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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 = Plant in the garden.

  • 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 24°C and 32°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: 60 - 75 cm apart
  • Harvest in 12-15 weeks. Cut fruit with scissors or sharp knife.
  • Compatible with (can grow in same bed): Beans, capsicum, lettuce, amaranth, thyme
  • Avoid growing in same bed: 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

03 Feb 17, Judy Stephens (New Zealand - temperate climate)
My husband has a number of plants grown from seed planted in a sloping area shadowed by mature natives but gets around 4-5 hrs shady sun. No flowers yet but around 40cm high and been in the ground a at least 6 weeks...any hope?
05 Feb 17, John (Australia - temperate climate)
Lack of sunlight and maybe competition for water may be the problem. The other thing is that egg plants are often later to fruit than their cousins - tomatoes and capsicum. Trust this helps.
28 Jan 17, Meredith (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I am growing 'classic' eggplant. The fruit are growing bigger, but look ripe. How big should I let them get before picking? Is there any sign that they are ripe?
05 Feb 17, John (Australia - temperate climate)
If they are the purple variety and are fully coloured you could harvest them. Try one and if the flesh is cream they are ripe. Trust this helps.
26 Jan 17, Wilma (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
Last summer my brinjal harvest was fantastic, didn't know what to do with it all so I made the most delicious chutney. Tomatoes, peppers and chillies as well as some of the herbs were also from my garden So satisfying!
17 Jan 17, maximus111 (Australia - temperate climate)
I am growing eggplant again this year after a successful season last year. This year, I seem to be having a problem, some, though not all of the leaves are browning and curling, like they are dying which i suppose they are. I have no memory of this occurring last time. The fruit itself is fine, no problems at all. There is no overcrowding as there is only the one plant in the above ground bed, allowing it to take as much space as is needed. On occasion we give it powerfeed with seassol and sometimes osmacote vegetable granules. We have a watering system that is placed at the base of the plant as we discovered last year they're not too keen on being sprayed so much from above and get watered in the morning for 10 mins and 15 mins in the late afternoon. Does anyone have any idea as to what is wrong with my plant and what I need to do ?
18 Jan 17, Jane (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I have tyhe sam problem here in SE qld. I would love ideas from others about dying eggplant. THanks.
04 Jan 17, Zak (Australia - temperate climate)
I live in sydney can we grow eggplant from the seed now in January month, also pls advise best time to grow like which months in sydney.
21 Sep 16, kitty luong (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi. I wonder can I growth eggplant in a container?. If so how big is the container have to be?. Thank
19 Oct 16, Michael (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi, you can grow eggplant in containers. I have to chase the sun because of the tall trees around my garden and I have a few on the decking. If you keep the water up to it and feed well, they will fruit just fine. Use something around the 10 - 15ltr size.
Showing 1 - 10 of 180 comments

I planted seedlings (varieties) early December and started harvesting very healthy good size fruit late January. I am still harvesting almost every three weeks.It just grows and grows and gives lots of fruit. I give it good watering and lot of compost from time to time. I have left a fruit on each plant for seeds which will be handy come July.

- Chandra Akhil

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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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