Why Is My Eggplant Turning Green

The popular eggplant (Solanum melongena) cultivar, Black Beauty, produces the traditional glossy, purple fruit typical of most eggplants, but several cultivars actually produce green fruit. Many times, when you buy eggplant seedlings from a garden center, they’re mislabeled, and you don’t find out until the plant bears fruit.


Green Eggplant Varieties

If you planted eggplant that’s supposed to bear purple fruit, its color is purple from the start, unlike tomatoes, that are green, and then turn red as they ripen. If your eggplants are green, even when first bearing fruit, then you probably planted a green cultivar without knowing it. The following eggplant varieties produce green fruit, and could be what’s growing in your garden:

  • Kermit – This is a Thai specialty eggplant with small, round, deep green fruit.
  • Green Goddess – The ripe fruit on this eggplant is light green and about 8-inches long when ripe.
  • Green Tiger – Also known as Lao Green Stripe, this eggplant produces round, green, striped eggplants that grow from 2 to 4 inches in diameter.
  • Green Apple – This green eggplant is a rounded-oval shape with pale, lime green coloring. It has a similar appearance to a Granny Smith apple.

Overripe Eggplants Change Color

Another reason your eggplants can turn green is if they’re left on the vine too long. When they become mature, the eggplants change from deep purple to bronze colored. While this is happening, they can go through a stage when they’re a dull, olive green color. If your fruit grows to full maturity, it becomes bitter tasting with a spongy texture. For the most flavorful eggplants, pick them while they’re still young with a shiny, firm skin.

Is It Safe to Eat Green Eggplant?

Once you determine why your eggplants are green, you can decide if you want to eat them. If you find that you mistakenly planted a green eggplant cultivar, you can definitely eat the fruit. If you pick them while they’re still young, and they have firm, glossy skin, then they will be tender and flavorful.

If you discover that the eggplants are green because they stayed on the vine too long, then the flesh will be bitter with large seeds. If this is the case, you might consider leaving the overripe eggplants on the vine until the skin turns soft, scoop out the seeds, and save them for planting next season.

Text: Garden.eco