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Growing Eggplant, also Aubergine

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
                S S T T

(Best months for growing Eggplant in New Zealand - cool/mountain regions)

S = Plant undercover in seed trays T = Plant out (transplant) seedlings

September: Bring on in pots - need a long growing season

  • 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

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.
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
30 Mar 20, Lachlan (Australia - temperate climate)
If your eggplant is still growing with flowers, but no fruit, they should still produce, however, don’t wait too long. I would wait until the end of April and then pull them regardless if they have fruit or not since winter crops will thrive in the cold temperatures.
19 Mar 20, Kahyun Yoo (USA - Zone 9a climate)
Last fall, I harvested some of the eggplants in my back yard. Then now the color of branches turned into yellowish-brown. Is it able to have more fruit in this coming summer? Or should I sow some seeds in the bed after rooting out the former ones?
18 Mar 20, Vhy sanders (USA - Zone 5a climate)
How well will eggplant grow here ??
29 Dec 19, Alison TSAO (Australia - temperate climate)
Is it too late to plant Eggplant in Geelong, Victoria? Is Eggplant a climber? Where do I get the seeds or small plants?
04 Jan 20, JOHN CRANE (Australia - tropical climate)
I have them growing now on the Goldcoast, and planted as seedlings, and have several different varieties. The plants are between 30cm and 45cm tall, and started flowering less then 2 weeks after planting, Also have cucumber growing on a trellis adjacent, and getting 2 or 3 mature fruit per day
31 Dec 19, Carmel (Australia - temperate climate)
I think the best answer is it’s not too late if you’re thinking of growing them until April and then overwintering them for fruit for next year. You might even get lucky with fruit this year - but they are very slow growing and being planted quite late
30 Dec 19, Nat (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Eggplants aren't a climber but need to stake and support. You can find seedlings in Bunnings. Probably too late to grow from seed.
30 Dec 19, anon (Australia - temperate climate)
Go to Bunnings or a nursery and buy some seedlings if they have them. Good idea to put a stake (1.4-5m out of the ground) in to support them. If can't get seedlings try some seeds.
Showing 1 - 10 of 272 comments

I have two egg plants that have given fruit and still have few flowers. What should I do for the next harvest? Pull them out and start again? Cut it back? Just leave it? Many thanks.

- Colin Scott

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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. GardenGrow 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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