first time planting okra.....

Hampton, VA(Zone 7b)

Hello everyone! I have a question about okra. I just recently planted a few "cajun delight" okra plants. I have never grown okra before, so I'm a little "green" about this plant.

My concern is after planting these, I started noticing that something appears to be eating the leaves. The plants are still very small and on one plant the leaves are nearly gone. I just planted them 3 days ago. So whatever it is is eating pretty quick. I have checked the underside of the leaves for aphids,but did not see any. Just the "skeleton" of the leaves are left,with all the meat gone.

Can anyone give a possible suggestion to whether this could be an insect or maybe something else?

Thanks and happy gardening!


Augusta, GA(Zone 8a)

Okra has few enemies, the worst pest on mine are leaf footed bugs, which causes distortion of the pods. If you have Japanese beetles or corn earworms, tomato worms, they have been known to eat holes in the leaves.

Mooresville, NC(Zone 7b)

Not sure what's eating them but sprinkle a little Sevin dust on them.
If it's a bug that should take care of it.

Rome, GA(Zone 7b)

Are they protected from deer? It's so dry around here the deer are snacking on anything green. Chicken wire around it will discourage the deer.


Hampton, VA(Zone 7b)

Thanks for everyone's advice. Great links,Farmerdill, I appreciate those. Melsalz, I'm going to get some sevin dust and try that. I really haven't spotted what kind of insect it might be. I have looked all around the plants, on the plants, and on the underside of the leaves, but haven't seen a thing. I don't know if I'm missing them, or they are so small I haven't noticed them. Like you said though, the sevin should get it if it's an insect.

I am pretty sure it's not deer because I live in a pretty populated place and have never seen any deer in the area. Plus what has been eaten seems to be by a much smaller mouth.

Again, thanks everyone for the input. Happy gardening!

Augusta, GA(Zone 8a)

Sevin is great for beetles, but it is not a really broad spectrum insecticide. There are many insects that eat it for dessert, not to mention things like mites which thrive on it. I would really make an effort to determine what is doing the damage before I started blasting away. One thing we have not mentioned , slugs. these jokers come out at night and will strip the young leaves.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

My vote goes to #1 the slugs, and #2 the Leaffooted Stinkbug nymphs....

Hampton, VA(Zone 7b)

Farmerdill,and Gymgirl, I think you guys are right about the slugs. I went out into my garden this morning and found a few slime trails around the okra plants, but didn't see any slugs themselves. I think that's a pretty good sign that they are present and probably the culprits.

Now my next question is what's the best way to get rid of them? I did some "google" research and found a few ideas about beer traps and using copper around the plants. What are ya'lls ideas to deter them?

Another thing...... I also have some yellow summer squash,cucumbers,and banana peppers planted in the vicinity of the okra. I haven't seen any leaf damage on any of these plants,just the okra. Why are the culprits just targeting the okra?? Could it be that the leaves are more tender than the others, or do they just have an okra fetish?

Thanks again!

Mooresville, NC(Zone 7b)

I've always heard by placing a pie tin with beer in it, by the plants at night...will work everytime. I think they slime their way into it and drown.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Ok, I'm having a stroke of genius here. How about sittin the okra plant on a platform of some sort, then sit that into a pan with the beer. IThe okra plant will definitely attract the slugs TO the beer and they climb in and drown.

Mooresville, NC(Zone 7b)

And you're on what number beer? hee hee
Only problem I see is what it would attract during daylight hours/in the heat.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

A Thirsty DH?

Hampton, VA(Zone 7b)

You guys hit the nail on the head..... slugs.....slugs everywhere! Here a slug ... there a slug..... I went out after dark night before last and found an armada of slugs! They are coming from underneath my neighbors ground cover plants. The okras are the first thing they run into since they are closest to the property line. I tried a couple beer traps but a bunch were still getting by, so I went to my local nursery and bought some powdered slug getter stuff called Eliminate by Ferti-lome.

I sprinkled the stuff right along the fence line (and around the plants)where they were coming out last night. Wham-o! Poor lil dead slugs everywhere.I stopped counting how many were laying there at 78. I really hate killing anything but I gotta save my lil plants. I just went back out there to investigate again and found another 20 or so slugs creeping their way towards the poison. I will have to monitor things each night for a while it seems. It must be one heck of a slug colony in there.

Thanks again for everyone's ideas and input. I appreciate everyone's help,especially farmerdill....I owe ya one!

Happy Gardening!!

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

just sent me an okra...

Banks, AL(Zone 8a)

We got rid of our slugs by putting out mothballs for armidillo and we no longer have slugs. Salt will kill them

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

I can't really stand to watch that wicked witch of the West, "I'm melting," thing go on with the slugs...

Bakersfield, CA

sun light a lot of it grow like cotten water like every 4 or 5 days youll be fine and as for youer bug thing 7 in 1 dust at youer wal-mart

Baton Rouge, LA

if you have slugs there is a mechanical way you can kill the pests without killing anything else that does not venture into your garden; it is called "Diatomasous earth". Diatomasous earth is simply the shells of tiny plankton called Diatoms. It is available in garden stores and when used as directed it is harmless to insects and pets but the tiny glass shells imbed in the hapless slugs that happen to crawl across it and the slugs die of the injuries. No chemicals, no precious beer wasted and only the slugs trying to eat your plants die.

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

Sluggo Plus has been the BEST thing to kill slugs and snails in my garden this year. The beer traps weren't working. They were climbing over the egg shells. Sluggo Plus totally took out the slugs and the pill bugs!

Larose, LA

The common paper wasp one of the best pest killers there is. When the wasp eggs are hatched, they are fed chewed up bugs, worms and nectar. The more wasps, the more protection. I have watched the wasps go from plant to plant and fly a couple of feet and grab a worm and kill it.
Build several small wooden boxes about a foot square and leave a 1 inch opening or slit on the bottom side. Put it on a poles high enough that walking around it won't get you in trouble. Place on each end of the garden. Use screws so they can be taken apart and cleaned in the winter, the females will also winter there, but are not aggressive in the wintering stage.
Old fence boards make good houses.

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