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 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

17 May 20, Alenka Bosnic (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi it's mid May do I pull out my eggplants or can I prune them back and get them ready for Spring Summer.
18 May 20, Paul Lehmann (Australia - arid climate)
If you don't get any frosts you can leave them in the ground/pot but give them a prune back to half their size. If you have frosts you can cover them if you really like them or pull them out and plant a green manure crop to put energy back into the soil. Eggplants are hungry plants!
23 Apr 20, joanne priscilla Threlfo (Australia - temperate climate)
I planted the store bought punnett of one eggplant a bit late in January now about 2 ft high, I have one eggplant on it that hasn't grown more than 5 inches in weeks and lots of flowers - maybe lack of water and nutrient? . Do I need to prune excess leaves to promote fruit growth? and I notices a few new fruit coming on just today
24 Apr 20, Anon (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Eggplant is generally a summer grown veg, like plant in the spring to early summer. I bought seedlings of little fingers from Bunnings about mid Feb. They are about 3' high now and I have been picking them the last 10 days, had them on toast for brecky this morning. Make sure your soil is fertile and a good watering each 2 days. A nice sunny spot also. I have some of the same seedlings in gardens 10klm away and they have not produced eatable fruit yet, I fertilised them this morning to give them a kick along.
18 Apr 20, Pastor Dennis Naidoo (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
HI Guys Need some help on my black beauty egg plant. I have planted my egg plant about three months ago and there is no fruit appearing. The leaves are turning yellow and also there is something eating up the leaves. Any help will be appreciated. I;m based in KZN Richards Bay. God BLESS
20 Apr 20, M (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
Check the planting guide - you may have planted too late. Find a spray for them, mix of molasses and water may do it. 1 tablespoon per litre water. Or find natural sprays on the internet. Leaves turning yellow could be deficiencies in nutrients in the soil. Read up on the internet.
01 Apr 20, Lea Zimmer (Australia - temperate climate)
Planted in January as as stated for the temperate zone area. There is only one eggplant forming but. numerous flowers can be seen it is a strong healthy bush and it was planted from seeds it is taking a very long time to grow and produce .prior to the planting of the seeds the soil was prepared with cow manure and nutrients and left to sit for 3 months. Can anyone advise me where do these flowers will form fruit I will I only have one eggplant also does the eggplant bush produce another season or does it need to be removed after fruiting.
13 Apr 20, Another gardener (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Flowers sometimes need to be pollinated by hand to form fruit. Not enough bees around at some times of year. Just go out there with a cotton bud and transfer the pollen between flowers and you will have a bounty of fruit forming.
02 Apr 20, Genevieve (Australia - temperate climate)
Unlike you I bought a plant from Bunnings nursery here in Southern Tasmania, so the plant was probably ahead in growth by a month compare to yours. We had hot and cold weather since I planted in early December. Normally its a prolific plant but I only got 6 fruit off it and there are still flowers forming, guess you would be lucky if you get a few more. I'm not sure of your weather but if you don't get any more in May, the plant is an annual, so would need pulling up unfortunately.
28 Mar 20, Helen (Australia - temperate climate)
Its almost the end of March and i still have eggplant growing with flowers but no fruit. Will they still produce or is it better to remove and use for other veggies? Thank you
Showing 1 - 10 of 281 comments

Flowers sometimes need to be pollinated by hand to form fruit. Not enough bees around at some times of year. Just go out there with a cotton bud and transfer the pollen between flowers and you will have a bounty of fruit forming.

- Another gardener

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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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