Garden + Gardening + Gardening Tips & Advice

Planting - Eggplant

Planting Information

Seeding Rate Per Foot Scatter seed on top of potting soil and transplant when they get their first true set of leaves.
Seeds Per Ounce 6,500
Space Between Plants 18"
Planting Depth 1/4"
Plant Height Medium
Plant Types Can be categorized by shape, size, or color
Favorite Varieties Dusky Hybrid, Ichiban, Early Royal Hybrid, Black Bell, Burpee Hybrid, Classic, Easter Egg (an ornamental with white egg shaped fruits)
Seed Viability (Years) 4 years
Seed Germination 75 F
Germination Time 13 days at 68 F
8 days at 77 F
5 days at 86 F or higher

Planting Instructions

Eggplant is typically planted as a transplant. Sow the seeds indoors in a loose potting mixture about 6 to 8 weeks before the last expected date of frost in the Spring. Soil temperatures should be between 70 and 75 F for optimum germination. Most seed germinates in 6 to 12 days. Sow seed on top of the media in flats and cover lightly with vermiculite or other media. Mist to keep surface moist or cover with moist newspaper or clear plastic. When most of the seedlings emerge, remove the newspaper or plastic and allow the plants to get plenty of sunlight or place a bank of flourescent lights about 4 inches above the flat, moving the light upward as the plants grow.

When the seedlings get their first true set of leaves, carefully transplant them into individual containers. Dig under plants, lift and separate them carefully to avoid breaking fragile stems or damaging tender roots. Make a hole in the soil in the transplant pot and lower the plant into it to the first leaf stem. Roots develop along the buried stem.

When the date for planting is approaching, move plants outdoors to a protected area where they get full sun but are out of the wind. Bring them indoors at night or during cold snaps. Continue this for three to four days before transplanting.

Eggplants are more susceptible to low temperature injury than tomatoes. Do not set them out until daytime temperatures are in the 70 F range. Plants damaged by cold become hard and stunted. Use hot caps if necessary to protect them from cold nights.

Plants are well adapted to drip irrigation provided placement of plants matches the drip holes in the irrigation hose.

For wide row planting, place plants allowing about 18" to 24" between plants.

In containers, use varieties with medium to small fruits grown high on the plant. These are more attractive than low-growing heavy fruited types. Place containers in warm sunny areas.





Transplants should be dark green, stocky, 6 to 8 in. tall and have 7 to 9 leaves. Do not buy plants with fruit on them.