growth-stages-eggplants

What Are the Growth Stages of Eggplants?

Eggplant (Solanum melongena) is a hardy, perennial plant in U.S. Department of Agriculture zones 9 to 12, but most people in other parts of the country grow it as an annual. No matter where you live, eggplant growth stages are the same.

What Are the Stages of Eggplant Growth?

The following list describes each stage of eggplant growth. The more you know about how your eggplant grows, the more success you’ll have growing this versatile plant.

  • Seeds – After sowing the seeds in warm soil, they take from one to two weeks to sprout.
  • Seedlings – Once the seeds germinate, seedlings grow for six to 10 weeks before they’re ready to transplant. You can tell that seedlings are strong enough to transplant when they develop from four to six leaves. Cold temperatures are deadly for seedlings, so it should be at least 65°F (18° C) before transplanting them to the garden.
  • Adult Plants – It takes eggplant 70 to 120 days to reach maturity, depending on the variety. When mature, they have a main stem and several stems that branch out. The stems grow large, leathery leaves that are oval shaped. Some varieties of eggplant leaves can be spiny or hairy. Eggplants grow from 2 to 4 feet. Some mature eggplants need to be staked, so the fruit doesn’t pull them down into the soil.
  • Flowers – Once the eggplant reaches the mature stage, purple, star-shaped flowers appear. These flowers are self-pollinating with both the male and female organs in each flower. The fruit develops from the female part of the flower.
  • Fruit – Depending on the eggplant variety, the fruit can be purple, white or striped. Most eggplants produce purple fruit that grows from 7 to 10 inches when mature. Different eggplant cultivars bear fruit in 50 to 80 days.
  • Harvest – Once the fruit develops on your eggplants, pick them while they’re still young for the best flavor. You can tell the eggplant fruit is ripe when it has glossy skin and a firm texture. If you’re planning on harvesting the seeds for planting in the future, wait until the eggplant fruit is large with a dull skin, and feels soft to the touch.

Best Conditions for Eggplant Growth Stages

No matter what the growth stage of your eggplants, they always require warm soil, full sun and fertile soil for success. They also need plenty of water because eggplant roots grow 2 feet into the ground. Once the fruit forms, provide your plants with at least 1 inch of water every week. Organic fertilizer, such as manure or mulch also gives your eggplants the nutrients they need for growing from seed to mature plants.

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