Virtues: Whether you love okra or loathe it, you’ll want to grow ‘Candle Fire’ in your garden. This variety boasts tasty, textural pods for all your okra dishes, but it’s also a beautiful, colorful plant that holds its own as an ornamental or an “ingredient” in cut-flower bouquets. Candle Fire okra won a National Vegetable award from All-America Selections in 2017.
Common name: Candle Fire okra
Botanical name: Abelmoschus esculentus ‘Candle Fire’
Exposure: Full sun
Season: Candle Fire okra is a warm-season vegetable that will be harvested in summer
Harvest: Pods are ready for picking about 60 days from sowing seed or 30 days from planting transplants. They are a deep red, rounded and 4 to 5 inches long. Candle Fire okra can be used as an ornamental plant thanks to these pods, if you do not want to eat them.
Habit: Reaches 2 feet tall and 2 feet wide, with an upright habit
How to grow Candle Fire okra: Start with seed or store-bought transplants. If starting seed, soak the seed for 24 hours first to hasten germination. Move plants into the garden when temperatures are consistently in the high 60s or warmer. Provide okra with rich soil and good drainage. Okra requires full sun and even watering, although it can tolerate dry spells.
Image credit: All-America Selections