How to Grow Eggplant

Botanical Name: Solanum Melongena

Eggplant originates from India. It is a nightshade plant with glossy, purple-skinned fruits that come in various shapes and sizes. Eggplants have a creamy texture and are used in diverse culinary dishes.

Do you want to know how to grow eggplant? If so, let’s dive in.

  • How to Grow Eggplant
  • How to Grow Eggplant
Planting Guide Image

Eggplant Planting Guide


Sow direct or raise seedlings

Sowing Depth

5 – 8 mm




7 – 14  days &  24 – 32 °C

Hardiness / Life Cycle

Frost tender Perennial

Row Spacing

80 – 90 cm

Plant Spacing

50 – 70 cm


Full Sun

Days Until Maturity

80 – 95 days


Cool dry spot, not refrigerator. Blanch before freezing. Pickled.

When to Plant Eggplant in Australia

What growing
region am I in?
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Cool Plantable in Sep Plantable in Oct Plantable in Nov
Temperate Plantable in Aug Plantable in Sep Plantable in Oct Plantable in Nov Plantable in Dec
Sub-Tropical Plantable in Jan Plantable in Feb Plantable in Mar Plantable in Aug Plantable in Sep Plantable in Oct Plantable in Nov Plantable in Dec
Tropical Plantable in Jan Plantable in Feb Plantable in Mar Plantable in Apr Plantable in May Plantable in Jun Plantable in Jul Plantable in Aug Plantable in Sep Plantable in Oct Plantable in Nov Plantable in Dec
Arid Plantable in Jan Plantable in Aug Plantable in Sep Plantable in Oct Plantable in Nov Plantable in Dec
Cool Temperate Sub-Tropical Tropical Arid
Jan Plantable in Jan Plantable in Jan Plantable in Jan
Feb Plantable in Feb Plantable in Feb
Mar Plantable in Mar Plantable in Mar
Apr Plantable in Apr
May Plantable in May
Jun Plantable in Jun
Jul Plantable in Jul
Aug Plantable in Aug Plantable in Aug Plantable in Aug Plantable in Aug
Sep Plantable in Sep Plantable in Sep Plantable in Sep Plantable in Sep Plantable in Sep
Oct Plantable in Oct Plantable in Oct Plantable in Oct Plantable in Oct Plantable in Oct
Nov Plantable in Nov Plantable in Nov Plantable in Nov Plantable in Nov Plantable in Nov
Dec Plantable in Dec Plantable in Dec Plantable in Dec Plantable in Dec
What growing
region am I in?

How to Grow Eggplant

Eggplants, also known as aubergines, are a versatile and nutritious vegetable that can be easily grown in Australian gardens. With their glossy purple skin and deliciously creamy flesh, eggplants add a unique flavour and texture to a variety of dishes. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the process of growing eggplants, from seedlings to harvest. Whether you have a spacious garden or limited space in pots, you can enjoy the satisfaction of growing your own eggplants and elevate your culinary creations. Let’s dive into the world of eggplant cultivation!

When to Plant Eggplant in Australia

The timing of planting eggplants in Australia varies depending on the specific region and climate. Here are some general guidelines:

  • Tropical and Subtropical Regions: In these regions, eggplants can be planted throughout the year, as long as the temperature remains consistently warm. However, it’s best to avoid planting during the hottest months of summer.
  • Temperate Regions: In temperate regions, it’s recommended to plant eggplants in spring, after the last frost date has passed. This is usually from September to November.
  • Cool and Alpine Regions: In cooler areas, it’s best to start eggplants indoors or in a greenhouse during late winter or early spring. Transplant the seedlings outdoors once the risk of frost has passed, typically in September or October.


By planting eggplants at the appropriate time, you’ll provide them with optimal growing conditions and increase their chances of thriving.

How Long Does Eggplant Take to Grow

The time it takes for eggplants to grow and be ready for harvest can vary depending on the specific variety, growing conditions, and climate. On average, it takes approximately 70 to 85 days from the time of transplanting to harvest. However, this can vary from as little as 60 days for some early-maturing varieties to as long as 100 days for larger, late-maturing varieties.

It’s important to note that eggplants are warm-season vegetables and require a longer growing season with temperatures above 21°C (70°F) for optimal growth. In cooler climates or regions with shorter growing seasons, it may be necessary to start eggplant seeds indoors several weeks before the last expected frost date to give the plants a head start.

Additionally, keep in mind that the growth rate of eggplants can also be influenced by factors such as soil fertility, sunlight exposure, watering practices, and overall plant health. Providing adequate care, including regular watering, appropriate fertilisation, and monitoring for pests and diseases, will help promote healthy growth and ensure a successful eggplant harvest.

Eggplant Growing Stages

Understanding the different stages of eggplant growth helps you monitor the progress of your plants and provide them with the care they need. Here are the key stages:

  1. Germination: This stage occurs when the seed begins to sprout and develop into a seedling. It typically takes around 7 to 14 days, depending on the variety and growing conditions.
  2. Seedling Growth: During this stage, the seedling develops its first true leaves and starts to establish its root system. Ensure the seedlings receive adequate sunlight and water to promote healthy growth.
  3. Vegetative Growth: The plant enters the vegetative growth stage when it starts producing more leaves, branches, and a sturdy stem. It focuses on building its foliage and root system to support future fruit production.
  4. Flowering: As the plant matures, it begins to produce flowers. The flowers are usually a vibrant purple or white colour, depending on the variety. These flowers will eventually develop into fruit.
  5. Fruit Development: After successful pollination, the flowers transform into eggplant fruit. The fruits will gradually increase in size and change colour, depending on the specific variety.
  6. Harvesting: Harvesting can begin when the eggplants reach the desired size and colour. Different varieties have varying maturity times. Generally, it takes about 70 to 90 days from planting to harvest, but refer to the specific variety’s information for accurate timing.

How to Grow Eggplant in Pots

Growing eggplant in pots is a great way to enjoy this versatile vegetable even if you have limited space. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to grow eggplant in pots:

  1. Choose a suitable pot: Select a large container with a minimum size of 30 cm (12 inches) in diameter and depth. Make sure the pot has drainage holes at the bottom to prevent waterlogging.
  2. Select the right variety: Look for compact or dwarf eggplant varieties that are well-suited for container gardening. These varieties typically have shorter vines and are more manageable in pots.
  3. Prepare the potting mix: Use a well-draining potting mix specifically formulated for vegetables. Alternatively, you can create your own mix by combining equal parts of compost, garden soil, and perlite or vermiculite.
  4. Start from seedlings or seeds: You can either start with young eggplant seedlings purchased from a nursery or sow seeds directly into the pot. If starting from seeds, follow the recommended planting depth and spacing mentioned on the seed packet.
  5. Plant the eggplants: If using seedlings, dig a hole in the potting mix and carefully place the seedling, making sure to cover the root ball with soil. If starting from seeds, sow them at the appropriate depth and spacing and cover them with a thin layer of soil.
  6. Provide support: Some eggplant varieties may benefit from staking or trellising. Install a stake or trellis system in the pot at the time of planting, ensuring it’s placed firmly to support the growing plant.
  7. Place the pot in a sunny spot: Eggplants thrive in full sun, so choose a location for your pot where the plant can receive at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight per day.
  8. Water regularly: Keep the potting mix evenly moist, but avoid overwatering or letting the soil dry out completely. Check the moisture level by inserting your finger about an inch into the soil. If it feels dry, water the plant thoroughly, ensuring the water reaches the root zone.
  9. Fertilise appropriately: Eggplants are heavy feeders and benefit from regular feeding. Apply a balanced vegetable fertiliser according to the manufacturer’s instructions, usually every two to three weeks. Alternatively, you can use organic fertilisers such as compost or fish emulsion.
  10. Prune and manage the plant: Regularly pinch off the tips of the eggplant branches to encourage bushier growth. Remove any yellowing or diseased leaves to maintain plant health.
  11. Monitor pests and diseases: Keep an eye out for common eggplant pests, such as aphids, flea beetles, and spider mites. Take appropriate measures to control pests, such as using insecticidal soap or organic insecticides. Also, watch for signs of diseases like powdery mildew or bacterial wilt and take necessary actions to prevent their spread.
  12. Harvest the eggplants: Depending on the variety, eggplants are typically ready for harvest when they reach a glossy, firm texture and have reached their mature size. Use a sharp knife or pruning shears to cut the eggplants from the plant, leaving a short stem attached.


By following these steps and providing proper care, you can successfully grow eggplants in pots and enjoy a fresh harvest of this delicious vegetable right at your doorstep.

Eggplant Diseases

Eggplants are susceptible to various diseases that can impact their growth and overall health. Here are some common eggplant diseases to be aware of:

1. Verticillium Wilt: This fungal disease causes wilting of the plant, yellowing leaves, and eventual death. It is caused by the Verticillium dahliae fungus, which infects the plant’s vascular system. Crop rotation, selecting resistant varieties, and maintaining proper soil moisture levels can help prevent this disease.

2. Fusarium Wilt: Another fungal disease caused by the Fusarium oxysporum fungus. It leads to wilting, yellowing, and stunting of the plant. There are different strains of the fungus that attack specific plant families, including eggplants. Crop rotation and using disease-resistant varieties are effective control measures.

3. Phytophthora Blight: This disease, caused by the Phytophthora fungus, affects the fruit and leaves of the plant. It causes water-soaked lesions, rotting, and overall decline. Good sanitation practices, proper drainage, and avoiding overwatering can help prevent the spread of Phytophthora blight.

4. Bacterial Wilt: A bacterial disease caused by the Ralstonia solanacearum bacterium. It leads to wilting, yellowing, and eventual plant death. Avoiding overwatering, removing infected plants, and practising good sanitation are important control measures for bacterial wilt.

5. Powdery Mildew: Powdery mildew is a fungal disease characterised by a white, powdery growth on the leaves and stems of the plant. It can reduce photosynthesis and weaken the plant. Providing good air circulation, avoiding overhead watering, and applying fungicides can help control powdery mildew.

6. Anthracnose: Anthracnose is a fungal disease that causes dark, sunken lesions on the fruit and leaves. It can lead to fruit rot and overall plant decline. Proper sanitation, removing infected plant material, and applying fungicides can help manage anthracnose.

It is important to monitor your eggplant plants regularly, promptly identify any signs of disease, and take appropriate measures to manage and control the spread. Using disease-resistant varieties, practising crop rotation, maintaining good sanitation practices, and providing optimal growing conditions can go a long way in preventing and managing eggplant diseases.


How to Grow Eggplant Vertically

Growing eggplants vertically is an excellent space-saving technique and can be done using trellises or stakes. Follow these steps to grow eggplants vertically:

  1. Trellis or Stake Selection: Choose a sturdy trellis or stake system that can support the weight of the growing eggplant plants. Ensure the trellis or stakes are tall enough to accommodate the height of the eggplants.
  2. Planting: Plant the eggplant seedlings at the base of the trellis or stake, spacing them according to the recommended spacing for the chosen eggplant variety.
  3. Training the Vines: As the eggplant plants grow, gently guide the main stem and branches up the trellis or stake. Use soft ties or twine to loosely secure the plants to the support structure. This helps the vines grow vertically and distributes the weight of the fruits.
  4. Watering and Care: Water the plants thoroughly after planting and maintain consistent soil moisture throughout the growing season. Mulching around the base of the plants helps retain moisture and suppress weed growth.
  5. Fertilisation: Apply a balanced vegetable fertiliser according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Feed the plants regularly to provide them with the necessary nutrients for healthy growth and fruit production.
  6. Supporting the Fruits: As the eggplants develop, support the weight of the fruits by using fabric slings or netting. This prevents the fruits from becoming too heavy and breaking off the plant.
  7. Pest and Disease Management: Monitor the eggplant plants for pests and diseases, and take appropriate measures to manage them. Regularly inspect the plants for any signs of damage or disease, and promptly address any issues.
  8. Harvesting: Harvest the eggplants when they have reached their desired size and colour. Use a sharp knife or shears to cut the fruit from the plant, leaving a small stem attached.

How to Grow Eggplant From Seeds

Growing eggplants from seeds allows you to select from a wide variety of cultivars and have control over the entire growing process. Here’s how to grow eggplants from seeds:

  1. Seed Selection: Choose high-quality eggplant seeds from a reputable source. Consider factors such as flavour, size, and disease resistance when selecting the varieties.
  2. Starting Indoors: Start the seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the last expected frost date. Fill seedling trays or small pots with seed-starting mix and plant the seeds about 1 cm (0.4 inches) deep.
  3. Temperature and Moisture: Place the seed trays or pots in a warm location, maintaining a temperature of around 24-30°C (75-86°F). Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged.
  4. Transplanting: Once the seedlings have developed a few true leaves and the risk of frost has passed, transplant them into larger pots or directly into the garden. Space the seedlings about 60-90 cm (24-36 inches) apart.
  5. Planting Depth and Care: Plant the seedlings at the same depth as they were growing in the seedling trays. Ensure they are adequately watered and receive sufficient sunlight.
  6. Support and Maintenance: Provide support such as stakes or trellises for vining varieties. Water the plants regularly and feed them with a balanced vegetable fertiliser as they grow.
  7. Pest and Disease Management: Monitor the eggplant plants for pests and diseases, and take appropriate measures to manage them. Regularly inspect the plants for any signs of damage or disease.


Growing eggplants in Australia is a rewarding experience that allows you to enjoy the delicious flavours and versatility of homegrown produce. By following the guidelines provided in this comprehensive guide, you’ll be on your way to cultivating healthy eggplant plants and harvesting a bountiful supply of this versatile vegetable.

Whether you choose to grow eggplants from seedlings or seeds, in pots or vertically, with proper care and attention, you can enjoy a successful eggplant harvest. Get started on your eggplant-growing journey and add a touch of culinary delight to your garden and meals. Happy gardening!