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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

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

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.
22 Aug 16, Elizabeth Learmonth (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I bought an eggplant in a pot it is approx 30cm tall & was healthy until I repotted it. It is in full sun & I have kept the soil moist but the leaves are drooping. Am I watering it too much or is full sun too much for it? I live in Brisbane.
12 Aug 16, Steve (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Hello All, I live on the Gold Coast, and I had planted eggplants last later in the summer last season. They did not have enough time to fruit before they lost the appropriate amount of light in late autumn. They have continued to grow over winter, under low light conditions, and are rather substantial in size now. Will these plants be OK for this season? Is there something in particular I should do to help prepare them for this season? Or should I rip them out and start fresh? any and all advice is welcome and appreciated ! Thanks for your time.
27 Aug 16, Geoff (Australia - temperate climate)
Although grown as annuals in cool climates, the closely related plants tomato, pepper and eggplant will survive mild winters and fruit again in the spring. I would give your eggplant a good feed in spring, prune it back if too wild and it should deliver good early fruit.
06 Aug 16, rad (Australia - temperate climate)
How easy is it to grow peas eggplant (solanum torvum)
04 Aug 16, Yoko (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Hi! I live in Brisbane. The eggplant I planted 2 years ago stil fruits all year and has become like a small tree. Can someone tell me about the other vegetable plants that you can leave and survive in Brisbane? The normal perennial such as rhubarb and asparagus are already in my garden. Something you tend to pull out thinking it is just an annual, but still survive as perennial in Brisbane?
27 Aug 16, Geoff (Australia - temperate climate)
Peppers and chillies and tomatoes are all from the same family as eggplant and can survive mild winters to deliver for several seasons.
09 Aug 16, Ann-Marie (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I live near toowoomba so we get much colder winters than you. This year my san marzano tomatoes not just survived but fruited heavily all winter. This varity is the best tomato I've ever grown.
07 Aug 16, rad (Australia - temperate climate)
Eggplants are great I planted one last year and picked lots of big eggplants off it,it survived the cold weather and still growing strong and looks like a small tree now.same with my chilli plants two years old and still going strong
Showing 1 - 10 of 171 comments

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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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