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 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..
14 Nov 22, Corena Hur (USA - Zone 8b climate)
Thank you, Bobbi, this information is a great encouragement for leaving my eggplant over winter in Austin area.
23 Jun 22, Nat (Australia - tropical climate)
An eggplant has self seeded in sunny spot, next to my olive tree in Brisbane.. It's now 22/6/2022 so am wondering if I could successfully dig it up and put it elsewhere in the garden. Really healthy stocks (3 of them each about 10ml + wide). Hmmm. Any advice will be appreciated. Thank you
23 Jun 22, Anonymous (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Dig out with a shovel or spade and keep as much soil as possible around the roots. Put into a new hole, pack the soil around it and water well. Plant them about 700mm a part.
07 May 22, Mary (Australia - temperate climate)
First time I’ve planted Egg Plant. (Wicking bed) Enjoying the few fruits now. Do I pull the plant up or is it perennial? I’m guessing the cold winter will knock it. I would like to use the spot for winter veg unless it will grow through till next season.
09 May 22, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
It will produce again next year - maybe not so good as this year. Or plant some new ones next spring and put in some veggies for winter.
21 Apr 22, Anonymous (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
Look in the egg plant section for the planting guide. Just good rich soil. A general all round fertiliser.
02 Apr 22, marco (Australia - tropical climate)
hi i am from the gold coast queensland . i have my seedlings in the ground 3 inch tall now all grown from seed .i have a older plant that has taken off it has flowers and eggplants are growing so it might be a good time to grow if u live in this area ....
28 Mar 22, Peter Ramgolam (Canada - Zone 5b Temperate Warm Summer climate)
Much needed ideas thank you
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
Showing 1 - 10 of 319 comments

I see that you recommend planting eggplant in the spring. Before I found this website, I was using UF's recommendations which supported planting eggplant in the fall. Will eggplant planted in the fall produce much fruit?

- Gayle Bryan

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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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