Eggplant Growing Tips

Planting Eggplant Plant Family: Solanaceae

Eggplants are not hard to grow as long as they get enough sun light and warm temperatures 70 and 85 degrees F. They are members of the nightshade family, which also includes potatoes, tomatoes and peppers.

Planting Dates

Planting Dates:

Best planting time: Apr. 1-May 15 or Jul 15

Space Between Plants

Space Between Plants:

Plants should be spaced from each other by 2½ to 3 ft.

Space Between Rows

Space Between Rows:

Plants should be spaced from each other by 3 ft.

Planting Depth

Planting Depth:

To plant seeds you should dig to a depth of ¼"

Days to Harvest

Days to Harvest:

Your plant should be ready to harvest in 75-90 days

Step 1

Step 1 Start eggplant seeds indoors about six weeks before your last spring frost. Eggplant seeds germinate best at temperatures above 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep the plant growing under bright fluorescent lights for 14 to 16 hours each day. Bottom heat would be ideal, since it is useful in getting them up and growing.

Step 2

Step 2 Transplant them to 4-inch containers when they have three leaves, and move them outdoors on warm, sunny days, but bring them indoors when temperatures drop below 55 degrees.

Step 3

Step 3 Plant your hardened-off seedlings when they are about eight weeks old.

When to Water

When to Water For healthy and rapid growth, your plants need about an inch of water per week. It is recommended to use drip irrigation for more efficient absorbtion of water. Also mulching could help retain moisture in the soil.

Cold Hardiness

Cold Hardiness Eggplants are likely to die even with a light frost (31-33 degrees F.). So it is recommended not to plant them until all danger of frost has passed by weeks. To grow eggplant in cool areas, start by growing cultivars that tolerate cool temperatures, such as ‘Orient Express’ or ‘Elondo’.


Enemies The tiny, black flea beetle is by far the worst pest of eggplant, but big, healthy plants usually produce well despite tiny leaf holes made by lots of flea beetles. In some areas, a common soil-borne fungus, verticillium wilt, causes eggplants to wilt and die. Where verticillium is a common problem with non-resistant tomatoes (they are close eggplant cousins), grow eggplants in containers filled with premium potting mix.

Soil Type

Soil Type Eggplants prefer fertile, well-drained, slightly acid soil that is high in organic matter for best growth and yield, but tolerate a broader range of soil types.

Plant Height

Plant Height Eggplants can reach a height of 2 to 4 feet. Stake plants over 24 inches tall..Take that into consideration when planning your garden. Make sure there is enough distance between your tall vegetables and short vegetables. That way both will get enough sun light.


Harvest The primary criteria for harvesting eggplants is to pick them while the skins are glossy. If the eggplant’s skin becomes dull, the seeds are beginning to mature and may start to get bitter.

Climate Type

Climate Type Eggplant loves warmth and grows best in very sunny, well-drained locations. Eggplant is a heat-loving vegetable that does best in temperatures between 70 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Lower temperatures inhibit pollination and fruit-set; at 50 degrees, the flowers will drop. At 90 degrees F, the flowers will also drop.


Fertilization Eggplants are heavy feeders, but avoid high-nitrogen fertilizers. They may encourage lush foliage growth at the expense of fruit. Pinch off blossoms 2 to 4 weeks before first expected fruit so that plants channel energy into ripening existing fruit, not producing new ones.

Tip 1

Tips 1 A healthy plant will produce about 5 pounds of eggplant over two months or more.

Tip 2

Tips 2 Try growing eggplants in raised beds, which heat up quickly in spring. Plants given plenty of room are healthier and more productive, so space them 2½ to 3 feet apart in all directions.

Tip 3

Tips 3 Eggplants are prone to falling over when loaded with fruit, so you may want to tie plants to stakes to keep them upright. If you drive a stake into the ground just an inch or two from the plant at the time of planting, you won’t disturb the plant by trying to do it later. You can also use small tomato cages to support the plants.

Sun Light

Sun Light Growing eggplants outdoors requires full sun. Try planting them on a south-facing area of your yard once they are larger than 3 inches. Ample sunlight provides the energy needed for large fruit production through photosynthesis.


Incompatibles Eggplants do not have incompatible plants that you should avoid. It seems to be friendly to most plants.


Companions The following vegetables will do well when planted next to eggplants: Basil, Beans, Lettuce, Peas, Potatoes, Spinach. Planting certain vegetables next to each other can deter insects and encourage growth.

Crop Rotation

Crop Rotation Next year, DO NOT plant tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, peppers in the same location where you planted eggplants this year. Because they are all members of the nightshade family. Instead use that spot to plant other vegetables from a different family such as:

  • Carrot (Umbelliferae): celery, carrots, parsley
  • Legume (Leguminosae): peas, beans, lentils
  • Mustard/Brassica (Cruciferae): broccoli, caulifower, kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, turnips, radishes.
  • Sunflower (Compositae): lettuce, artichokes.
  • Cucurbit (Cucurbitaceae): pumpkins, melons, squash, gourds, cucumbers.
  • Allium (Amaryllidaceae) - onions, garlic, leeks, shallots and chives.
  • Goosefoot (Chenopodiaceae): spinach, Swiss chard, beets.
When vegetables such as eggplans are grown in the same garden space year after year, harmful microbes in the soil that are specific to individual plant families can build up. Additionally, there are vegetables which add nitrogen to the soil and other vegetables which take nitrogen from the soil. Rotating your crops can keep your soil balanced, not too rich or too poor in nitrogen.

Growing Eggplant Overview

Growing Eggplant Overview In General, eggplants are not hard to grow as long as they get enough sun light and warm temperatures 70 and 85 degrees F. For more planting information, please visit our Farming Tips homepage.

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