Seed Swaps


Solanum melongena

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.

Popular varieties of Eggplant with home gardeners are Black Beauty, Rosa Bianca, Early Long Purple, Ichiban and Japanese Long Purple.

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.

How to grow Eggplant

  • Full Sun

  • Very High

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.

Growing Eggplant from seed

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

Try to aim for a seed spacing of at least 1.95 feet (60.0 cm) and sow at a depth of around 0.2 inches (0.5 cm). Soil temperature should be kept higher than 15°C / 59°F to ensure good germination.

By our calculations*, you should look at sowing Eggplant about 42 days before your last frost date .

Transplanting Eggplant

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

Ensure that temperatures are mild (minimum night temperatures should be around 24°C / 75°F) and all chance of frost has passed before planting out, as Eggplant is a tender plant.

Harvesting Eggplant

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 Saving Eggplant

Seed viability is four years.

How long does Eggplant take to grow?

These estimates for how long Eggplant takes to sprout, grow and harvest are from real observations from real gardeners, right around the world.

Start logging and journaling your observations to participate!

Days to Germination How long does it take Eggplant to germinate?
11 days

Average 11 days | Min 1 days | Max 28 days (521)

Days to Transplant How long until I can plant out Eggplant?
+ 46 days

Average 46 days | Min 6 days | Max 102 days (243)

Days to Maturity How long until Eggplant is ready for harvest / bloom?
+ 99 days

Average 99 days | Min 16 days | Max 202 days (372)

Total Growing Days How long does it take to grow Eggplant?
= 156 days

When should I plant Eggplant?

Our when to plant Eggplant estimates are relative to your last frost date.

Enter your frost dates and we'll calculate your sowing and planting dates for you!

When to sow The number of days to sow Eggplant before or after your last frost date.
42 days before Last Frost Date

Eggplant Etymology

The term eggplant originated as a description of white coloured eggplants because they look like eggs.3

Eggplant Folklore & Trivia

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

Other names for Eggplant


Misspellings: Solanum melongana, Solanum melongea, Solanum melongeana

Latest Eggplant Reviews

  • 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.

    3 stars

    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.

    0 stars

    Motherhen about growing Aubergine F1 Galine

See all Eggplant reviews and experiences »


Eggplant Forums

No groups yet - why not start a new one?