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 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 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

08 Jul 22, Bobbi Linn (USA - Zone 8b climate)
I live in zone 8b/9a in Texas, west of San Antonio. Mine die back in winter but come back in spring. I do not remove the dead stalks when they die back, I grow them outside in a raised bed, with plenty of leaf mulch. I trim back the dead stalk after new stalks emerge. Just make sure to water occasionally during winter if it is a dry winter, especially before it drops down below 35 to 40. I begin watering more often as it warms up in spring. The new shoots rise up from the root ball. Then as late spring and summer hit I water regularly. Mine get full sun until about 4 to 5 pm, then are shaded by a nearby tree. So for me, they are like my chile pequins/petins, a perennial..
04 Jan 22, Mark J Grzywa (USA - Zone 5a climate)
What varieties grow best in N. Illinois, if any? Thanks
06 Jan 22, Anonymous (USA - Zone 5a climate)
Plant Feb to May - look on the internet for some varieties.
10 Dec 21, Annamarie (USA - Zone 9b climate)
Can I grow eggplant year round in zone 9b? I’m hoping to use cuttings taken from existing plants. Thanks
04 Feb 22, Donna (USA - Zone 9b climate)
I grow mine in a pot and bring them in for winter. I am not sure about cuttings, but I have had a mature plant produce two years in a row growing it that way. Same for tomatoes. Fun to have fresh
28 Dec 21, Elisabeth (USA - Zone 7b climate)
YES! I lived in zone 9 in Florida. You can most definitely grow them. Start your seeds indoors in early January and put them out in mid February. They will be producing by April and over it by mid June when your temps start in the 90s. I then always planted okra in June where the eggplants were. They were a nice succession planting in zone 9.
14 Dec 21, Anonymous (USA - Zone 9b climate)
Probably not, Most crops are seasonal, usually temperature reasons. Very few crops produce all year.
19 Mar 20, Kahyun Yoo (USA - Zone 9a climate)
Last fall, I harvested some of the eggplants in my back yard. Then now the color of branches turned into yellowish-brown. Is it able to have more fruit in this coming summer? Or should I sow some seeds in the bed after rooting out the former ones?
18 Mar 20, Vhy sanders (USA - Zone 5a climate)
How well will eggplant grow here ??
28 Oct 13, Jim Petterson (USA - Zone 7a climate)
Is egplant perennial in zone 7a Charlotte NC
Showing 1 - 10 of 12 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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