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 T          
      P P              

(Best months for growing Eggplant in Australia - tropical 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

18 Mar 24, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Our aubergine never grow more than about 300mm tall and the leaves are purple if they produce fruit it is very small about size of a bantam egg. Any ideas?
05 Apr 24, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
try growing long skinny long eggplant...i found my packet of seeds in a Asian food shop. the brand name is( known you ), under eggplant ........i live gold coast qld and they are the best ....
25 Mar 24, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Ar4e you growing them in the right season and is your soil fertile.
27 Sep 23, Zorbie (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
My Black Beauty eggplants look to be fully grown but have green stripes/tinge on the bottom.Should I wait to see if the green colour disappears or are they ready to harvest now? I'm on the Gold Coast
28 Sep 23, Anonymous (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Eat them - don't let them become old. Better to pick a little smaller rather than really big.
11 Aug 23, Jock Macdonald (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
How to hand pollinate egg plant
06 Sep 23, Anonymous (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Give the bush a light shake about 9-10am.
15 Jan 23, christina (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
hi... i have several plants in different vegie beds.... but they have all been attacked my a little tiny black beetle... all the leaves on every plant have been decimated and eaten how can i stop them please and any advice .....
03 Jul 23, Tim (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
The little beetles are flea beetles. Soil born and emerge as the weather warms up and very difficult to control especially organically. I use pyganic and this season I will try Bacillus thuringiensis subspecies israelensis (vectobac) in the soil to try control the larvae when they hatch. It is expensive and a bulk buy however there is an online hydro shop selling in smaller batches. There is also the powdered form. Neem oil should work however I am hopeless at remembering to spray every 10 days. They are usually around in the warmer months and love the Solanaceae family. I also bag my flowers as they can wreck them overnight.
01 Jan 23, Goldy (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Hello, first time gardener here! ;-) Bought eggplant seedlings from Bunnings and planted all of them (6) in a round pot, approx 10cm apart. I know it requires 45-50cm apart. Will they grow and produce fruit as is or do I have to set them apart further? i.e. re plant in a different pot?
Showing 1 - 10 of 264 comments

Ask a question or post a comment or advice about Eggplant

Please provide your email address if you are hoping for a reply

All comments are reviewed before displaying on the site, so your posting will not appear immediately

Gardenate App

Put Gardenate in your pocket. Get our app for iPhone, iPad or Android to add your own plants and record your plantings and harvests

Planting Reminders

Join 60,000+ gardeners who already use Gardenate and subscribe to the free Gardenate planting reminders email newsletter.

Home | Vegetables and herbs to plant | Climate zones | About Gardenate | Contact us | Privacy Policy

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.
We cannot help if you are overrun by giant slugs.