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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
  • 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

26 Jan 19, Christine Cain (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Hello, my egg plant plants are very healthy, lots of flowers, however the flowers die before the fruit develops. What causes that to happen? Thanks for your advice.
28 Jan 19, peter cranston (Australia - temperate climate)
lack of pollination. Egg plants self, but at some times (weather ?) need some help. Take an cotton bud, gather pollen (yellow) and apply to stigma (single central erect part). Watch any utube on search 'pollinate egg plants'.
13 Jan 19, Sue (Australia - temperate climate)
They’re smaller than a ladybird. Blackish. They put tiny holes in leaves. Sometimes there’s almost no leaf left and the plant can die.
13 Jan 19, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Mine looked like a half sized bee.
31 Dec 18, Sue (Australia - temperate climate)
Any ideas how to get rid of a little insect on eggplants leaves. We think it’s hibiscus beetle. Sue
05 Jan 19, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Are they eating the leaves? If a grub find a spray from a nursery or look up internet for an organic spray. I had a weird little grub eat my egg plant leaves- I used a spray from the Men's Shed - don't know it name - used for cucumber fly.
11 Jan 19, Sue brumby (Australia - temperate climate)
Theyre beetle like insects and make tiny holes in the leaf. Sometimes there’s almost no leaf left. The plant looks very sick and can die
21 Jan 19, Sharen (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Hi Sue, I’ve had a similar problem. Have you tried soapy water? 1 tblsp dish washing liquid to 5 litres water or look up a recipe for chilli and garlic spray. I also noticed leaf hoppers around at the same time. I use the same spray. Good luck.
30 Oct 18, Kym H (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I only planted my eggplant tree about a month ago it is less than 30cm tall and is already growing fruit should I cut off the early fruit until the tree gets established
30 Oct 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Sounds like you have poor soil - give it some fertiliser. Generally a plant goes to seed if it is under stress - lack of water fertiliser etc.
Showing 1 - 10 of 243 comments

The soil could be the difference. The raised bed would dry out quicker than the garden bed probably. Do they get the same amount of sunlight?

- Mike

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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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