Lady's Finger

1. Local Name: Lady's Finger (Hibiscus esculentus)

2. Introduction:


Lady's finger is a fruit vegetable type and slimy. The country of origin is North Africa. It is easy to plant and less of pest and disease attack. The fruits and other parts of the plant has many uses, can be cooked in many ways such as curry, fresh, salad and fried. The fruits also can be canned, frozen and salted. The slimy substance of the fruits can be used to thicken tomato sauce. In India, the old stems of the lady's fingers can be processed into papers and mature seeds used as coffee substitute (daily drink).

3. Soils:



It tolerates a wide range of soils type like sandy loam, clay, peat soils and well drained of low lying land along the river.

  A. Field preparation

Plough and loosen the soils at 15 - 22 cm deep. Liming can be done when necessary, 2 weeks before planting.Prepare the beds and mixed the soils with organic manure such as chicken dung at about 3 - 5 t/ha.

  B. Planting

Sow the seeds at 2.5 cm deep on the bed. Ensure that 2 seeds sowed in each planting hole. Recommended planting distance is 90 cm between 1 plant to another. After 2 weeks, leave only 1 healthy seedling per planting hole. For each bed with a measurement of 1.2 m x 30 m, 11 gm of the seeds needed.

  C. Manuring

Spread compound fertilizer NPK Blue Special (12:12:17:2) around the plant once in two weeks. 1 ha requires 1 tan fertiliser. 


  D. Watering

Water the plants once a day afternoon) because the seedlings need plenty of water for flowering and fruit-set.

  E. Weeding

Weeding if necessary or use herbicide. Follow instruction on the label of the herbicide.

  F. Mulching
Mulching from chaff, dried leaves or black plastic to control weeds and to maintain the soil humidity.

  G. Memangkas
The plants need to be pruned after the fruit harvested. The plant needs to be pruned to 40-60 cm from the ground for the second round yielding. Four to five new shoots allowed to grow after prunning and it must be followed by manuring.

4. Pest and Disease Control:


Major pests - fruit borer and bugs during fruiting stage. Use Diazinon if necessary.

Major disease - leaf spot and can be controlled using Benomyl.

5. Harvesting:


The plant can be harvested:

i. 50 - 55 days after planting
ii. 5 - 6 days after flowering and pollination.
iii.10 - 12 cm lenght; the fruit is soft and crunchy

To allow a continuous yielding, the plant must be harvested at this stage. Harvest once in two days continuosly for 8 weeks. Estimated yield is 10,000 - 15,000 kg/ha.

6. Post harvest handling


Collected fruits are kept in a bamboo or plastic basket which covered with paper or plastic. The fruits can be kept for 2-3 days only without wrapping in plastic.The wrapped fruits can be kept for 7-8 days under 24-26 Celcius degree and 70-75% humidity.

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Source: Panduan Menanam Bendi, BP 08/02.06/15R - Jabatan Pertanian Semenanjung Malaysia.
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