Okra – Little Lucy

I was given seeds of a red lady’s finger variety called ‘Little Lucy’ some months ago. It is a cultivar that has not been grown Singapore before, although, from some sources on the internet, ‘Little Lucy’ has been reported to have been extensively trialed almost everywhere in the United States. Since I have successfully grown it, I thought it may be a good idea to share about my growing experience on this blog.

‘Little Lucy’ is dwarf cultivar with a very compact growth habit. It is suitable for growing in containers although I started mine in large planter bags of well-rotted compost which were subsequently transplanted into the growing beds in HortPark’s Kampong Daze. I agree with some of the write-ups posted on the internet about this cultivar where they have recommended ‘Little Lucy’ as a candidate for growing in the front of the veggie garden or mixed border.

My plants started to produce their first flowers and fruits when they were about 30 cm tall that took about 1 and a half months from the date of seed sowing. This cultivar features closely-spaced leaves and unlike many other lady’s finger varieties I have come across, the leaves of ‘Little Lucy’ are quite large compared to the plant’s actual stature. They are deeply lobed and have red splashes that overflowed to both sides from the network of veins.

The flowers of ‘Little Lucy’ are similar to those produced by other lady’s finger varieties – large, yellowish, hibiscus-like flowers with a central dark eye. The fruits are dark red when they first form and that is the best time to pick them for eating before they fade to a lighter colour where they would have turned much more fibrous and less palatable.

Unfortunately, this cultivar is a F1 hybrid which means that seeds produced by existing plants will not breed true if we are to plant them later! To grow ‘Little Lucy’ again, we need to purchase new seeds!

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