Scientifically called Solanum Melongena, an Eggplant is a hardy, perennial crop in U.S Department of Agriculture zones 9 to 12. It comes from the family of Solanaceae, now grown worldwide, especially for its edible fruits.
Although most gardeners in some parts of the world grow it as an annual plant, it still has a similar growth stage.
Every plant has its growing stages, including the Eggplant, and it is important that as a gardener, you get to be familiar with the different Eggplant growing stages, especially if you’re new in the gardening business.
The growth stages of eggplant include seed, germination, seedling, adult plants, flowers, fruit, and harvesting.
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Different Eggplant Growing Stages
Irrespective of your country or any area, Eggplant growing stages are the same. The more knowledge you get about its growing stages, the more fruitfulness you derive from this edible plant.
However, please do not misunderstand us; the Eggplant is by no means difficult to grow, for, with the right steps and knowledge, it is as easy as a piece of cake. Let’s get on with the various growing stages then.
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Stage 1: Seeds Stage
The first stage of an Eggplant is the Seed Stage, as the Eggplant is just in form of a seed. Its seed is small, circular, smooth in texture, and white-brown color.
Here, you start by sowing the seeds on warm soil. After that, you wait for several days, as it would take about one to two weeks for the seeds to sprout.
Meanwhile, an eggplant probably has many seeds in them (it could be 40 or more per fruit). And the perfect way to select the best and high-quality seeds for planting is by making the fruit ripen and choosing a new set of seeds from a viable fruit.
Ensure it appears in its mature look, as that makes it change its color violet and produce the best seeds.
Stage 2: Germination
After planting the Eggplant seeds in the soil, the next thing is to wait for the plant to see what they will result in.
After some days, the seeds will start to sprout and subsequently begin to grow leaves. However, endeavor you nurture and tend to those sprouts immediately you discover them coming up to produce and grow well.
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Stage 3: Seedling Stage
The third stage of Eggplant growth is the form it takes after the seeds have germinated. In other words, it will germinate and grow into what is known to be seedlings. This phase is very significant, particularly if you intend to transplant your Eggplant.
During this period, the seedlings the Eggplant produces are still soft and tender. So you will need to mind and nurture them to make them healthy growth before transplanting them. It will take the seedling between six to ten weeks to grow before you can now transplant them.
One certain way to know if your seedlings are ready for transplanting is if you discover that they’ve started producing about four to six leaves.
Also, note that the risk of frost or cold weather must have passed before transplanting because Eggplants don’t thrive under cold weather conditions.
Stage 4: Adult Plant
The next growth stage features the mature stage of the Eggplant, otherwise known as the Adult Plant eggplant. At this stage, the Eggplant will begin to grow more green leaves and develop stronger stems and branches.
Ensure it keeps on getting sufficient water, sunlight and fertilizer, as it will cause the best Eggplant to appear.
As a gardener, you should do what you ought to do to ensure it stays healthier, as this is the stage it needs more care than it gets at any point of its growth cycle. It will require more effort and energy to release.
Application of adequate fertilizer and regular watering is required to produce a healthier and stronger Eggplant.
At this stage, your effort will determine if the plants will bear more flowers and more fruits to produce or not. This is when you need to do this so that you won’t have to worry again after that.
Stage 5: Flowering Stage
As the plants grow older, they will start producing flowers. It is more of a show-off period because the plants will start to blossom and bud.
Meanwhile, the flowers it produces are self-pollinating, with both the male and female organs present in each flower.
During this stage, we advise you to be mindful of pests and diseases that are a potential threat to the health of your Eggplant.
Stage 6: Fruit Stage
During this stage, the Eggplant will start producing fruits. These fruits could be white, purple or striped color depending on the variety of the Eggplant. There’s also a need to be mindful of the fruits to prevent and safeguard them from pests.
Stage 7: Harvesting
The harvesting phase is the final growing stage of the Eggplant. Here, the fruit begins to develop. Meanwhile, you can harvest the fruits while they are young, a few days from maturity, as that is when you will get them in their best flavor.
If you want to find out if they are ripe, you will notice the glossy skin and the firm texture. If you want to harvest the seeds for planting, you have to be patient until when the fruits have grown larger enough with their dull skin and when they feel softer to the touch.