Fertilization is essential when it comes to any garden plant. Epsom salt is widely used as a fertilization booster in gardening, but how does it affect okra plants?
Epsom salt is good for okra plants so long as it is used in moderation. Too much Epsom salt can alter the soil’s nutrient content, resulting in burned roots and slowed growth of your plants. When using Epsom salt for okra plants, it’s best to only use a little or another fertilizer type.
In the rest of this article, I will discuss the pros and cons of using Epsom salt for your okra plants, the best fertilizer to use, the nutrients okra needs, and when okra should be fertilized. I’ll also cover what you can expect to get from your okra plants, and how to best fertilize your plants. Let’s dive right in!
Pros and Cons of Using Epsom Salt on Okra Plants
Epsom salt is an especially popular fertilizer to use on tomato plants. But before you go sprinkling it on your plants’ soil, it’s imperative that you understand both the benefits and drawbacks of using Epsom salt to fertilize your okra plants.
Benefits of Using Epsom Salt on Okra Plants
There are some significant pros to using Epsom salt as a fertilizer for your okra plants:
- Increases nutrient absorption from the soil.
- Adds micronutrients to the soil.
- Repels unwanted garden pests.
- Aids plants in the production of chlorophyll.
As you can see, there are a few added benefits to using Epsom salt on your okra plants. First, added nutrients and increased absorption of those nutrients are always a plus. Not to mention the fact that it can act as a bug repellent for your plants.
Drawbacks of Using Epsom Salt on Okra Plants
Possible cons of using Epsom salt as a fertilizer for your okra plants:
- Offsets your soil’s nutrient balance.
- Disrupts the soil’s pH levels.
- Halts the growth of your plants.
- Causes extreme discoloration in your okra plants.
- Burns the roots of your okra.
- Blocks calcium absorption.
There are also quite a few cons to using this kind of fertilizer on your okra plants. First, moderation is vital when fertilizing okra plants with Epsom salt. In fact, it’s recommended that you add less than a tablespoon of Epsom salt to a squirt bottle and lightly mist the plant in order to gain benefits from the fertilizer.
Misting your plant with Epsom salt is a great way to refrain from overdoing it and accidentally killing your plant. Plus, you still get some of the added benefits of this unique fertilizer without all the adverse effects that can occur from a dose that is too concentrated.
IV Organic also has a fantastic video on how they fertilize their plants using Epsom salt. So if you would like to learn a little more about how to use Epsom salt on your plants, be sure to check their video out.
What Kind of Fertilizer Is Best for Okra?
Okra plants will pretty much thrive anywhere with plenty of sunlight and heat. Therefore, fertilization of these plants is not necessary in order for them to grow. However, if you are looking to increase your okra plant harvest, pod production fertilization is a great way to do that.
The best kind of fertilizer for okra is manure, specifically chicken manure. The reason for this is that okra loves soil that is high in nitrogen. Chicken manure contains much-needed nutrients and can also easily be acquired for free, making it the best fertilizer option.
However, if you don’t have access to chicken dung, there are a few other fertilizers that are a good option for your okra plants. Okra plants mostly need a fertilizer with a good nutrient balance, which will add nitrogen to the soil.
Okra plant fertilizer options include the following:
- Cow manure. Bovine dung can also be used to help fertilize your okra plants. Still, it’s important to note that this manure will not be nearly as effective as chicken manure since its nutrient levels will be much lower.
- Coffee grounds. Discarded coffee grounds can easily be added to your okra plants’ soil in order to add essential nutrients to your okra plants. As with all fertilizers, it’s important not to overdo it with coffee. It works best when mixed into compost or soil before adding.
- Homemade compost. Compost is always an excellent option to add much-needed nutrients back into your okra plant’s soil. Plus, compost is a great way to repurpose waste and excess food around your home.
- Compost tea. Compost tea can be made from watered compost and used to water your okra plants. This form of fertilization can instantly add a much-needed boost of nutrients without disturbing the current soil.
- Miracle-Gro Potting Mix. Potting mix like Miracle-Gro can easily be acquired and has specifically been formulated to improve your plant’s growth. If you have access to a plant nursery or the internet, Miracle-Gro is a fantastic option that requires very little work on your part.
Ultimately, the best fertilization option for okra will be to use chicken manure. Ideally, you should mix that manure into your compost for added benefits. Okra is relatively stress-resistant, and fertilizing this plant will only increase its production and health, so long as it has been done correctly.
What Nutrients Does Okra Need?
As with any plant you grow in your garden, okra has the preferred nutrients required to thrive. Let’s take a moment to learn about what those nutrients are and where you can easily find them.
Okra needs the nutrients nitrogen, potassium, potential hydrogen (pH), and soil rich in organic matter. This is why using compost, manure, and miracle grow is a good idea in order to aid plant growth. Okra doesn’t need fertilizer to grow, but it can certainly increase plant growth.
All of these nutrients can easily be acquired through the use of chicken manure, compost, and premade potting soils such as miracle grow. However, the natural soil in some gardening zones isn’t ideal for growing okra, so you may benefit from using a soil testing kit.
I personally recommend Luster Leafs Rapid Soil Test Kit (available on Amazon.com). This kit is great because the results are fast, and it tests for Soil pH, Nitrogen, and Phosphorus. Plus, it’s super easy to use and has good reviews.
Frequently Asked Questions
Let’s address some of the most common questions relating to okra fertilization.
Q: When Should You Fertilize Okra?
You should fertilize okra after the first harvest. However, it’s crucial that you don’t overdo fertilization, especially when using fertilizers like Epsom Salt, which can cause damage to your plants in high doses. Using more mild fertilizers, like chicken manure or miracle grow, is better.
Q: How Do You Increase Okra Yield?
You can increase okra yield by ensuring that your plants have adequate sunlight, nutrients, and water. You should also prune them regularly and harvest them every other day in order to maintain pod production. Okra plants that aren’t harvested enough will slowly cease creating new pods.
Q: What Should You Feed Okra Plants?
You should feed okra plants a balanced fertilizer such as Miracle Grow or a healthy mix of compost containing chicken manure. This is because okra plants need plenty of nitrogen in the soil in order to grow, and fertilizers are specifically formulated to release nitrogen for your plants to absorb.
Ultimately, Epsom salt can be good for your okra plants in small quantities. It’s easy to overuse Epsom salt, and it shouldn’t be used in place of fertilizer as it doesn’t contain the required nutrients for your plants.
However, when Epsom salts are used in moderation, they can:
- Increase nutrient absorption.
- Add micronutrients to the soil.
- Deter bugs and other garden pests.
- Aid in chlorophyll production.
Epsom salt can be good for your okra. However, you should always test your soil before adding this salt, as it can greatly alter the nutrients naturally found there.