How to Care for Your Eggplant

Eggplants can be rewarding to grow and harvest. How can you help your plant thrive?

Warm-weather vegetables, such as aubergines or brinjals—often referred to as eggplants—are harvested from the middle to the end of the summer.

The venerable eggplant is a wonderful plant to have in your vegetable garden because of its rich purple color. Even though the warm-weather vegetable has a long growing season, the wait will be worthwhile if you use the finished product to prepare a delicious meal, like eggplant parmesan.

You can guarantee a rewarding crop by knowing what eggplants need to grow and flourish. For healthy eggplants, see the information below!

Why You Should Consider Growing It

Eggplants are a fantastic addition to any vegetable garden since there are so many different types available to select from and so many different ways to use them in your meals.

This adaptable vegetable may be prepared in a variety of ways, including frying, sautéing, baking, breading, stuffing, or roasting, and it works well as a main dish or a side dish.

Eggplants, in addition to being quite versatile, include antioxidants such as vitamins A and C, which assist in protecting your cells from being damaged. It also has a high concentration of polyphenol, a natural plant compound that can assist your body in doing a better job of processing sugar. 

bunch of newly harvest eggplants

Best Time to Plant

Knowing the best time to plant your eggplant is crucial to helping it thrive. As a warm-season crop, eggplants can only be grown in warm soil that is at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit; they cannot endure frost or freezing conditions. Late April is the ideal time to plant eggplant since the danger of frost will have passed in most areas of the country. 

Eggplants have a lengthy growing season, so consider starting them indoors about eight weeks before you are planning to transfer them to the outdoors.

a woman planting eggplants in the garden

General Care

If you are planning to grow eggplants, you need to take the air and soil temperatures of your location into consideration. Your vegetables’ success will mostly depend on whether you choose sunny, shaded, or greenhouse conditions.

The gardening tips below will help your eggplants grow into and remain healthy plants with lots of yield.

Water Needs

Like all other nightshade crops, eggplants require a lot of water to develop properly. Depending on the moisture content of the soil, eggplants need around an inch of water per week. A further inch of water should be added if the soil seems too dry. 

When it’s chilly outside, water your eggplant once a week in the early spring. When the weather warms up, increase the frequency to two or three times a week.

wet eggplant in the garden

Amount of Sun

Vegetables like eggplants that are planted for their fruit or roots need full sun as a general rule.

Once they grow bigger than 3 inches, try planting them in a part of your yard that faces south. The plant requires abundant sunshine for the photosynthesis that produces large eggplant.


Even though eggplants have a relatively high nitrogen need, too much nitrogen will cause them to grow an excessive amount of foliage at the expense of blossoms and fruit.

Apply 3 pounds of 5-10-10 fertilizer, or as directed on the label, to every 100 square feet of planted space.

Encourage healthy soil over the long run by rotating crops, using cover crops, and adding a few inches of new organic compost every year.

fresh eggplants ready to harvest

Other Maintenance

In addition to the requirements listed above, here are some additional recommendations for cultivating eggplants. These extra suggestions will make it even easier for you to ensure that your plants are in good health.


Typically, pruning eggplant is not required. A little trimming on a mature plant, however, might assist in reviving it if you live in an area where it can grow as a perennial.

Trimming the plant will stimulate robust new growth for the next growing season. 

Additionally, remove any suckers from the plant’s base so that it may concentrate its efforts on producing eggplants.

big pot with growing big eggplants


Weeding is a crucial part of maintaining your eggplants and should be part of your regular gardening practice. It will help prevent verticillium wilt or fungus from attacking your plants.

It is easiest to pull weeds when the soil is still moist from overnight dew in the morning. 


Most gardeners grow eggplant as an annual, so overwintering is not an issue. However, if you are growing your eggplant as a perennial, you need to shelter it from the cold temperatures of winter. 

If there is any danger of frost, cover your plants with row covers or, if you can, bring them inside.

Phillis Butler
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