed. Okra seeds germinate easily with a high germination rate. For more information see this guide to Growing Okra from Seed.
The best time to collect okra seeds is in the mid to late summer once you can choose which plant has the healthiest growth, the highest yield with the best tasting pods.
Saving Okra Seeds
By saving okra seeds from the strongest plants you can improve your crop from year to year. Avoid saving okra seeds from plants which show signs of disease or stress. The leaves may be yellowing or blotchy.
Tools and Materials Needed
- Sharp Knife or Pruners
- Airtight Container or Bag – This top rated 30 pack of 4 oz. mason jars with airtight hinged lids are perfect for storing seeds and look great in the pantry. (Paid link)
How to save and store okra seeds from the home garden.
- Leave the Pods to Dry on the Okra Plant
First choose the plant you would like to save the okra seeds from then let one or two pods grow. Leave the pods on the plant until the pods dry and begin to crack open along the sides.
- Finish Drying Inside
Cut the pods with either a sharp knife or pruners at the base of the pod then leave on a plate or drying rack to finish drying inside.
- Open the Pod
Once the pod is completely dry open up the pod by prising open the longest crack. Empty the seeds out onto the plate.
- Remove the Okra Seeds
You may need to remove some of the dried membrane to dislodge the okra seeds.
- Label and Store
Store the seeds in an airtight container or bag labelled with the contents and the date the seeds were saved.
Do you need labels? This set of 96 premium Chalkboard Labels with a free erasable chalk pen can be wiped clean time after time and are dishwasher safe. These will reduce waste and are highly rated on Amazon. (Paid link)
Storing Okra Seeds
It is best to store okra seeds in a cool, dry area out of direct sunlight. Okra seeds will be viable for 2 to 3 years with the germination rate going down after that time.
If you don’t have an airtight container for storing the seeds, they can be stored in a secured plastic bag with the excess air pushed out.
Recycled egg cartons are great for storing seeds in bags. They keep your seeds together and provide some insulation. See this guide to Reusing Egg Cartons in the Garden for more tips.
Small condiment jars with tight fitting lids can also be used to store seeds. Clean in warm soapy water then air dry before reusing.
Saving and storing okra seeds takes only a little of your time and is a great way to improve your crop from year to year. Your saved okra seeds can be planted out direct in the spring when the threat of frost is over. For more information on growing your own food, try this Vegetable Gardening guide or to get more out of your home and garden see this Homesteading guide.
To Print or Save this guide on Saving and Storing Okra Seeds, click the button below for the PDF file.
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