Okra is more popular as a Southern specialty crop; however it can grow perfectly well in Northern gardens. If you can grow tomatoes and peppers, you should have no trouble growing a healthy and productive crop of okra. The part of the plant that you eat, usually in gumbos and soups is actually the Okra seed pod. Okra is in the same family as cotton, hollyhocks and hibiscus. Its flowers resemble hibiscus and okra makes a nice ornamental plant as well.