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              
        P              

(Best months for growing Eggplant in USA - Zone 5a 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 Feb 24, Jimmy (USA - Zone 6a climate)
The guide says for my zone, 6A to start eggplant in Feb and plant out in 4-6 weeks. Absolutely a error here. Right now we are 12 weeks out from our last frost date, May 9th. Unless you have a hot house or hoop house, do not Start seeds yet.
05 Feb 24, Annette James (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I have 2 healthy looking plants of the large purple variety. They are producing flowers ok but no fruit. Any ideas on why this is happening?
12 Feb 24, (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
May be no bees - try hand pollination in the mornings.
21 Nov 23, Samuel Sehloho (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
I would like to know about an eggplant. seedlings, after planting them how long are they going to last on the soil?
25 Nov 23, Anonymous (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
Do mean how long will they grow - best to read the notes about growing them.
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.
01 Jun 23, Julie Tasker (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
Do I pull the eggplant bush up or cut back over winter?
Showing 1 - 10 of 343 comments

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

- salen

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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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