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Growing Eggplant, also Aubergine

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
  S S   P              

(Best months for growing Eggplant in USA - Zone 5a regions)

S = Plant undercover in seed trays P = Sow seed

  • Grow in seed trays, and plant out in 4-6 weeks. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 75°F and 90°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 24 - 30 inches apart
  • Harvest in 12-15 weeks. Cut fruit with scissors or sharp knife.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Beans, capsicum, lettuce, amaranth, thyme
  • Avoid growing close to: Potatoes
  • A seedling
    A seedling
  • Eggplant
    Eggplant

A large bushy plant with attractive purple flowers. Different varieties have different colours and sizes of fruit, ranging from the 'classic' large purple to the Thai small white varieties and Brazilian red.

Has spiky stems. Wear gloves to harvest fruit as the spikes on the calyx are sharp enough to break one's skin.

In cold climates grow in heated greenhouse and reduce artificial heat during summer.

Perennial in tropical climates otherwise grown as an annual.

Needs a long season. Start under cover and plant out when frosts have finished.

Some varieties with slim, long fruit such as Asian Bride produce their fruit earlier. Mulch well and keep well watered. May need staking

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Eggplant

Cut and use the same day if possible.
Slice, no need to peel, and fry in olive oil.
Brush with oil and grill or bake.
Or microwave,plain, for about 4 minutes on high.
Makes a good substitute for pasta in lasagne or moussaka.
Can be smoked over a gas ring or barbecue, cooled and peeled and used to make dips.

Your comments and tips

20 May 17, Linda (Australia - temperate climate)
I have an eggplant still producing fruit but they aren't turning purple are they ok to eat
22 May 17, Sean (Australia - temperate climate)
Egg plant, tomatoes, potatoes and capsicums are in the same family as deadly nightshade and produce an alkaloid called Solanine which can be toxic. An average adult would need to consume 400 mg of Solanine for it to be life threatening and an average eggplant would contain around 11 mg so you would have to eat over 35 egg plants to get to that level. Maybe you have a passion for them! Trust this helps.
20 May 17, Mary Qoriniyasi (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
What do I do to eggplant plant when season is over
22 May 17, Jack (Australia - temperate climate)
Egg plant is a short-lived perennial and will grow on into the next season. For strong, healthy plants with a good yield you would be better to treat them like an annual and plant them in a different spot next season.
19 May 17, Clive Halliday (Australia - tropical climate)
We have 5 eggplants in large tubs. They are flourishing wit many flowers. But the young fruit are being eaten through the skin and scooping out the flesh. What is causing this? Nothing unusual found on plants. This did not happen last two years.
24 May 17, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Only guessing - birds or some grub. You could put some plastic bags on them - put a few holes in the bag to let some air in there. Or spray with some grub killer and see if this stops them.
10 May 17, Dave Christie (Australia - temperate climate)
What is the correct time to pick eggplant. How long can you leave them on the vine after that time.
11 May 17, Giovanni (Australia - temperate climate)
Unripe eggplants will be a bit greenish inside rather than a clear cream or creamy-white. they probably could still be eaten. I worked at a community garden and a lot were harvested before they were ripe. Sorry I can't answer the other part of your question.
18 Apr 17, Nigel (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Is it possible to grow eggplant from cuttings?
19 Apr 17, John (Australia - temperate climate)
Yes it is. Take short tip cuttings in late Spring and into the Summer. If the leaves are large, reduce them with a pair of scissors. Put your cutting/s into a jar of water in a warm spot (not hot) and they will grow roots. Treat them as ordinary seedlings after planting out.
Showing 1 - 10 of 197 comments

I planted two eggplants here in California and they not grown at all, help!

- Kevin

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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. Gardenate is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
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