Eggplants, also known as Aubergines (if you live across the pond in the UK) are fabulous fruits that can be used in a variety of dishes, from ratatouille to moussaka, or simply grilled as a delicious and healthy side dish. They are hardy perennial plants that can be grown without much hassle if cared for correctly. Let’s find out about eggplant growing stages:
Table of Contents
Eggplant growing stages
It usually takes roughly around 100 days + for eggplants to go from seed to harvestable fruit. So what does this look like at a glance?
- Seed – once sowed they will sprout after 1 to 2 weeks
- Seedlings – Once the seeds have germinated, the seedlings will grow for between 6 to 10 weeks until transplanting
- Adult Plant – After transplanting it will take 70 days or more to reach full maturity.
- Flowering – Takes place during or after maturity
- Fruit – Takes place during or after maturity
- Harvesting – From sowing to harvesting, your eggplant is complete within 70-100 days
1: Seed - 1 to 2 weeks
Eggplant seeds usually stay viable for around 4 years. Most people start them indoors, although if you live in a very hot, humid area, planting the seeds directly in the garden may work better.
While warm soil is preferable when it comes to sowing eggplant seeds they will usually be absolutely fine in temperatures ranging from 60-95 degrees F. (15-35 C.) During the nighttime (for optimum fruit production), eggplants do well in temperatures around 70 degrees F. (21 C.).
If you’ve got your growing conditions correct, your seeds will start to germinate after around a week. 2 weeks after the germination process starts to take place, I would recommend fertilizing them with a soluble fertilizer. To make this, mix 1 tablespoon (15 ml.) of fertilizer with 4 L. (1 gallon) of water.
2: Seedling - 6 to 10 weeks
In the second stage, technically after the initial seed generation, it will start to grow into seedlings. This part of the process is actually quite important if you intend to transplant them.
Seedlings are usually soft and tender, so you will need to make sure you look after them well before this because they will be quite delicate. I would recommend you wait until they are around 6 to 10 weeks old before you think about transplanting them into the ground or a pot
When the time comes, make sure you do it carefully so as not to damage any of the roots, and try not to disturb the soil too much. Once you have transplanted them, water them well and keep an eye on them for the first few days.
3: Adult Plant - 70 days or more
When the eggplant begins to develop more leaves and turns a deeper green, this is an indication that it is maturing. In addition to more foliage, you’ll also notice stronger stems and branches. To ensure healthy fruit production, be sure to provide the plant with proper water levels, fertilizer, and light exposure.
As a gardener or general plant lover, you ideally need to go above and beyond to maintain your plants’ health during the growth spurt phase, as this is when they need more care than usual. Though it will be demanding, the results will be worth your while.
The amount of effort you put into nurturing your plant will have a direct correlation to the number of flowers and fruit your plant will produce. Remember, the more flowers your plant has, the higher the chance of successful pollination and, as a result, a greater yield.
4: Flowering - Takes place during or after maturity
The flowering process begins once the plant has reached full maturity. This is signaled by the appearance of small purple-shaped flowers which will eventually turn into the eggplants themselves.
It’s important to note that eggplants are self-fertile, meaning they can pollinate themselves. However, to maximize yields, it’s always a good idea to encourage cross-pollination by providing another source of pollen (such as from a nearby bee hive).
5: Fruit - Takes place during or after maturity
After flowering, the eggplant fruits will be ready for harvest. They should be glossy and deep purple in color, with a smooth skin surface (the color can vary depending on the species “white, purple or striped”). To test if an eggplant is ripe, gently press your thumb into the skin – if it leaves an indentation, it’s ready to be picked!
If you leave the fruit on the plant for too long, it will begin to shrivel and rot. Therefore, it’s important to check your plants regularly and harvest the fruit as soon as it’s ripe.
Note the fruit develops from the female part of the flower.
6: Harvesting - 100 to 120 days in total
Once the eggplants are ripe, it’s time to harvest them! Be careful when doing so as not to damage the plant – cut the fruit from the stem using a sharp knife or garden shears.
You can store eggplants in a cool, dry place for up to two weeks. If you want to keep them for longer, you can preserve them by pickling, freezing, or dehydrating them.
To ensure that your eggplant seeds are viable for planting, wait until the fruit is large, with dull skin. The flesh should be soft to the touch.
The eggplant is a plant that goes through different stages of growth, and each stage requires different levels of care. Let’s summarise the growth stages below:
- The growth stage of an eggplant goes from seed, seedling, adult plant, flowering producing fruit, and then harvest – this takes anywhere from 70-120 days
- Don’t try to transplant your eggplant too quickly
- Make sure your plant gets adequate amounts of light, water, and fertilizer
- Eggplants are self-pollinating
- The fruit develops from the female part of the plant
People Also Ask
long does eggplant take to grow?
Eggplant seeds usually germinate within 7-10 days, and the plant will be ready for harvest anywhere from 70-120 days later. Of course, this depends on the variety of eggplant you’re growing, as well as the conditions in which it’s being grown (e.g. temperature, light levels, etc.)
How long after flowers do eggplants appear?
The eggplant fruits will appear anywhere from 2-8 weeks after the flowers have bloomed. Again, this depends on the variety of eggplant as well as growing conditions.
How many eggplants do you get per plant?
The number of eggplants you get per plant will depend on the variety, as well as the level of care you provide. Generally speaking, you can expect to get around 2-12 eggplants per plant.
Should I trim eggplant leaves?
Trimming the leaves can actually improve air circulation, so it’s generally a good idea to do this. Just be sure not to trim too many leaves at once, as this can shock the plant.
How do I make my eggplant bear more fruit?
There are a few things you can do to encourage your eggplant to bear more fruit:
- Provide adequate amounts of water, light, and fertilizer
- Encourage cross-pollination by planting multiple varieties or providing a source of pollen (e.g. from a bee hive)
- Trim off any flowers that appear before the plant has reached full maturity
- Harvest the eggplants as soon as they’re ripe to prevent them from rotting