Eggplant is part of the Solanum genus and its scientific name is Solanum melongena.
Eggplant is a common sight in vegetable gardens, with many different shaped and coloured cultivars available to choose from. The fruit contains numerous small, soft seeds and can be grown in containers or as ornamental plants in the garden.
This semi-tropical, cold sensitive vegetable is best grown under glass (in more temperate climates) and is most often cultivated as an annual. It is an decorative, large, bushy plant with soft green leaves, attractive purple flowers and spiky stems4.
This variety typically blooms in the following colours: Blue-violet and Dark pastel purple and Cadmium yellow. When mature, blooms are roughly 2.5 cm (that's 0.97 inches in imperial) in diameter. The mature flowers take a single form, with an approximate petal count of 5. This variety typically produces fruit in the following colours: Old mauve and Palatinate purple. The leaves of this particular variety normally show as Fern green and Forest green (web)
Eggplant is a flowering edible vegetable / flower annual/perennial, it will last at least a year and up to several years in its native climate.
Eggplant is known for its erect habit and growing to a height of approximately 1.20 metres (3.90 feet). This plant tends to bloom in early summer, followed by first harvests in late summer.
Try planting Eggplant if you'd like to attract bees to your garden.
India is believed to be where Eggplant originates from.
Typically, Eggplant is normally fairly low maintenance and can thus be quite easy to grow - only a basic level of care is required throughout the year to ensure it thrives. Being aware of the basic growing conditions this plant likes (soil, sun and water) will result in a strong and vibrant plant.
This plant info is provided by the myfolia gardener's wiki. All details about Eggplant have been kindly provided by our members.
Side-dress with fertiliser half way in the season and again when you harvest the first fruits from the plant to ensure steady growth.
Needs a long season, so start under cover and plant out when frosts have finished, or grow in a heated greenhouse (reduce artificial heat in summer) 4. Mulch well and keep well watered 4. May need staking 4.
More most varieties, remove flower buds and leave only 3-4 to set fruit. Ensure regular watering at this stage.
Enjoys a full sun position in your garden and remember to water very often. Zone 4 to 14 are typically the USDA Hardiness Zones that are appropriate for this plant (although this can vary based on your microclimate). Eggplant requires a loamy and potting mix soil with a ph of 5.5 - 6.5 - it grows best in weakly acidic soil. Keep in mind when planting that Eggplant is thought of as tender, so remember to wait until your soil is warm and the night time temperature is well above freezing before moving outside.
See our list of companion Plants for Eggplant to see which plants you should plant in close proximity to encourage growth.
Eggplant is best started from transplants, but can be also be started from seed.
If using seed, start early in the season using a little warmth and protection if your growing season is short
By our calculations*, you should look at sowing Eggplant about 42 days before your last frost date .
Transplant out only when all danger of frost has passed, as they are very cold sensitive and will stunt or die if exposed to the elements too early.
Alternatively, grow on under glass or a cloche, potting up into good compost as the roots become visible at the bottom of the pot
Eggplants should be harvested when 15 cm (6 inches) long and when the skin is still glossy. Harvesting fruits too late will result in bitter tasting eggplants, so keep a close eye as they develop.
How do I know the eggplant fruit is ready for harvest?
A good test to see if the eggplant is ready is to hold the fruit in your palm and gently press the fruit with your thumb – if the flesh presses in then bounces back, then it should be ready to harvest. Hard flesh indicates that the eggplant is not yet ripe and needs to be left on the plant a while longer.
Eggplants bruise easily so harvest gently, using garden shears or scissors to avoid twisting the fruit from the plant. Always cut the eggplant with the cap and some of the stem attached.
Wear gloves to harvest fruit as some varieties have sharp spikes on the calyx, sharp enough to break one’s skin 4.
Eggplants do not store well. Harvest and use them immediately for best flavor. If you must store them, wrap them in plastic or use plastics and store for 1 to 2 days in the refrigerator. Be careful as it will soon develop soft brown spots and become bitter. Use them while the stem and cap are still greenish and rather fresh-looking." 5
Seed viability is four years.
These estimates for how long Eggplant takes to sprout, grow and harvest are from real observations from real gardeners, right around the world.
Average 11 days | Min 1 days | Max 28 days (521)
Average 46 days | Min 6 days | Max 102 days (243)
Average 99 days | Min 16 days | Max 202 days (372)
Our when to plant Eggplant estimates are relative to your last frost date.
The term eggplant originated as a description of white coloured eggplants because they look like eggs.3
Developed in Spain in 16th century.
During the Renaissance it was refereed to as the “Mad apple” or the “love apple”, the later it shared with the tomato.3
Misspellings: Solanum melongana, Solanum melongea, Solanum melongeana
Five yr old seed was sown. From the initial flush of seedlings only two survived transplant. These struggled on alone and unnoticed until they fruited. Robust plants surviving with total neglect.
Carol about growing Eggplant, 'Turkish Orange'
What a load of rubbish these seeds have been. TEN seeds only in the pack! Only three germinated (just) and they all damped off before they had done nothing more than show their seed leaves.
Motherhen about growing Aubergine F1 Galine