Does Eggplant Grow on a Bush or a Vine?

When eggplants have full sun and well-drained soil, they can grow into tall, widespread, bushy plants. Heavy fruit can pull the stems down into the soil, which makes them look like vines growing along the ground. Keeping your eggplant fruit off the ground prevents damage to the stems and fruit, and optimizes healthy, bushy foliage.


Best Conditions for Eggplant Bush

When you plant your garden, choose an area that gets direct sunlight at least six hours each day. Eggplants love sunlight and warm weather up to 85°F (29°C). Plant your eggplant seedlings in well-drained soil, and water them thoroughly every week. As your eggplants grow, you should support them, so they don’t droop down into the soil.

Support Methods

Using bamboo, wooden or PVC stakes is effective if you only have a few eggplant bushes. If you have rows of eggplants, you can try the following methods for helping your plants stay upright:

  • Three-pronged cone cages
  • Foldable cages
  • Ladder cages
  • A-frame cages
  • Trellises
  • Stake and weave supports

Pruning Eggplant Bushes

As your eggplant bush grows thick, large foliage, it’s beneficial to prune the leaves and stems. Pruning boosts fruit production by increasing the air circulation around the plant. It also prevents fungus and bacteria growth from damp, shaded areas on the foliage.

Another advantage of pruning is that it makes it easier for you to see any bugs on the eggplant leaves. When you trim off suckers and excess foliage, the plant uses more energy for fruit development, instead of supporting prolific foliage. Since pruning thins the leaves and exposes more branches, some people mistake them for vines.

Increase Fruit on Eggplant Bushes

When your eggplant fruits are still young, it’s time to pick them, rather than waiting until they reach full size. Harvesting your eggplants regularly, actually encourages more fruit and plant growth. By picking your eggplants often, you extend your growing season with plenty of new, healthy fruit.

You can tell if your eggplants are ripe by checking them for glossy skin that is firm to the touch. If your eggplants have dull, soft skin, or they’re starting to turn yellow, then they’re overripe. If you allow them to reach the overripe stage, the flesh will taste bitter.