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How to Plant & Germinate Eggplant : Garden Seed Starting


Eggplant (Solanum melongena) is a species of nightshade commonly known in British English as aubergine and also known as melongene, garden egg, or guinea squash. It is known in South Asia, Southeast Asia and South Africa as brinjal. It bears a fruit of the same name (commonly either “eggplant” in American and Australian English or “aubergine” in British English) that is widely used in cooking, most notably as an important ingredient in dishes such as moussaka and ratatouille. As a member of the genus Solanum, it is related to both the tomato and the potato. It was originally domesticated in India and Bangladesh from the wild nightshade, the thorn or bitter apple, S. incanum.


Botanical name: Solanum melongena

Plant type: Vegetable

USDA Hardiness Zones: 45678910

Sun exposure: Full Sun

Soil type: Sandy

Soil pH: Slightly Acidic to Neutral

Eggplants are short-lived perennial vegetables, but are usually cultivated as annuals. Also known as aubergines, eggplants differ mainly in size, shape and color of the fruits. Eggplants are tropical and subtropical, requiring relatively high temperatures. Related crop include tomatoes, potatoes and peppers.


  • Start plants indoors 2 months before the soil warms up or buy nursery transplants just before planting.
  • Place 3 to 4 inch tall seedlings 24 to 30 inches apart in well-prepared beds.
  • Pinch out the terminal growing points for a bushier plant.


  • Stake plants over 24 inches tall.
  • Water well and apply a balanced fertilizer every two weeks during the growing season.
  • For bigger fruits, restrict to five or six per plant.



  • Harvest 16 to 24 weeks after sowing when the skin of the fruit is shiny and unwrinkled.
  • Cut the fruit close to the stem, but leaving about an inch of it attached.
  • Eggplants can be stored for up to two weeks in humid conditions no lower than 50 degrees F.

Recommended Varieties

  • ‘Black Beauty’
  • ‘Easter Egg’
  • ‘Little Fingers’


Wit & Wisdom

At one time, women in the Orient used a black dye to stain their teeth a gun metal gray. The dye probably came from the same dark purple eggplant we see in the marketplace today.

eggplant flower





See Also

Eggplants in containers


Genetically-modified eggplant found to be unsafe for human consumption, Environment


7 responses

  1. Now THIS I likey! Love eggplants and after my first harvest of those skinny Japanese ones that I got lots from my 2 egg types were a complete failure this year. Got to work on my eggplant this spring as I NEED them. Might have to go with the finger ones again methinks but will be using this method. Cheers for the excellent share

    May 6, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    • welcome and thank you 🙂 i have never had the thin Japanese ones, might be better for frying. where the fatter ones are better for casseroles :))

      May 6, 2014 at 7:17 pm

      • The little Japanese finger ones were not at all bitter and were very easy to slice and use. I was hoping to get some of the bigger ones this year but for some reason they simply wouldn’t grow and succumbed to disease 😦

        May 6, 2014 at 11:57 pm

      • mine were healthy but i did pick them smaller than i would normally, in a hurry and fight the bitterness

        May 7, 2014 at 12:11 am

  2. Pingback: Eggplant Pickles (Stuffed Eggplant Pickles) Recipe ~ How to Plant Eggplant | Auntie Dogma's Garden Spot

  3. HAHAHA! I have already been here! (must be getting old…note to self …USE THIS INFO THIS YEAR! 😉 )

    August 23, 2014 at 8:26 pm

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