best-eggplant-grow

The Best Eggplant Varieties to Grow

Eggplant (Solanum melongena) is a warm weather perennial that grows as an annual in the U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 4 through 10. The many colors, sizes and shapes of eggplant varieties make it hard to decide which one is the best to grow. Before choosing an eggplant variety, analyze your growing conditions and eggplant shapes and sizes.

Best Growing Conditions

If you’re undecided about which eggplant variety you should grow in your garden, consider the following conditions before choosing your eggplant seeds or seedlings:

  • Garden area with full sun for six hours each day
  • Temperature range of 70°F (21°C) to 85°F (29°C)
  • Well drained soil with a pH of 6.2 to 6.8
  • Enough space to plant seedlings 36 inches apart and rows 2 feet apart

Asian Variety Eggplants

Japanese and Chinese eggplants are long and slender with thin skin and a mild flavor. The following Asian eggplant varieties are favorites for good taste and texture.

Ichiban

This Japanese eggplant variety is the most popular. It takes from 58 to 70 days to reach maturity. The plant produces long, slender fruit, reaching up to 10 inches.

Slim Jim

This Asian variety takes about 70 days to mature. The young eggplants are lavender, and turn purple as they grow. The fruit’s full size is about 5 inches. This eggplant variety is a good choice for containers.

Traditional Oval Eggplants

Most people think of eggplants as large, oval fruits with a deep purple color. The following eggplant varieties produce this traditional shaped eggplant.

Black Beauty

Taking up to 85 days to mature, Black Beauty is the most popular eggplant variety for gardeners. The plant produces large, purple, oval fruit. The fruit yield is four to six per plant, and continues producing all season. This eggplant variety tastes sweet and tender for all types of recipes.

Rosa Bianca

This Italian eggplant variety takes from 70 to 90 days to reach maturity. It produces large, meaty fruit with lavender or ivory colored skin.

White Eggplants

Most white eggplant cultivars are smaller than purple eggplants. They can be bell-shaped or round with pure white or ivory-colored skin and cream flesh.

Easter Egg

This white eggplant takes up to 65 days to mature. It produces small, white oval fruit. Young fruit is pure white and yellows as it matures. For the best flavor, pick the fruit when it’s white.

Casper

This popular variety matures in 70 days. The fruit features ivory skin, and grows to about 6-inches long. It has a mild flavor that tastes similar to mushroom.