Eggplant Growing Guide

This heat-loving annual comes in many varieties, bearing colorful fruits in ivory white, green, and purple. The plant's flowers are a visual delight, with their star shape and violet color.

Although you can grow eggplant in-ground, containers are especially handy, as they warm up the soil faster. Eggplant needs a long, warm growing season.

We offer Black Beauty, Purple Long, and Snowy, which are some of the tastiest and most prolific of all eggplant varieties.

When to Sow Sun/Part Shade Seed Spacing Row Spacing Planting Depth Spacing after Thinning Days to Germinate Days to Maturity
Indoors 8 weeks before expected transplanting Sun ½ inch 36 inches ¼ inch 18-24 inches 10-20 70

Soil and Fertilizing
Well drained, fertile soil is best for eggplant, a vegetable that requires many nutrients for optimal growth. Soil pH should be 6.0 - 6.8. It's best to have your soil tested before planting, to find out what nutrients and pH levels are needed for your plants. For a thorough soil test, visit an Agricultural Experiment Station in your area (scientific research center) or consult your local county extension agent (also known as a Land Grant University).

Planting and Growing
Start in flats 8 weeks before transplanting. Sow seeds 2-3 inches apart

Transplant into pots after the first "true" leaves have appeared. True leaves look more like mature leaves than the first (baby) leaves.

If transplanting in-ground, plant seedlings 20-30 inches apart, in rows that are 30-32 inches apart. Deep bed spacing is 18 inches apart

Ideal nighttime temperature for transplanting is at least 45° Fahrenheit.

Water enough to moisten the soil down to a depth of at least six inches. The most important time for adequate moisture is during fruit set and fruit development.

Harvesting / Storage
Fruit should be bright, shiny, and a uniform color. Over-mature eggplant will have a dull exterior, and the flesh will be spongy to the touch. Prompt picking will increase fruit set and yields.

Store eggplant in the refrigerator until use. The optimal conditions for storage are between 45° and 55° Fahrenheit.


For soil testing or other questions specific to your growing climate, please contact your local county extension agent. Visit to find the office nearest you.

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