Abelmoschus esculentus 'Baby Bubba'
Common Name: okra 
Type: Annual
Family: Malvaceae
Zone: 2 to 10
Height: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: Seasonal bloomer
Bloom Description: Light yellow
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Annual, Vegetable
Flower: Showy
Fruit: Edible


Easily grown in moist, moderately fertile, well-drained soils in full sun. Best flowering is in full sun. Thrives in hot summer climates. Seeds are sensitive to cold temperatures and should not be planted outside until soil temperatures have risen to 60°F. and night temperatures no longer dip below 55°F. As an alternative, seed may be started indoors about 1-2 weeks prior to last frost date with seedling planted outside as soon as soils warm. Harvest the pods when they reach 3" long. First harvest of okra will occur about 55 days after seeds sprout. Seed may be harvested from garden plants for planting the following year.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Abelmoschus esculentus, commonly called okra, is native to tropical Africa and Asia. It is an annual that typically grows 3-5' tall. It is grown for harvest of its edible fruit/seed pods which are perhaps best noted as the signature ingredient in gumbo. Species plants feature hibiscus-like, 2-3" wide, yellow flowers with purplish centers. Cultivars expand the available flower colors to include attractive shades of pink, orange-red and red, often with white centers. Flowers last only for one day, but plants bloom freely throughout the growing season to frost. Flowers give way to fruit capsules which have a musky aroma. Hairy, dark green leaves are deeply cut into 3-7 lobes.

Genus name is believed to come from the Arabic and means "source of musk" in reference to the musky smell of the fruit capsules.

Specific epithet means good to eat or edible.

'Baby Bubba' is an upright, dwarf selection of okra suitable for small spaces. Mature plants will reach up to 4' tall and 1.5' wide. Although the plants are dwarf, the fruits are full sized.


Aphids and corn earworms can be problematic. Watch for spider mites, slugs and whiteflies. Root rot may occur in poorly drained soils. Susceptible to powdery mildew. Some people develop skin rashes when working with this plant (wear gloves to avoid contact with stems and leaves).


Beds, border fronts, pots, containers.