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I have grown okra for the first time this year and notice they are covered in tiny little crystals on the leaves and stalks and fruit. What is this?



I remember this happening to okra I grew in the UK some years ago. The plants never flourished.
I would guess the little crystals are calcium oxalate from the sap and might be caused by greenfly or some other sucking insect or may be simply the way of the plant excreting excess calcium.
There is an interesting article about this at
Okra is an hibiscus and needs very high temperatures to grow well. This year I have planted some okra in the bed of the polytunnel and they have done well, and I'm harvesting the pods at present. (The first time we've ever succeeded)
You need to harvest the pods as soon as possible after the flowers set to stop them becoming tough and to keep the plant producing more flowers.
I haven't noticed the 'crystals' at all this time and would recommend that you give your plants lots of space and a good depth of rich soil in which to grow.

26 Jul, 2010

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