Planting Okazi: See How To Plant Okazi

how to plant okazi

Okazi (Gnetum Africanum) is a green vegetable in Nigeria grown for the leaves.

It’s used in making several soups and sauce

The plant can be grown with easy and does not require much space to grow

Depending on the usage a plant of okazi is fine for a family of four.

Description of Okazi Plant

Okazi is a perennial and climbing plant, 

The stem is thin, green in colour and the length can be about 10 m long.

The leaves are green in colour and have an oval shape, 

The plant is often confused with uziza or utazi plant for those not very familiar with it.

Planting Season For Okazi 

It’s best to plant okazi during the rainy season between April – October. 

But with irrigation it can be planted any time of the year.

Planting Okazi

Step 1: Choose a Location 

Choose a good location for the plant 

Well drained soil

Good loamy soil

Good exposure to sunlight, avoid shaded areas.

Step 2:  Land Clearing and Preparation 

Clear properly the portion selected for planting

Till the soil and incorporate manure or compost to the soil.

Step 3: Means of Propagation (Seed Selection)

Okazi is propagated from new plant shoots that spring up from existing plants.

This new plant (shoot) is carefully uprooted from the soil and replanted in a new location. 

These shoots or seedlings can be gotten from okazi farmers, farm or garden stores.

Step 4: Planting

Till the soil deep enough to accommodate the plants roots

Place the plant into the soil.

Cover the hole with soil

With a rope attach the stem (upper part of the plant) to a stick or bamboo.

A spacing of 60 cm (23 in) to 90 cm (35 in) between each plant.

Step 5: Water

Water the crop immediately after planting

Water at least three times a week.

During the rainy season regular watering will not be necessary as the crops have been watered by the rain.

Maturity and Harvest

For large harvest especially for commercial farmers

Okazi is harvested after six (6) months of planting.

With a knife the plant is carefully cut off from the stem. 

Do not uproot the plant from the root,

The plant will reproduce new leaves that are harvested again after another six month 

And the cycle continues.

For home usage after about 1 – 3 months when the plant has enough leaves on it,

The leaves can be harvested when needed.

Pruning and Stacking

  • Prune the plant to help it produce better.
  • Use a stick or bamboo to support the plant.
  • Attach the plant to the stick with a soft rope.

Pest and Diseases

Although okazi is quite resistant to disease, there are a few pests and diseases that can affect the plant.


  • Aphids
  • Caterpillar 
  • Leaf miners
  • Slugs


  • Bacterial Leaf Spot
  • Leaf Spot
  • Root Rot
  • Leaf blight

Pest and Disease Control 

  • Avoid over watering
  • Use disease resistant plants
  • Weed regularly 
  • Avoid dense planting
  • Destroy affected plants

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