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Growing Eggplant, also Aubergine

(Solanum sp.)

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  S S   P              

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

S = Plant undercover in seed trays. P = Plant direct in garden where they are to grow.

  • 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
  • Eggplant

A large bushy plant with attractive purple flowers. Has spiky stems. Wear gloves to harvest fruit as the spikes on the calyx are sharp enough to break one's skin.

In United Kingdom - grow in heated greenhouse. Reduce artificial heat during summer months

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

Display Newest first | Oldest first, Show comments for USA | for all countries
09 Mar 15, Robert Tompsett (Australia - temperate climate)
I planted egg plant seeds in my protected part of the garden, and they have grown fine with lots of flowers and I have harvested two fairly large fruits already. But the rest are fairly small and do not seem to be growing. I have fertilized, and i water every second day. will they grow into April month ?? I am in Canberra
28 Feb 15, Louise (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
My eggplants are growing beautifully. They are pretty much full size and have been purple until today. They have now got a yellowish tinge on the skins. They are watered regularly and have heaps of sun. I live in Brisbane Queensland.
17 Jan 15, Willie Bouma (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
After 15 weeks there are many flowers but no fruit.
17 Jan 15, Roger (Australia - temperate climate)
I have experienced the same issue as Pam. Planted my Eggplant in November from seeds. Got healthy plants with flowers , but only one small fruit about the size of a large apple on one plant. Water not an issue. Garden reticulated. Any suggestions
07 Oct 14, Michael (Australia - temperate climate)
I am trying to find out where I might be able to find some Thai Pea Eggplants in Australia/Victoria do you have any suggestions
16 Oct 14, Michael (Australia - temperate climate)
Thankyou for your suggestion about the Thai Pea Eggplants at Bunning's, I will have to check it out this week end
10 Oct 14, Arani (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi, I have seen these in Bunning's seedlings section. Its in the heirloom variety section.
05 Oct 14, Kirsten Camilleri (Australia - tropical climate)
My eggplant is healthy and has doubled in size since planting. I have had many flowers develop however they fall off, stem and all, and I haven't produced any fruit as a result of it. How can I can the problem? Ta
03 Jan 15, Roy (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Hello Jan and Kirsten, Same problem, healthy plants which have grown well, I should have said "I had the same problem" until having taken one of the flowers off and rubbing that one into the stamens of other flowers and voila, fruit. in fact too many.
06 Dec 14, Jan (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi Kirsten, did you get any answers to this question, I have the same problem. I purchased a grafted eggplant from Bunnings. same as I did last year but I had an abundance of eggplant last year. This year the flowers form then shrink and fall off. no eggplant behind them. Has anyone got any clues to this problem?
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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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