Growing Eggplant, also Aubergine

Solanum sp. : Solanaceae / the nightshade family

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

(Best months for growing Eggplant in USA - Zone 7a regions)

  • S = Plant undercover in seed trays
  • T = Plant out (transplant) seedlings
  • 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
  • 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

16 May 08, johneen ford (Unknown climate)
Can anyone tell me if eggplants still grow during winter. I am reluctant to pull my plant out as it is flowering again. Will it fruit again???
16 May 08, Chris (Unknown climate)
If you can protect eggplant from getting too cold (especially frosts) then they can keep growing and fruiting for years.
15 Jun 08, Susan Lockwood-Devlin (Unknown climate)
We are interested in growing eggplant on our property but need some advise re temp/soil/length of time before fruiting? Taminick Victoria. Near Glenrowan and Wangaratta Would appreciate any advise you have. Thank you in advance, Susan.
18 Jun 08, Liz (Unknown climate)
Susan, if you can start your eggplants in pots under cover in winter, they will have a good start and you can plant them out when no danger of frost. They will take a while to start flowering but seem to set fruit well once they start. I find that they need at least 3 months of warm, frost free weather to get a good crop. They also need plenty of water (mulching helps). The long slim varieties - "Japanese" or "Asian" are earlier and more prolific fruiters.
13 Jul 08, Jan van (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
On the Sunshine Coast. Growing eggplant for the first time. Planted seeds early June. No frost here. Now 7"- 8" high. surrounded by silverbeet and shallots. Parsley, Rosemary and garlic Chives in same garden. Organic. Fertilize with liquid (seaweed etc ) and cow manure. Use sugar cane mulch on all gardens. Last put down in March. Any info useful.
14 Jul 08, Liz (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Jan, Eggplants should do well in your area. Remember to keep them well watered, drying out stops growth and flower production. They may need staking, depending on variety.
15 Jul 08, Joanne (Australia - temperate climate)
I seem to have these little grubs burrowing into and eating my fruit. you cant really see that they are there untill you chop the fruit in half. does anyone know what these are and how to get rid of them?
16 Jul 08, Raj (Australia - temperate climate)
Is it right time to sow the eggplant seed in Perth metro area?
02 Oct 08, (Australia - tropical climate)
I have just planted eggplant seedlings.When should I expect fruit?
03 Oct 08, salen (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Trying to grow egg plant in pots, plants are healthy, lots of flowers but does not get fruit, flowers fall off what should I do, sprayed malathion - did not work applied rich potassium base fertilizer- no results potting mix is a mixture of compost, commercial potting mix and garden soil. pots have hole and watered regulary still no Fruits - testing 3 different varities - all not flowering but not fruiting. Why Wh
Showing 1 - 10 of 346 comments

Can I grow eggplant year round in zone 9b? I’m hoping to use cuttings taken from existing plants. Thanks

- Annamarie

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