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  • Writer's pictureStronger Roots

Growing Eggplants

Updated: May 10, 2022


-Vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin A, C, K, and B6, niacin, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, folic acid, potassium, etc.

-Good fiber source (aids in digestion and heart health

-Antioxidants (helping prevent diseases)

-Great Iron source

-Phytonutrients (blood flow and mental health)

-The pigments that give eggplants their purple hue, have antioxidant properties linked to anti-inflammation and obesity protection

-Rich in various cancer-fighting compounds, including anthocyanin, solasodine rhamnosyl glycosides, and chlorogenic acid.

-Vegetative parts and roots from wild eggplant species have been documented as a sedative and in the treatment of skin issues, such as rashes and sores.


-Well drained soil

-Add aged compost/fertilizers to the planting area before planting

-INDOORS 6 to 8 weeks before last frost

❗️soak seeds in compost tea (anywhere from a few minutes to overnight) to speed up germination and reduce disease problems

-Plant 1/4” deep; thin 2 to 3” apart

-Germination Temperatures: 60°F to 95°F (85°ideal) Germination rate 5 to 12days avg.

❗️Will NOT germinate in cool soil


-Eggplants THRIVE in hot weather and sulk in cold.

-Needs 2 or more months with night-time temperatures near 70°F for good fruit production.

❗️Plants will stop setting fruit with temps over 95°F

-Full Sun (6 to 8 Hrs.)

-5.5 to 7.2 soil pH (prefers slightly acidic)

-Watering: Water early in the morning allowing the bulk of the water to soak in and any excess water to evaporate as the sun rises Keep/ soil moist (but not soggy) at all times

❗️ You do not want the leaves of your plants to remain wet for long periods; this invites the spread of fungal diseases.

❗️ Eggplants are drought tolerant; too much water can hinder fruit development.

-Transplant when seedlings are 4” tall

❗️To be on the safe side, wait 2 to 3 weeks after your last frost date before setting plants into the garden

-Space plants 18” to 24” apart / Space Rows 24” to 36” apart

-When plants are about 6” high, nip back the growing tip to encourage branching

-Heavy feeders; Apply slow-release fertilizers or compost during flowering to help increase fruit production.

❗️Avoid high nitrogen fertilizers. This may encourage lush foliage growth at the expense of fruit production

-Stake plants if they become top heavy

-Pinch blossoms 2 to 4 weeks before first expected frost so plants channel energy into ripening existing fruit, not producing new ones


Eggplants have Short(60-70days) -Mid(70-80days) -Long(80-100days) season varieties as well as other unique colors, growth patterns and taste:

-Chinese Eggplant has a long, narrow body with a light to mid-toned purple exterior and white flesh, less bitter in taste than ordinary eggplants

-Fairy Tale Eggplant. It is lavender with streaks of white and grows on compact stems. The plant itself is a dwarf, growing only 24 inches (61 cm.) tall. The fruit is sweet and tender without any bitterness, and it has few seeds.

-Globe Eggplant Also known as “American eggplants”, globe eggplants are what you’re most likely to see in a supermarket. They’re much darker and wider and have a tougher, meatier texture than other varieties

-Graffiti/Zebra/Sicilian Eggplant are tear-dropped shaped eggplants with variegated coloring in purple and ivory eggplants taste similar to the regular kind with one notable exception: They have a sweet, almost fruit-like flavor.

-Indian Eggplant aka Baby Eggplants These have the same bright purple coloring as Chinese eggplants but are much shorter in length (5 to 7cm). Indian eggplants have a milder flavor and a crunchier flesh.

-Italian Eggplant Similar to the globe eggplant, the Italian eggplant resembles the color and shape, but is slightly smaller and sweeter. Plus, it has a more tender flesh than the globe variety

-Japanese Eggplant has a slender, long shape, but it tends to have a deeper purple color. They cook quickly, making them excellent candidates for stir. They have a subtly sweet flavor.

-Pea Eggplant aka Turkey Berry look like green peas clustered together like grapes with short stems. The pea eggplants are not widely available in the US.

-Thai Eggplant have a green exterior (can also be white or pale yellow) with a pale-pink flesh. Thai eggplants have a bitter taste due to the plethora of seeds found in its flesh. It's recommended that you remove all the seeds before cooking. Unlike other eggplants, can be eaten RAW.

-White Eggplant tend to be smaller than the common purple varieties (at 3 to 6” long) and egg or pear shaped. The cream white flesh inside also tends to be denser, creamier, milder, less acidic and less bitter, as well as having more seeds. Some white varieties can also be sweeter than the purple cultivars.

While the skin of a white eggplant may be tougher than purple eggplants and should be peeled off before cooking, the dense white flesh makes them better suited to baking, steaming or frying as they can hold their shape better.


-Eggplant is ready to harvest in 55 to 85 days from transplant / 100 to 150 days from seed

-Harvest when skin of fruit is glossy and large and uniformly deep in color (usually purple)

-If an indentation is left after pressing slightly into skin, the fruit is ripe.

❗️fruit that is dull is usually past prime/overripe.

-Long, slender, Japanese cultivars are ready to harvest at finger length/hotdog size.

-Pick immature fruit, about 2/3 maximum size

❗️Must harvest before the seeds start to harden

-Harvest often to encourage production


-Cool (45 to 55°F) temps allow to store for a week

❗️ Keep away from tomatoes, bananas, melons, and other fruits that give off ethylene gas, which can cause your eggplant to turn brown.

-Can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks

-Can be frozen

-Seeds can be saved for 4 years


-Doesn’t do well in cool weather; ✅ combat with row covers

-Prone to attacks from Colorado potato beetles, flea beetles, aphids, lace bugs, whitefly, red spider mites; ✅ combat with row covers, handpicking, companion planting OR heavy streams of water on more mature plants

-Susceptible to verticillium wilt; ✅ practice crop rotationverticillium wilt ; ✅ practice crop rotation

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