Trimming Eggplant for More Fruit Production

If you want your eggplants (Solanum melongena) to bear fruit throughout the growing season, consider trimming your plants regularly. Just like tomatoes, which belong to the same family, suckers grow in the crook of two stems. These need trimming, along with other parts of the eggplant.


Why You Should Trim Eggplants

Trimming eggplants isn’t necessary for plant growth, but it has many health benefits for your plants that help them produce more fruit and stay strong. It’s also a good idea to trim eggplants that grow in containers because of the formation of heavy foliage.

  • Prevents disease by allowing the foliage more sun exposure, which dries the leaves faster after watering
  • Exposes insects, making them easier to see and eliminate
  • Provides more nutrients to the main stem and branches
  • Encourages more fruit development
  • Allows air to circulate around the plant base and foliage

How to Trim Eggplant

If you decide you want to trim your eggplant, it’s a simple procedure, but requires you to find the right stems to trim. Before beginning, disinfect your garden shears to prevent the spread of disease and pests left on them from previous use.

  • Cut all the branches in the center of the eggplant, leaving three to four main stalks.
  • Leave only 10 flowers on each plant, trimming off the extra ones, providing more nutrients to the remaining flowers.
  • Save the healthiest blossom in a cluster of three or four blossoms, and remove the others.
  • Trim off any eggplant leaves touching the ground to prevent fungus, bacteria and pests from reaching the foliage.

While you’re trimming the eggplant, if you notice damage to any of the main stems, you can allow a sucker to grow in its place. The sucker will continue to grow, and will produce blossoms that bear fruit.

After trimming your eggplants, you’ll notice that they produce significantly more fruit up to two weeks before plants that weren’t pruned. If you continue to remove the suckers and yellow leaves from your eggplants, you’ll enjoy fruit until the end of the growing season.