Okra sap?

I was checking in on some okra plants I was attempting to overwinter when I noticed some of them dried up and had sap all over the outside of the stalks. It smelled like honey but tasted mostly bitter. When I added sugar it tasted very similar to a FOCO tamarind drink. Anyone ever make anything with this stuff?

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I just looked in “The Whole Okra” book. It has a chapter on the okra stem, but it was about making paper and cordage- nothing about the sap.

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Just curious why you are trying to overwinter Okra? I’m not judging…one of many things I love about this forum is that people are always experimenting and/or or trying “strange” ideas and I love that!. So I am just wondering what your reason/goal is? For me, the older an okra plant gets, the worse the production. By the end of our growing season here in TN/KY area, Okra plants are only producing tiny little pods, the plant is dropping leaves, and dying. Perhaps this is just because the days are getting shorter and the plant is using its remaining resources to produce its final seed pods. Beats me.

So how about it? What is your reason for trying to overwinter okra plants? Thanks

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Sounds like they can squeeze another chapter out now :joy:


Yeah, I had a dozen litter buckets that I planted peppers, eggplants, and okra in. It was easy enough to prune them all back and drag them inside for a few months. I’m all about experimenting for sure.

In my basement window right now I have a tomato plant that I abandoned in the 6-cell tray when I ran out of space in the garden. The roots took over 3 cells and I have it sitting in a tray of water constantly. I’m going to throw it a birthday party next spring. :tada:

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I don’t think this works. We had a really long growing season here with our first cold spell not happening until the weekend before Xmas. By the time we got an actual frost, the plants were already drying up and had turned brown. Production ended completely for me around late October, so from my experience, i think okra plants have a predetermined, short life cycle. This could also be different for different varieties, i only grow Jing Okra anymore (i like the red color and the pods can get bigger while remaining tender), But just what i have witnessed on the subject.

Do you think there is enough sap to really do much with? That would be a great way to end the Okra season if we can harvest and use that.

I grew a lot of okra this year and love that stuff. I think I will always grow a lot of it. Even more next year.

My last pic of Okra was on Nov 3… so guess mine was done about then. I remember a light frost which wiped it out… okra does not like cold at all.

I have never left any stalks in the garden long after they expire… I chop them up and put them in the compost pile… same with corn stalks. Once they are done I take them out and compost them.

My first Okra pic was Aug 23… last Nov 3… almost 2.5 months of okra harvesting…

I sure do miss it.

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sounds more like a wild fermentation to me then anything else. maybe add a little to some apple cider and see what the results are.

Interesting hypothesis. It is a dark room with humidity control set to 55, so I suppose there is a chance it is fermented, but would that be the same for all the stalks or would the fermentation vary? I think I’ll cut them up and boil them in water and see what kind of simple syrup I can muster from it. Next year I will cut them up and extract the sugars instead of trying to overwinter them.

Well an infection would spread, so not seeing it everywhere would not be unusual.

This also reminded me Okra and Marshmallows are in the same family though a subframily and tribe separates them.

Maybe there’s something to it… maybe.

Well, I went ahead and chopped the 6 okra stalks up and boiled them for a few hours. What I now have left is 1 cup of syrup with a consistency thinner than maple syrup but thick enough to coat a spoon. I figure if I decide to add sugar it will make it the proper syrup thickness.

From my googling, I think this is a polysaccharide mixture of some sort. I wish I knew where to send it off to get tested for the sake of curiosity.


Okra sap is a flocculant that can be use as an agent to make paper from raw wood fiber. The best I recall, it contains some starch.

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Mmmm paper. I’m definitely not consuming this concoction until I learn more about it. :joy: But the few drops I have had did taste very reminiscent of tamarind juice.