Eggplant Plant: How To Grow Eggplant Indoors and Out, Container, Care Tips

Georgette Kilgore headshot, wearing 8 Billion Trees shirt with forest in the background.Written by Georgette Kilgore

Gardening | April 2, 2024

Man reaching out to an eggplant wonders about types of eggplant plant options to grow at home, how to plant and grow eggplant varieties and growing zones, care tips.

You’ve probably heard of the Eggplant plant because it’s a great delicacy from leaves to fruits. This warm-season crop is something everybody loves eating and as a bonus, the gorgeous fruit and vibrant flowers can add a lot of visual interest to your garden.

You can get Eggplant fruit in purple shades, white, or green depending on the variety. Additionally, these fruits can be skinny, long, round, egg-shaped, or even curved.

You’ll have so much fun watching them grow. Then, once you’ve harvested your leaves or fruits you can try them in all kinds of cuisines: you can fry, pan-sear, grill, roast or bake them.

Eggplant shares some similar botanical features with peppers and tomatoes so if you’ve ever grown either of the two,36 you are already off to a great start and adding the Eggplant plant to your farm or garden can be easy with the right tips

This guide explains everything you need to know from how to plant Eggplant indoors and outdoors, to the containers used, to growing and car tips that will ensure the harvest is both bountiful and delicious.

Eggplant, Aubergine, or Guinea squash

(Solanum melongena)

Eggplant in oval frame on green background.
  • Characteristics: The plant produces large egg-shaped berries that have a glossy surface.
  • Family: Nightshade or Solanaceae
  • Genus: Solanum
  • Leaf: Large, coarsely lobed leaves that are 4 to 8 inches long.
  • Seed: Small, soft and edible.
  • Blossoms: Purple flowers that are shaped like a funnel with 5-6 pointed lobes that form a star-like shape.
  • Native Habitat: Southeast Asia or areas with warm climate.
  • Height: 18 to 36 inches tall
  • Canopy: Plant does not have a canopy.
  • Type: Annual
  • Native Growing Zone: Zones 9-12

Image Credit: rocknevis55

What Is an Aubergine?

An aubergine or Eggplant botanically known as Solanum melongena is a warm-season vegetable that is usually perennial but treated as an annual by most North American gardeners.1 Eggplants have a subtropical and tropical heritage therefore, they need relatively high temperatures similar to peppers and tomatoes.

Eggplants grow fastest when temperatures are between 70° and 85°F. They grow very slowly when the weather is cooler.

Like peppers and tomatoes, the fruit of the Eggplant plant develops and hangs from the branches and can grow up to several feet in height.

Since they require warm soil, you should buy Eggplants when they are 6 to 8 weeks old transplants. Or you can opt to start them indoors two months in advance.

The ideal growing place for Eggplants is raised beds enriched with composted manure and soil that warms up very quickly.

Eggplants also grow well in containers and create lovely ornamental borders. In fact, the market today has quite a few ornamental Eggplant varieties that have attractive variegated patterns but inedible fruits.

For great aesthetics follow a container gardening guide.

Most Eggplant fruits in the market today have a beautiful dark purple color. However, you can also find varieties that are white, black, green, pink, and variegated white-purple.

They also come in varying shapes and sizes. The most common ones are large and gourd-shaped fruits.

Growing Eggplant Plant (How To Grow Eggplant)

If you are buying plants from a nursery or garden center, experts recommend choosing plants that are up to a foot tall with sturdy stems. The stems should have the width of a pencil and the leaves should be spaced closely up the stem.

Be careful not to choose plants that have spots on their leaves as you could bring disease into your garden.

If you choose to go with plants from a mail-order catalog, you may need to place them indoors until it’s time to set them out. Treat these plants as if you started them yourself.

Growing From a Seed

If you are growing an Eggplant from a seed, the seeds should be started about eight weeks before setting them outside.

Top-shot image showing small, kidney-shaped eggplant seeds on a flat surface.

(Image: Dieter Karner37)

Take the following steps:

  1. Plant the seeds a quarter inch deep. Use flats that contain a soilless, sterile, germination mix.17
  2. Create temperatures of about 75°F to 85°F until you see the seedlings emerging. You should carefully monitor the moisture in the potting mix as heating mats dry the mix out faster.
  3. Once the seedlings emerge, maintain a temperature of about 70°F. Warmer soil is better for the development of the rooting system.
  4. Provide the seedlings with an overhead light.
  5. Transplant or thin seedlings after the true leaves appear. Make sure the seedlings are three inches apart and growing under bright light. The bright light should be overhead to prevent the little plants and stems from leaning over.
  6. The Eggplant plants may start flowering while indoors, pinch off these flower clusters until you’ve placed them outside.
  7. Reduce watering when plants are 10 weeks old and they are 5 to 8 inches tall.
  8. Place the plant outside in a place where it will receive protection from the wind and some hours of sunlight.
  9. Gradually expose the seedlings to some sunlight for the next two weeks. Remember to bring the plants indoors if the temperature drops below 55°F

Growing From a Seedling

You can easily get Eggplant seedlings from your local nursery or plant the seeds yourself. Once the risk of the last spring frost has passed and daytime temperatures have increased to 70° to 75°F, set the seedlings in a bright part of your garden in holes that are 24 to 30 inches apart.10

You can use black plastic mulch to warm the soils before setting the transplant in case soil temperatures aren’t high enough.28 Immediately after planting in a pot or on the ground, set stakes that are 24 inches tall one or two inches from each plant to provide support.

Rows of eggplant seedlings planted in pots.

(Image: Kolforn38)

You can also use cages. You set support earlier to avoid disturbing the roots and the soil later.

Eggplants usually fall when laden with fruits.

Water the plant well after planting and add a layer of mulch to suppress weeds and retain moisture.

If you are in a cold climate, consider using row covers to help keep the young Eggplants sheltered and warm. Open the raw covers during warm days so that insects can pollinate the Eggplant flower.

Planting Tips for Eggplant

You don’t need to be a genius to grow Eggplants.  Eggplants are great for gardening for beginners.

They’re simpler to manage than their tomato cousins and thrive under the same conditions.

You can plant Eggplant in your summer kitchen garden and enjoy creamy, spongy pasta and salads for months to come. Keep in mind that Eggplant roots, flowers, and leaves are harmful to people and pets.

Best Growing Conditions for Eggplant (Season)

The best growing conditions for Eggplant can make the plant thrive in your garden. You need to look at light, soil, water, weeding, and many other factors.

Here are some growing conditions that you should look into:


Pick a place in your garden where you have not grown peppers, potatoes, tomatoes, and Eggplants in the last four or three years.6

You need to practice rotation. Space the Eggplants 18 inches apart in rows that are 30 to 36 inches apart.


Although Eggplants are related to tomatoes, they are much less cold-hardy.

Do not plant your Eggplants before the overnight low temperatures are above 50° F. They may suffer from chill and may never recover or bear fruit.

Transplant on a cloudy, calm day or in late afternoon. Poor flowering can be caused by temperatures below 60°F and drought temperatures above 90°F.

The fruits of Eggplants are also vulnerable to sunburn and can get white patches when they do not get enough leaf surface to cover the fruit and protect them from sunlight exposure.

Eggplant Growing Zone

Eggplant plants are classified as tropical perennials.

In North America, they are grown as annuals in planting zones 5-12.8 They love heat and sun and can grow anywhere these conditions are met.


The plants should be watered well before transplanting.29 Use a knife to cut the soil between the plants so that each plant can separate easily and have its own root ball attached.

Do not disturb the roots when transplanting the seedlings grown in separate containers.

If you choose to transplant the seedlings in peat pots, then do not expose the top of the peat pot above the surface of the soil. This is because the peat pot acts as a wick rapidly drawing moisture from the root ball and stressing the plant.

Close-up shot of a growing eggplant seedling in soil.

(Image: byrev39)

Set the seedlings in the garden in a position where the shoots are at the soil line similar to the position before they were transplanted. Remove the dry surface of the soil from the planting area and dig a hole big enough to accommodate the root ball of the transplant.

Cover the soil, water the plant, and install plant supports.

Soil pH and Fertility

The first step in growing Eggplants is to have your soil tested. You are looking for a soil pH of between 5.5 and 7.5.13

Next, you apply potassium and phosphorus according to recommendations from the soil test. If the soil test indicates sufficient phosphorus, use no or low phosphorus fertilizer.

Soil pH and fertility are crucial. To improve fertility, add well-rotted compost or manure during fall or spring.

Do not add too much nitrogen fertilizer because it will create plants that are leafy, bushy, and slow to bear fruits. These plants will also attract pests such as aphids.

Do not use fertilizers that contain weed killers as they might kill your companion plants. Consider adding black plastic mulch because it helps reduce root damage and maintains heat in the soil.

Do not apply mulch before the soil warms up in the spring.

Watering Needs

The moisture levels in the soil should be consistent to produce the best quality fruit. Inconsistency will create bitter Eggplants with lower yields. It might also cause blossom-end rot.32

Avoid using overhead sprinklers. Wet fruits and leaves are more prone to diseases and the soil splashed on the leaves can contain fungi spores.

Light watering creates the development of shallow roots and this increases the vulnerability of the crop to drought stress and hot weather which eventually reduces fruit quality.

The plant should receive one inch of rain each week. If this condition is not possible, then consider soaking the soil thoroughly at least once a week.

If the soil is very sandy it may require watering more often. If your rate of irrigation is too fast, it will run off heavier soil without the moisture sinking in.

Controlling Weeds

To kill the weeds, apply frequent, shallow cultivation using a trowel or garden hoe.

You need to get to the weeds before they become a problem. Cultivate the weeds deep enough to cut them off below the soil surface.

Consider mulching with grass clippings that are herbicide-free. You can also use straw that is weed-free or any other organic material.

Apply 3 to 4 inches of mulch to prevent the growth of weeds and decrease the need for frequent cultivation.

When To Plant Eggplants

Plant your Eggplant in a location that receives full sun.9 The Eggplant needs at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight per day to ensure optimal results.

They grow best in well-drained loamy or sandy loam soil that has a fairly high amount of organic matter.

To improve the fertility of the soil, mix one inch of well-rotted compost, manure, or general fertilizer all over the planting bet for about a week before planting.

Angled shot showing several pots with seedlings of eggplant growing in them.

(Image: Raleigh City Farm40)

If you choose to grow them in pots or other containers, choose ones that are dark-colored to absorb more sunlight. Place one plant per 5-gallon pot outdoors or under full sun to facilitate growth and pollination.

Use a premium potting mix when starting to avoid diseases. Ideally, use raised beds that warm more quickly than Eggplants.

The best time to plant Eggplants is after the last frost. Start the seeds indoors in peat pots 6 to 8 weeks before the last spring frost date.

The seeds will germinate quickly if placed in temperatures that are 70° to 90°F.

Alternatively, you can choose to buy 6 to 8 weeks transplants from nurseries. If you decide to go with this route, consider buying high-quality specimens.

Do not go for plants that are tall or spindly or young plants that already have blossoms.

Plant your transplant outside after the last spring frost date.

Growth Rate: How Long It Takes To Grow Eggplants

Unfortunately, Eggplants are long-period crops. They require about 70 to 100 days after transplanting to mature.

You’ll add two more months if you’re planning to grow Eggplants from seeds. The optimum time to transplant is when they have 3 to 4 real leaves or when the seedlings are 4 to 6 weeks old.

Graphics of Eggplant Plant growth chart showing sapling to full grown images of the Eggplant Plant with height range based on age.

In most cases, transplanting is done during fall unless the temperature of the soil rises above 55 degrees Fahrenheit. In most countries, the best time to transplant is during the second half of spring.

When To Harvest Eggplant

Knowing when to harvest eggplant is crucial. Once the Eggplants have reached a mature size, clip them off with sharp shears. Do not pull the fruits from the plants because you are likely to damage both the plant and the fruit.

As you harvest the fruit, the plant continues to produce more flowers and set more fruits therefore, avoid damaging it.

Once the Eggplant matures, do not let it hang on the plant because the quality will continue to decline. Pick them when the fruit is firm and the skin is still shiny.

Later in the season, to prevent the cold nights from injuring the fruit left on the plant, cover them any time there is a low-temperature forecast.

Eggplants keep for up to a week in the refrigerator. They are very sensitive to the cold and their skins may become pitted if left for too long under refrigeration.

You can freeze and blanch sliced Eggplant though most gardeners don’t recommend this preservation method. You can search for relish or pickled Eggplant recipes on the internet.

Eggplant Disease

As mentioned previously, Eggplants are part of the nightshade family together with potatoes, peppers, and tomatoes. Like all other plants in this family, Eggplants are susceptible to a wide variety of irritating pests and diseases.

Whether your Eggplant plant is already sick or you are trying to head off some problems, it is important to know what you are facing. Here are some Eggplant diseases that may affect your plant:

Anthracnose Fruit Rot

Anthracnose fruit rot is a fungal disease that doesn’t always have visible symptoms.20 When the symptoms begin to appear, they start small with tiny sunken spots on your Eggplant fruits.11

Over time, these spots merge and create larger blotches.

The lesions grow over time and form spores that set and circle over them. You may also notice pink or orange jelly-like patches that cover the lesions.

If you suspect fungal disease, it’s important to remove the infected fruits from your plant.

Blossom-End Rot

Eggplants like many other nightshades come from the same plant family, therefore, they are prone to Blossom-end rot. The symptoms include small, water-soaked patches at the ends of the fruits where the blossom was before ripening.

The lesions gradually enlarge, turning leathery and black in appearance.

Blossom-end rot results from low concentrations of calcium in the fruits that can come from completion with other plants in your garden. It may also be caused by other problems such as drought stress.

Phytophthora Blight

Phytophthora blight refers to a water mold that attacks the fruit, leaves, roots and stems of your Eggplant.18 The main symptoms are dark streaks on the upper branches of the plant.

The plant rapidly collapses and dies soon after. If you notice that the lower leaves of your Eggplant are prematurely dropping, then you might have blight.

Close-up of a part of an eggplant fruit damaged by Phytophthora Blight.

(Image: David B. Langston45)

Treatment is very difficult but you can easily prevent the disease.

The blight is also responsible for black-brown spots around the leaves. You might also notice alternating rings of dark and light on the leaves which is a common symptom of blight.

Damping Off

Damping off is an Eggplant disease that affects the seedling. It is caused by bacterial pathogens and prevents the seedlings from fully emerging.

The seedlings often end up with light brown to red-soaked stems and roots. Eventually, the seedlings collapse, dry up and die.

This disease is almost impossible to treat.

Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew is a fungal disease that greatly infects Eggplants. The symptoms include powdery spots on the fruits, flowers, shoots, and leaves.

It may also lead to yellow twisted leaves that fall off the plant. This fungal disease likes shady conditions with poor air circulation.

Verticillium Wilt

Verticillium wilt is a common fungal pathogen in Eggplants.31 The first symptoms appear on the lower leaves and spread upwards.

The leaves start off with yellow blotches which expand to the edges then you’ll notice rolling leaf edges.

The biggest problem with Verticillium wilt is that it can survive in the soil indefinitely. Once the cool spring temperature comes, the pathogens come out of the soil.

As a result, it’s difficult to control the fungus. Expert gardeners recommend solarizing the soils to protect your plants.

Cercospora Leaf Spot

Cercospora leaf spot is a fungal entity that starts by affecting the lower part of the plant and gradually moves up.16 The symptoms are small circular spots on the leaves that expand and turn dark brown over time.

If the leaves are badly infected, they curl and dry out and eventually drop off the plant. This fungus is dangerous because it survives on wither debris that drops onto your garden soil.

Treatment is very difficult but you can easily prevent the disease.

Eggplant leaves peppered with small yellowish spots and holes because of the Cercospora Leaf Spot disease.

(Image: Scot Nelson46)

First, space the plants appropriately to give them room for proper airflow. Second, always water the plants at the base.

If your Eggplant ends up having Cercospora leaf spot, you can apply fungicides to reduce the spread but do not expect to get rid of the fungal disease entirely.

Disease Prevention: How To Stop Eggplant Disease

There are several strategies available for Eggplant disease prevention.

First, you should practice crop rotation to manage bacterial wilt. The pathogens that cause it will survive in the soil.

You should avoid planting Eggplants where you planted members of the nightshade family within the last three years. Instead, rotate nightshade plants with the following:

  • Allium: Leeks, garlic, onions24
  • Brassicas: Broccoli, turnips, cabbage, kale, collards
  • Cucurbits: Cantaloupe, melons, zucchini, squash

Second, you should space your Eggplant plants properly to allow the flow of air between the plants. This promotes faster drying of foliage following dew or rain.

Spacing also reduces fruit rot and foliage diseases. Expert gardeners recommended spacing rows 36 inches apart and spacing plants 24 to 30 inches apart on the row.12

The rows should be aligned east to west rather than north to south to allow air to move up and down the rows.

Third, water management is very important to your plant. You can avoid a wide range of disease issues with great water management.

The preferred irrigation method for Eggplants is drip irrigation rather than overhead watering as this keeps the water off the fruit and foliage. As a result, you will reduce the severity of fruit rot and foliage diseases.

If you are unable to drip irrigate, direct your watering can to the base of the plant. Avoid making the leaves and fruits wet.

Additionally, water the plants early in the morning to give the fruits and foliage a chance to dry before it gets dark.

Keep in mind that the soil should be moist, not saturated. Excessive moisture in the soil increases the chances of blight and root rot.

Mulching can help ensure that the soil stays moist, but not saturated.

Common Pests of the Eggplant

Many Eggplant pests are the same ones that affect the nightshade family. If you’ve ever planted tomatoes or potatoes, then you know what you are dealing with.

Some common Eggplant pests include:

Colorado Potato Beetle

Don’t let the name fool you, these beetles affect more than just potatoes. They are a serious issue for all members of the nightshade family.

They feed on plant foliage and cause serious damage. If the infestation is severe, your plants will be completely defoliated.

Close-up shot of Colorado Potato Beetles, one of the common pests of the Eggplant Plant, feasting on a leaf.

(Image: Dwight Sipler47)

It’s difficult to control these pests because they’ve developed high levels of insecticide resistance. To control the larvae, you can apply Bacillus thuringiensis.

You should apply it frequently because it’s not harmful to the environment. If you want to control adult Colorado potato beetles, then you need insecticides with spinosad.


Aphids are small insects with soft bodies that stick to the undersides of leaves and stems of plants.30

They come in varying colors from pink to yellow to green and brown. The color they have depends on the host plant.

The most common aphids found in Eggplant plants are the Cotton and Green Peach aphids. The latter is green or yellow while the former can be green, yellow, or black.

Aphids in small numbers are rarely a problem. However, if your garden is infested, it may cause the leaves of your plant to turn yellow and develop necrotic spots.

One major issue of aphids on Eggplants is that they produce a sugary sticky substance known as honeydew that creates a conducive environment for sooty mold to grow. They also spread other diseases.


Cutworms are some of the most frustrating pests to deal with in a garden. It’ll be even more difficult for you because they love Eggplants.

They chew the stems of young seedlings and sever them at the soil line. They are night creatures hence difficult to spot in your garden.

Cutworms affect more than Eggplant, they love every veggie crop in your garden. However, you should not despair because getting rid of them is quite possible but you’ll have to be diligent.

You will have to hand-pick the larvae at night and spread diatomaceous earth around the base of your seedlings to prevent cutworm infestation.


There are two types of hornworms that affect your Eggplant;14 they include Tobacco and Tomato hornworms. These are huge pests that create massive damage to your plant leaves.

Heavy infestation can damage the fruits as well.

Both Tomato and Tobacco hornworms are identical. They grow up to three to four inches in length and there’s a horn at the end of their bodies.

It’s entirely possible to get rid of these pests. You can start by checking for holes on your leaves regularly, or the worms themselves.

You should keep in mind that infestation happens quickly.

Stink Bugs

When you think of stink bugs, you might assume they are the normal types that produce a foul odor when disturbed. However, the stink bugs that are common pests in Eggplants are the ones with backs shaped like a shield.

They create dark-colored pinpricks on the fruit which eventually turn yellow. They also spread pathogens that create decay of fruits and other secondary infections.

To manage stink bugs, you should remove the weeds around your Eggplants because they are a breeding ground for these pests over winter.

Flea Beetles

These are leaf-eating beetles found in the Chrysomelidae family. They usually create small pits or holes in the leaves and can stunt the overall growth of the plant.

Flea beetles mostly affect seedlings and young plants. However, they can live in the plant until its maturity and eventually feed on the fruits of your Eggplants.

An eggplant leaf with brown spots damaged by Flea Beetles.

(Image: Scot Nelson48)

One way to prevent flea beetles is to cover your Eggplant seedlings with floating row covers. In case you end up with flea beetles in your garden you can control the population with insecticides that have carbaryl, permethrin, and spinosad.

Natural Pest Control for Eggplant

There are several natural pest controls for Eggplant plants.

First, you can provide habitats that facilitate beneficial insects such as ladybugs. This means picking companion flowering plants such as rosemary, fennel, cilantro, dill, and alyssum that attract parasitic wasps that prey on stink bugs, aphids, and cutworms.

You can also handpick these insects as a natural pest control. This strategy is great for larger, slow-moving insects such as Colorado potato beetles and hornworms.

You can directly kill the insect by squishing it or dropping it in a bottle with soapy water.

If natural pest control methods fail, you can do cultural control methods which include proper fertilization according to soil test results. You should also avoid adding too much nitrogen as it makes plants more attractive to pests such as aphids.

Lastly, you should manage weeds before they start producing seeds because they provide overwintering sides and harbor pests.

Companion Plants For Growing Eggplant Plants

Companion plants for growing Eggplant plants are a crucial factor for gardeners. The right companions will boost the growth of your Eggplant and help fend off pesky pests.

On the other hand, the wrong companion plants can make planting Eggplants a disaster and create a lower yield.

The companion planting concept is simple. Certain plants enjoy a symbiotic relationship where they naturally support each other and promote healthy growth as well as protection against common threats.

If you harness this natural relationship, you can foster a more sustainable gardening environment and decrease the need for chemical pesticides.

Here are a few of the best companions for Eggplants:


Though peppers also belong to the solanaceae family,27 they are great companion plants for Eggplants.

First, they have similar growing tolerances and requirements. Second, they are highly compatible which allows them to thrive when growing together.

Eggplant and pepper planted side by side on a raised platform indoors.

(Image: K M49)

Lastly, they have comparable water and nutrient needs as well as similar environmental preferences.

Apart from their compatible qualities, peppers also act as natural deterrents for pests that commonly affect Eggplants. Their pungent compounds and aromas help repel insects like beetles, spider mites, and aphids, reducing the risk of infestation on the Eggplant crop.

Pepper plants have structures that complement Eggplants. Peppers grow upwards with a narrower canopy which enhances the growth of the bushy foliage of Eggplants.

The different growth habits ensure that both crops receive ample sunlight and that one plant does not overshadow the other.

If you interplant Eggplant and peppers, you’ll enhance biodiversity in your garden. These different plant species attract a lot of beneficial insects that help in pollination and natural pest control ultimately benefiting both crops.

Lastly, if you rotate Eggplant and pepper crops in your garden, you can prevent the buildup of soil-borne pests and diseases that specifically affect these plants. If you vary crops in the same location from season to season, you reduce the risk of diseases and pest infestations.


Spinach has several beneficial attributes that make it an excellent companion plant for Eggplant.

Firstly, just like beets, spinach has shallow roots which complement Eggplants that have deeper roots. As a result, both plants utilize soil nutrients more efficiently without competing for resources and thin=s promotes healthy growth for the two crops.

Secondly, spinach grown alongside Eggplants acts as a natural mulch. This is because spinach has a dense foliage that shades the soil, helping it to suppress the growth of weeds and retain moisture.

This mulch helps to conserve moisture as well as reduce the competition for resources from weeds and between the two plants. Therefore, you’ll get improved yields for both crops.

Thirdly, inter-planting Eggplant and spinach also increases the diversity of the ecosystem of the garden. This attracts beneficial insects such as lacewings and ladybugs that help control the population of pests.

Your garden will end up being sustainable and more balanced.

Lastly, spinach and Eggplant have contrasting growth habits that complement each other. Eggplants grow higher than spinach and this is an efficient use of vertical gardening space and allows both crops to thrive side by side.


First, Eggplants and potatoes have different root structures and this means that they don’t compete for soil nutrients. Potatoes develop their tubers underground.

In contrast, Eggplants have deeper roots therefore the root systems do not interfere with each other’s growth.

Potatoes also act as natural barriers to pests that mostly affect Eggplants. The potatoes release pungent compounds that repel pests like the Colorado potato beetle, which usually damage the foliage of Eggplants.

This protective effect is beneficial to both crops and reduces the risk of pest infestation.

Second, inter-planting Eggplants and potatoes in your garden improves the utilization of space. As potatoes grow leafy and tall they can create partial shading for your Eggplants when they are young.

This shading is particularly beneficial when there’s intense sunlight. The shading also minimizes weed growth and maintains soil moisture which creates a conducive environment for both crops.

Rotating Eggplants and potatoes in the same place from season to season decreases the risk of soil-borne pests and diseases. If you vary crops in your garden, the buildup of issues related to a specific plant can be avoided resulting in improved yields and healthier plants.

Lastly, the diversity of plants in your garden attracts beneficial insects that facilitate pollination and act as natural pest control. Therefore, both Eggplants and potatoes benefit from the increase in biodiversity which also enhances the overall health of the garden.


If you are looking for companion plants for Eggplant, then you cannot go wrong with beets.25 To start, beets have shallow root systems compared to Eggplants.

This difference helps both plants absorb nutrients from the soil more efficiently without competing for resources. As a result, you will get better and healthier plants.

That’s not all, beets are a natural repellent to sum pests that usually target Eggplants. Beets produce a strong aroma that helps deter pests such as spider mites and aphids and therefore, reduce the risk of infestation on your Eggplant.

Just as well, beets can act as a trap crop for your Eggplant. Beets attract pests like flea beetles more than Eggplants.

Therefore, if you interplant the beets among your Eggplants, these pests will be drawn away from the main crop and as a result minimize the damage to the Eggplant leaves.

A basket of onions and a bunch of beets and eggplants sold in a market.

(Image: jlenahan50)

Additionally, beets are fast-growing plants. They also grow into dense foliage that does not overshadow your Eggplant, rather, they provide some shading around your garden soil.

This shading helps retain moisture, reduces the growth of weeds, and creates a favorable environment for your Eggplants to grow.

Eggplants and beets do not have the same peak harvesting time. This allows for efficient utilization of the space in your garden.

Once you harvest the beets, you’ll open up space for the Eggplants to grow and spread further and this maximizes the productivity of your garden area.

Lastly, a garden with diverse crops attracts a wide variety of beneficial insects; if you transplant beets with Eggplant you encourage a diverse insect population. This population helps in controlling pests and promoting healthier garden ecosystems.


Onions are great companion plants for Eggplant because they produce a strong scent that repels many common pests such as thrips and aphids which usually target Eggplants.26 If you inter-plant Eggplants and onions, the latter will act as a natural deterrent and this reduces the risk of pest infestation and promotes healthier growth for both crops.

Onions have a growth habit that complements Eggplants. Eggplants have tall bushy foliage while onions have low compact structure.

Therefore, if you plant them together, you’ll use your garden space more efficiently and prevent overshadowing ensuring that both crops get enough sunlight for optimal development.

Moreover, onions also deter large pests such as deer and rabbits, from eating your Eggplants. These animals usually damage young Eggplant plants therefore planting them with onions can reduce this damage.

Onions also accumulate sulfur which is a natural fungicide. If your soil has a high enough sulfur content, then the risk of fungal diseases that might affect both plants is greatly reduced.

Overall, you will have much healthier crops.

Onions also suppress the growth of weeds around Eggplants. They have dense foliage which shades the soil and limits the growth of weeds reducing competition for water and nutrients.


Lettuce has shallow root systems that complement the deeper roots of Eggplants. This means that both plants use soil nutrients efficiently without competition, so both crops grow in a healthier manner.

When planted alongside Eggplants, lettuce also acts as a natural living mulch. The plant has dense foliage that shades the soil and helps suppress weed growth and retain moisture.

The process conserves water and decreases the need for frequent watering.

Lettuce and Eggplants also have contrasting growth habits. Eggplants have tall structures while lettuces grow close to the ground.

These growth habits are beneficial because they ensure efficient utilization of space in your garden and the lettuce serves as a living ground cover underneath the Eggplant plant.

If you interplant lettuce among your Eggplant plants, you can enhance pest management in your garden. The lettuce will draw pests from the Eggplant crops creating a form of natural pest control.

Lastly, lettuce grows really fast. Therefore, you can harvest it really quickly before it interferes with the growth of Eggplants.

You’ll definitely maximize the productivity of your garden space.


Radishes have shallow roots that complement the deeper roots of Eggplants.

Both plants use soil nutrients efficiently and there’s no competition for resources. As a result, they have great overall health and improved growth.

Radishes like onions are natural pest deterrents when planted alongside Eggplants. Radishes also produce strong aromas that repel certain pests such as flea beetles and aphids.

The radishes form a natural defense mechanism that minimizes the risk of pest infestation on your Eggplant crop and promotes a thriving garden.

Radishes also enhance soil conditions for Eggplants. Radishes have a root system that breaks up compacted soil and improves soil drainage and aeration which is quite beneficial for Eggplants as they prefer well-drained soil to thrive.

You can also use radishes as trap crops for pests that usually target Eggplants. There are certain pests that are more attracted to radishes than Eggplants.

As a result, the radish will draw pests away from the main crop decreasing the damage to the Eggplant leaves.

Lastly, radishes have a quick growth cycle that makes them ideal companion plants for Eggplants. They mature relatively fast and allow harvests without interfering with the growth of your Eggplants.

As a gardener, you’ll use your space efficiently and maximize yields when planting radishes with Eggplant plants.

What Not To Plant With Eggplant

Keep in mind that not all plants play nice with Eggplants, some companions will stunt their growth, compete for resources, and encourage pests and diseases. It’s very important, therefore, to avoid these partnerships that are unfavorable so that your Eggplant plant can reach its full potential.

The list includes but is not limited to:


Corn is a poor Eggplant plant companion for several reasons. First and foremost, corn is a heavy feeder meaning that it consumes a lot of nutrients from the soil.

This means that it will compete with your Eggplant for essential resources. In the end, both plants will suffer from reduced yields and stunted growth.

Second, corn usually grows tall and dense and this may cast a shadow on your Eggplant blocking it from acquiring the much-needed sunlight. As a result, photosynthesis may be hindered affecting the overall development of your plant.

Third, corn has a stronger root system than Eggplants. As a result, they will outcompete the Eggplant depriving it of nutrients and water.

Eggplants have shallow roots meaning they don’t stand a chance when planted with corn. They will also be more susceptible to diseases and stress.

Lastly, corn attracts pests that may also affect your Eggplant. Therefore, chasing space can enhance the spread of diseases and pests between the two plants and you will end up with poor yields from both.


To start, Eggplant and melon have different nutrient and water needs and as such,34 it’s not advisable to plant them together. Melons consume high amounts of water therefore soil that is consistently moist.

In contrast, Eggplants thrive in well-drained soil and require less frequent watering. Planting these two plants together can lead to under-watering or overwatering one of the crops affecting their health and growth.

Second, as melon plants grow, they tend to spread and this takes up a lot of space. As a result, they might overshadow your Eggplant plant.

The Eggplant will not get sufficient sunlight which is needed for fruit production and proper development.

Third, melons attract certain pests and diseases that may also affect your Eggplants. Planting these two close to each other will increase the spread of these issues between the two crops and this could potentially yield lower-quality produce, and reduced yields.

Fourth, Eggplants and melons come from the same family Solanaceae. This means that they are highly prone to sharing common diseases and pests.

Growing them together can create a habitat that makes these problems thrive.


There are very few companion plants for fennel and Eggplant is not one of them.

First, fennel produces natural compounds in the leaves and roots that inhibit the growth of nearby plants. Therefore, if you choose fennel as a companion plant for your Eggplant, be prepared for stunted growth.

Second, both Eggplant and fennel have distinct space requirements. Fennels grow up to be tall and bushy and may block the sun from reaching your Eggplant.

Since Eggplants grow best in full sun, this may hinder their maturity and productivity.

One point for fennel is that it attracts insects such as spiders and ladybugs which eat common pests such as aphids found in Eggplants. However, these beneficial insects might also prey on the young seedlings and Eggplant pollen causing unintended damage to the crop.

The strong scent of fennel also attracts other insects that may affect Eggplants increasing the risk of infestation. Experts recommend planting fennel and Eggplants in different gardens for the best results for both plants.


First, tomato is also part of the Solanaceae family so having it as a companion for Eggplant can increase the risk of sharing pests and diseases that affect this family. Their proximity can create a favorable habitat for common diseases and pests causing them to spread and harm both crops.

Secondly, Eggplants and tomatoes have similar requirements for water and nutrients which can lead to competition for soil elements. This competition may lead to reduced yields and stunted growth for both plants.

Thirdly, tomato plants are more vigorous in their growth than Eggplant. They will grow up to eventually overshadow the Eggplant, blocking the latter from getting enough sunlight.

Eggplants need full sun to thrive so this issue will negatively impact their fruit production and overall growth.

Fourth, some tomato varieties are susceptible to certain pests such as the Colorado potato beetle. These pests can also infest your Eggplants.

These two do not make great companions because they attract common pests making it challenging to control their population.

4 Eggplant Plant Varieties and Pictures of Eggplant

There are several Eggplant varieties out there each with its own special characteristics. Here are examples of Eggplant plant varieties together with their pictures.

1. Chinese Eggplant

Similar to the Japanese Eggplant, the Chinese Eggplant has a long and narrow body and is covered with light to mid-toned purple skin. It has white flesh and fewer seeds compared to the globe variety.

Top shot of a bunch of Chinese Eggplants featuring thin, elongated purple-colored fruits.

(Image: Hans41)

It also tastes less bitter than the American variety. It has a slender, uniform shape that makes it perfect for slicing into rounds and sautéing.

A basketful of American or Globe Eggplants featuring short, round fruits in deep purple.

(Image: Srattigan42)

2. Globe/American Eggplant

The American Eggplant is the common type of Eggplant that you find in most supermarkets in the US.22 They have a deep purple color and a short squatty shape.

It has a meaty texture that makes it a great vegetarian protein substitute for any diet.

3. Japanese Eggplant

Japanese Eggplant plants are similar to Chinese Eggplants in that they are long with fewer seeds. However, Japanese Eggplants tend to have a deeper purple color.

They also cook quickly making them great for stir fry vegetables.

A bunch of Japanese Eggplants featuring long, thin fruits covered with water droplets.

(Image: Vitalina43)

A short, stout Italian Eggplant surrounded by herbs and other varieties of eggplant.

(Image: U.S. Department of Agriculture44)

4. Italian Eggplant

Italian Eggplants are almost the same as the Globe Eggplant because they have similar shapes and colors.

They are slightly sweeter and smaller. The flesh is also more tender than the Globe Eggplant.

The Origin Story of Eggplant

Expert vegetable gardeners classify Eggplant as a botanical berry. Keep in mind that in British English as well as many other languages, the Eggplant plant is referred to as aubergine or something similar.

American and Australian English call it Eggplant while Australians have increased their use of the name aubergine which originates from the French word for Eggplant. The original name comes from (if we skip some steps) the Sanskrit Vatiga-gama which translates to ‘the wind curing plant.’

Image showing different varieties of eggplant in various shapes, sizes and colors.

(Image: furbymama51)

There are a lot of Eggplant varieties out there. However, in the US we usually see large, black globes of Eggplants with shiny skins.

If you want to get different varieties, you’ll have to shop in ethnic grocery stores.

Eggplants don’t have genders, however, people classify them into genders according to their ‘belly buttons.’

Male Eggplants have shallow, circular indentations while female Eggplants have deeper elongated ones. Indentations are important because in most cases, a shallow navel exists in an Eggplant with fewer seeds.

Eggplants have a bitter taste that comes from the seeds (this is common for a lot of fruits), therefore, people prefer picking the ‘male’ one. If you get a ‘female’ Eggplant and want to get rid of the bitter taste you can salt it and/or remove the seeds.

To salt an Eggplant, cut it up however you want and mix it with some salt. Then let it sit for half an hour in a colander in the sink.

You’ll have to rinse it well to get rid of the salt because essentially, Eggplants function as sponges. They are similar to mushrooms though they have much higher absorption rates.

In case you are curious, the bitterness in Eggplants comes from the nicotine in them called nicotinoid alkaloids.21 However, you shouldn’t worry about the nicotine content because you’d need to consume more than 20 Eggplants to get the same dose of nicotine you’d get from one cigarette.

History of Eggplant

Eggplant is a common plant all over the world. However, it is indigenous to Southwest China, Vietnam, Laos, Northern Thailand, Burma, and Northeast India.2

It’s native to Asia and you can still find wild Eggplant plants in these locations.

Eggplants slowly spread to Africa, Europe, and the rest of the world through trade.

Eggplant was first documented in Chinese ancient literature which showcased Eggplants being cultivated as crops for gardens. These records indicate the domestication of Eggplants from as early as the 1st century AD.

The records about Eggplants that came later spoke about the size and other cultivation aspects of the Eggplant plant. Although the Romans and Greeks knew about Eggplants, they didn’t begin to add them to their records until the 7th and 8th centuries.

Eggplants spread to the rest of the world as part of the Muslim expansion. Persians spread the plant to Africa while Arab traders took the Eggplants to some areas in Europe such as Spain.

However, initially, Europe did not take too well to Eggplants because, at the time, most nightshades indigenous to the continent were deadly. Northern Europeans were the first to adopt Eggplant as a viable source of food around the 10th century.

The Eggplant traveled from Spain to South America in 1650 during the Gold-and-Chocolate trade. The plant also spread to the Caribbean Islands.

A few sources claim that North and Central America got their Eggplants from Portuguese and Spanish sailors around the 15th century. Additionally, these sources also state that Eggplants were first introduced to the United States by Thomas Jefferson in 1806.

How Eggplant Got Its Name

How Eggplant got its name is one interesting fact about it.

First, you should know that the Eggplant growing in your garden took hundreds of years to reach you. Food historians trace their origins to China and India.

Some records state that they were cultivated as early as 50 BCE.

The fruit was mostly moved by traders to Europe and eventually made their way to America thanks to Thomas Jefferson who brought the seeds back from France. At the moment, you get to enjoy eating Eggplants in different sizes, colors, and shapes but did you know that centuries ago, the fruits were considered purely ornamental?

Close-up of a purple eggplant flower attached to a stem and surrounded by leaves.

(Image: Kathas_Fotos52)

The plant had beautiful flowers which eventually grew into more beautiful small oval and white fruits that resembled chicken eggs.

British gardeners were the first to name them ‘egg-plants’ because of how attractive the plants were and the shape of their fruits. Eggplants were found in many exhibitions but the British were very hesitant to eat them because they were part of the nightshade family.

Many of them were afraid that the fruits were poisonous. However, they eventually grew to love them.

Eggplant Modernity

By this time, though polarizing, Eggplant has become ubiquitous. Generally, people either really love Eggplant or really don’t; there’s not much middle ground.

There’s so much that can be made from Eggplant; for example, plant-based bacon and jerky.

The increase in immigration in America also led to the increase in the inclusion of Eggplants in local cuisines. By 1904, Eggplants were part of several cookbooks, and locals began to invent many ways of eating them.

Today, you can find Eggplants in large percentages of menus in many regions around the world. Eggplants come in many different varieties and their seeds are accessible almost everywhere.

In the last ten years, tens of millions of tons of Eggplants have been harvested every year generating annual values of more than 10 billion dollars annually.

A person's arms carrying a boxful of eggplants.

(Image: Zen Chung53)

Additionally, since ketogenic diets have risen in popularity over the years, Eggplants have gained more traction because they are fantastic low-carb vegetables that are diverse enough in what they add to a wide range of culinary tasks. Not to mention, Eggplants are nutritional powerhouses that benefit the body which is why their popularity only continues to increase.

Eggplant Facts

Here are some Eggplant facts that you may not have known.

  • Eggplants help lower blood pressure and cholesterol because they are a great source of potassium and folic acid. These two nutrients enhance blood flow in the body.
  • Eggplants are related to tomatoes because they are both part of the nightshade family.5
  • They have the highest nicotine amount compared to other vegetables. Don’t worry, the nicotine found in Eggplant is too little to affect your health.
  • In the UK Eggplants are called aubergines and in other European countries, they are known as crazy apples.

Eggplant Plant Botany

The three main types of Eggplants are:

  • Solanum gilo
  • Solanum integrifolium
  • Solanum melongena

The most common Eggplant in our dishes today is the S. melongena. Most African countries plant the S. gilo which is an Ethiopian Eggplant cultivar.

You can also get the S. integrifolium, commonly known as ‘pumpkin on a stick’ from several special grocery stores in the US. Though you can eat the ‘pumpkin on a stick,’ it’s usually grown as ornaments because of its eye-catching flower arrangements.

In tropical regions where Eggplants are meant to grow, they are perennials, however, in temperate climates such as the US they are annuals because they can’t survive winters.1

Some Eggplants have spiny stems while others do not. They usually have 5 petals per flower with varying colors and shades from white to purple.

Eggplants have a nightshade look with the conical arrangement of petals and vibrant yellow stamens. They have largely self-pollinating flowers but sometimes they allow insects such as types of bees to help in cross-pollination.

Eggplants have lobed leaves (with clefts) which are arranged in an alternate pattern. This means that they are not in opposite pairs across the stem from one another, rather they are staggered up.

The leaves are either gray or green and have a coarse fuzz on the leaves. The plants usually get quite big and can grow from 1-8 feet tall.

The leaves and fruits are edible, however, Eggplant leaves are not especially flavorful. They are mostly a survival crop.

There’s another plant related to the Eggplant known as the Eggplant leaf which is grown as a staple vegetable in many regions in Africa.

How To Identify Eggplant Seeds, Flowers, Fruit (Solanum melongena)

If you want to know how to identify Eggplant plants or Solanum melongena, you should look at the flowers, stems, leaves, and especially the fruits.

Eggplant Plant identification chart showing images of Eggplant leaves, Eggplant flowers, Eggplant fruits, and Eggplant seeds along with a map of Southeast Asia its native habitat and a color-coded map of the United States illustrating optimal Eggplant growing zones.Here are some identifiable characteristics.

Eggplant Leaves

Eggplants have branching stems with long, flat, simple, coarsely lobed leaves. The leaves are usually green and form alternately on the branches.

Eggplant leaves measure 4 to 8 inches long and 2 to 4 inches wide.

Eggplant Flower

Eggplant flowers are very colorful. They are usually either white, pink, or purple flowers depending on the variety. They have five-lobed corollas and yellow stamens.

The flowers grow up to 1.2 to 2 inches in diameter and mature into fruits that are large, fleshy, and ovoid-shaped. These fruits can be as big as 15.7 inches.

The fruits have a glossy smooth skin with lots of seeds inside.

Eggplant Seeds

Eggplants produce numerous seeds that are soft, small, and edible along with the rest of the fruit. Their seeds look just like pepper seeds.

Eggplant Nutrition

Eggplant nutrition is a vast topic because aubergine provides fiber and a wide variety of other nutrients. Additionally, the plant provides a great low-calorie alternative and is featured in many weight-loss diets.

It’s important to note that Eggplant comes in many shapes, sizes, and colors and each variety provides its own set of nutrients. For example, the traditional purple Eggplant has several benefits.

One serving can give you 5% of your daily fiber, thiamine, B-6, manganese, and copper requirement.7 Purple Eggplant also contains beneficial minerals and vitamins.

One important nutrient found in Eggplants is antioxidants.3 This nutrient helps get rid of free radicals from the body.

These radicals can damage cells if left to accumulate in large amounts. Eggplant has several antioxidants including:

Despite the varying nutritional value among the wide range of Eggplant varieties, they share some common health benefits. They include:

Heart Health

Eggplants have antioxidants, vitamin B-6, vitamin C, Potassium, and fiber which help with heart health. The antioxidants found in Eggplants specifically help decrease inflammatory markers which often increase the risk of heart disease.

Additionally, these antioxidants reduce lower blood pressure and prevent arteries from stiffening. The vitamins are great for building a healthy heart.

As mentioned previously, Eggplants are low in calories therefore they are really great for someone who is watching their calories.

Blood Cholesterol

Eggplant has a sufficient amount of fiber which reduces blood cholesterol levels. A cup of cooked Eggplants weighing 100 grams contains about 2.5.g of fiber.

Moreover, chlorogenic acid,19 a nutrient found in Eggplant antioxidants, reduces the levels of bad cholesterol known as low-density lipoprotein. This nutrient also decreases the risk of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.


Eggplant also has polyphenols which help protect the body against cancer. Chlorogenic acid and other ingredients found in antioxidants also protect the cell from getting damaged by free radicals.

In the long term, this protection prevents the growth of tumors and the spread of cancer cells. The antioxidants prevent new blood vessels from forming in the tumor, block enzymes that help in the spread of cancer cells, and reduce inflammation caused by cancerous cells.

Cognitive Function

The skin of an Eggplant has ‘nasunin’ which helps protect the cell membranes in the brain from damage created by free radicals. Nasunin also aids in transporting nutrients to cells and moving waste from cells.

The other antioxidants help in preventing neuro-inflammation and facilitating the flow of blood to the brain. This process helps in preventing memory loss and other aspects of mental decline related to age.

Nasunin also reduces the fat from breaking down in the brain because this process causes cell damage.

Weight Management

The dietary fiber in Eggplant can help you manage your weight. Anyone on a high-fiber diet is less likely to overeat because fiber creates the sense of being full for longer.

Most importantly, this fiber is low in calories and is great for someone who is on a healthful low-calorie diet.

Keep in mind that Eggplant absorbs a lot of oil when fried. Therefore, if you are looking to lose weight, you should cook it in a different way such as air-frying or grilling.

Eye Health

The antioxidants zeaxanthin and lutein are great for eye health. Lutein, in particular, helps prevent macular degeneration which is age-related and leads to loss of vision in older people.


The following table indicates the nutrients found in one serving (100g) of cooked Eggplant compared to the amount of the same nutrients a person needs each day. Keep in mind that a person’s daily requirement varies depending on sex, age, weight, and other factors.

So the daily requirements part of the table is calculated according to the average adult.

NutrientsAmount in 1 serving of Cooked Eggplant (100g)Daily Requirements for Adults
Beta Carotene (mcg)21No data
Choline (mg)9400-500
Potassium (mg)1184,700
Phosphorus (mg)14.5700-1250
Magnesium (mg)10.5310-420
Fiber (g)2.422.4-33.6
Carbohydrates (g)8.29130
Energy (kilocalories)33.51,000-3,000

Ways To Eat Eggplant

Here are some ideas on how to eat Eggplants.

  • Pizza crust: Instead of using bread dough to make the crust of the pizza, consider using Eggplants. Simply put the cheese, sauce, and toppings on sliced Eggplant and you will get a low-calorie, gluten-free treat.
  • Side dish: Stir-fry or sauté Eggplant chunks in olive oil and use it as a side dish.
  • Maqluba: This is a rice dish that is ‘upside down’ combined with Eggplant and chicken.35
  • Baba ganoush: This is a dip common in the Middle East that combines grilled Eggplant, spices, garlic, lemon juice, and tahini.
  • Ratatouille: You can sauté Eggplants together with peppers, tomato, zucchini, garlic, and onion to create a stewed vegetable dish called ratatouille.
  • Vegetable lasagna: You can use the ratatouille dish made above in a lasagna instead of meat.
  • Pasta topping: There are several ways to make Eggplant pasta topping. You can cut the Eggplant into strips, bake or sauté them then add it to a pasta dish. You can also cut the Eggplant into thick slices, add parmesan cheese, and add it to your pasta dish.
  • Oven-baked Eggplant fries: You can slice the Eggplant into wedges or strips and bake them to make fries.
  • Burger garnish: You can cut thick slices of Eggplant, grill them, and serve them in a burger or alone.

Eggplant Preparation

When picking out Eggplants, choose the ones that are firm and a little heavy for their size.

They should also have an intense purple hue and smooth glossy skin. You must avoid Eggplants that appear discolored, bruised, or withered.

The best place to store Eggplants is inside a refrigerator until they’re ready for use. You should store them with their skin intact to make them stay fresher for longer.

Experts recommend using a stainless steel knife when cutting Eggplant rather than carbon steel. This is because the latter might cause a phytochemical reaction that can lead to the Eggplant turning black.

Close-up a dish called Ratatouille with eggplants and other types of vegetables.

(Image: marijana154)

Anyone who has dealt with Eggplants knows that they have a slightly bitter taste. The remedy for this is to sweat the Eggplant with salt to draw out moisture and the compounds that create the bitterness.3

This process will ultimately make the Eggplant’s flesh more tender. To sweat an Eggplant you should:

  1. Cut the Eggplants into halves, strips, cubes, or slices and put them on a board
  2. Sprinkle salt all over them
  3. Rinse the salt after 30 minutes and part them dry
  4. Steam, roast, bake, grill or cook them to your liking

If you are planning on frying Eggplant, you should know that the sweating process also reduces oil absorption. Therefore, you should sweat before frying.

Risks of Eating Eggplants

Despite their numerous benefits, consuming a lot of Eggplants may be risky. In fact, some people should not eat Eggplants at all because they might find that they are allergic to some of their nutrients.4

Eating Eggplants may also enhance some pre-existing conditions. The risks of eating Eggplant include but are not limited to:

  • Iron and Nasunin Absorption

Nasunin, the phytochemical in Eggplant, has its own benefits. However, in some cases, this nutrient combines with iron and eliminates it from cells.

This process called Iron Chelation is only useful if you have too much iron in your body.

However, if you have low iron levels, you should not eat large quantities of foods that contain nasunin such as Eggplants. Nasunin and iron absorption can be really tricky therefore you should contact your doctor before indulging in Eggplants.

  • Solanine Poisoning

If you eat Eggplants, there is a very low chance that you might get solanine poisoning.15

As part of the nightshade family, Eggplants contain alkaloids such as solanine which is toxic. This chemical is produced by the plants when they are still growing.

Consuming solanine, mostly found in the tubers and leaves of these plants, can cause symptoms such as vomiting, nausea, burning in the throat, and heart arrhythmias. In some cases, the reaction can turn fatal.

Eggplants contain low-to-moderate solanine amounts. Therefore, it’s unlikely that you’ll have significant effects.

Fatal amounts of solanine are mostly found in potatoes that have turned green. This could really kill you.

  • Eggplant Allergy

In rare cases, some compounds in Eggplants can trigger allergic reactions. In most cases, people experience Eggplant allergy because of the lipid transfer protein in the plant.

Symptoms of the allergic reaction can include difficulty in breathing, swelling, and hives. If you are experiencing these symptoms, you should seek urgent medical help because you may have anaphylaxis which is a life-threatening allergic reaction.

  • Kidney Stones and Oxalates

Eggplants contain oxalates (though very few) which can contribute to the formation of kidney stones.33 This case only occurs in people prone to absorbing oxalates.

If the kidney stones are left untreated they may lead to kidney death or acute kidney injury. If you are prone to kidney stones, then you should not eat or limit food containing oxalates such as Eggplant.

For those who enjoy this delicious veggie, growing an Eggplant plant in your backyard garden or indoor containers can be very rewarding, and tasty!

Frequently Asked Questions About Eggplant Plant

Are Eggplants Perennial?

The fact of the matter is that Eggplants are indeed perennials. However, they are usually grown as annuals.

What Should You Consider About How To Plant Eggplant?

Plant the seedlings outside after the last frost date placing them in the brightest part of your garden.

What Is the Best Season When To Plant Eggplant Plant for the Best Yield?

The best time to plant Eggplant is during spring after the last frost date.

What Are the Growing Zones for Eggplant Plant? Where To Grow Them in the U.S.?

Eggplants grow in warm areas in zones 8 -15.

What Are the Watering Needs of Eggplants?

Eggplants need to receive at least one inch of rain each week. Or you can water them each week.

What Is the Best Eggplant Spacing When Planting? How Far Apart To Plant Eggplant Plant?

Eggplants should be planted 18 inches apart in rows that are 31 to 37 inches apart.

How Much Sunlight Does Eggplant Plant Need Each Day?

Eggplants need 6 to 8 hours of sunlight each day.

What Does a Full Grown Eggplant Plant Look Like?

This is a tall bushy foliage laden with Eggplant fruits.

How Tall Do Eggplants Grow?

Eggplants grow 2 to 4 feet tall.

What To Do With Eggplant Sprout and Eggplant Trellis?

Immediately after transplanting the seedlings, mount four-inch stalks for the trellis to climb.

What Type of Fertilizer Should Be Used on Eggplant Gardening?

Test the soil first and use fertilizer that has potassium and phosphorus depending on soil composition.

What Are the Planting Zones for Eggplant?

Eggplants are grown in zone 5 to 12.

Read More About Eggplant Plant


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33University of Virginia. (2017, February). Foods & Beverages High in Oxalates. University of Virginia School of Medicine. Retrieved October 10, 2023, from <>

34Wikipedia. (2023, June 22). Melon. Wikipedia. Retrieved October 10, 2023, from <>

35Wikipedia. (2023, August 5). Maqluba. Wikipedia. Retrieved October 10, 2023, from <>

36Wikipedia. (2023, September 27). Eggplant. Wikipedia. Retrieved October 10, 2023, from <>

37Eggplant Seeds Photo by Dieter Karner / Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) . Cropped, Resized and Changed Format. From Flickr <>

38Aubergine seedlings (Solanum melongena), Trimingham, Norfolk Photo by Kolforn / Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0). Cropped, Resized and Changed Format. From Wikimedia Commons <,_Trimingham,_Norfolk.JPG>

39Photo by byrev. Pixabay. Retrieved from <>

40Eggplants in pots Photo by Raleigh City Farm / Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) . Cropped, Resized and Changed Format. From Flickr <>

41Photo by Hans. Pixabay. Retrieved from <>

42Photo by Srattigan. Pixabay. Retrieved from <>

43Photo by Vitalina. Pexels. Retrieved from <>

44Eggplant and parsley from vendors at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farmers Market Photo by U.S. Department of Agriculture / Public Domain. Cropped, Resized and Changed Format. From Flickr <>

45Phytophthora blight (Phytophthora capsici) Photo by David B. Langston / Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0). Cropped, Resized and Changed Format. From Forestry Images <>

46Cercospora leaf spot eggplant Photo by Scot Nelson / CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain Dedication. Cropped, Resized and Changed Format. From Flickr <>

47Colorado Potato Beetle larvae on eggplant leaves. Photo by Dwight Sipler / Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) . Cropped, Resized and Changed Format. From Flickr <>

48Eggplant: Flea beetle feeding injury to leaf Photo by Scot Nelson / CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain Dedication. Cropped, Resized and Changed Format. From Flickr <>

49Garden View Café with ‘Calliope’ Eggplant and ‘Redskin’ Sweet Pepper display Photo by K M / Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) . Cropped, Resized and Changed Format. From Flickr <>

50Photo by jlenahan. Pixabay. Retrieved from <>

51Photo by furbymama. Pixabay. Retrieved from <>

52Photo by Kathas_Fotos. Pixabay. Retrieved from <>

53Photo by Zen Chung. Pexels. Retrieved from <>

54Photo by marijana1. Pixabay. Retrieved from <>

55Eggplant Plant Farming Photo by rocknevis. (2016, August 24) / Pixabay Content License. Cropped and added text, shape, and background elements. Pixabay. Retrieved February 26, 2024, from <>