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 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 Jan 22, (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
actually in southern ecuador in the sierras. subtropical humid and rainy now until march then flowing into very dry season. Difference from your other sites in southern hemisphere is the winds. My location is about 5000ft above sea level. the real temps (not with humidity) hover about 27c to 30C and it can drop to 10C overnight in the dry season and everything turns brown, in the rainy season it may cool down if there is cloud cover for two days (we are in the Sierras). . I notice that eggplant can become a perennial but how long might it last in a container. this seems a better option. climate control is easier and digging a pit thru rocky soil to use compost is laborious. I hire people to do that for large bushes and fruit trees and even the roses - which seem to thrive here in this climate pose a learning curve LOL
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
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.
21 Jun 21, Chris Harrison (Australia - temperate climate)
If you pick eggplant while still green, will they ripen in a warm, sunny spot in the house? I have 3 eggplants on 1 plant that seem to have stopped growing for the last 2 weeks and are not ripening. It's too cold now and they're not getting much sun. Thanks
29 Jun 21, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Pick when they have reached full size, if you wait too long the seeds develop more.
20 May 21, Rosaline Thomas (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
I would love to know when eggplant /ubergine was first farmed in South Africa?
02 Nov 20, Aboo (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
What other veggies can you plant with egg plant tks
Showing 1 - 10 of 309 comments

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Is egplant perennial in zone 7a Charlotte NC

- Jim Petterson

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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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