Solanum melongema esculentum
|Related to Tomatoes and Peppers, Eggplants need long hot summers to produce their glossy egg-shaped fruit. Essential in Moussaka, Ratatouille, and Eggplant Parmesan, varieties produce purple, white, yellow, and green fruits. They range from football-sized to Walnut-sized, baby Eggplants. Plant seedlings outside after nights stay above 55º F and days reach 70º F. In cool or short summer areas, use early maturing varieties such as 'Dusky' and 'Early Bird'. Thin large Eggplants to 1 fruit per branch. Cut fruit of most varieties off main stems when 1/3 to 2/3 full size and shiny. Dull fruits are overripe. Harvest often to ensure continued production. To avoid diseases such as verticillium, do not plant where Tomatoes, Potatoes, or Eggplants have grown for the past 2 to 3 years.
Eggplant is actually a short-lived semi-tropical perennial, though normally it is grown as an annual. Small bushes grow 24 inches tall and wide with lavender flowers.
Attributes - Solanum melongema esculentum
Plant Type: Annual
Bloom Season: Early Summer through Mid Summer
Flower Color: Purple
Height: 2 ft. to 4 ft.
Width: 2 ft. 6 in.
Sunlight: Full Sun
Notes: Thrives in Hot Climates. Edible. Susceptible to Aphids, Beetles, Whiteflies.
Solanum jasminoides 'Variegata', Solanum melongema 'Purple Blush', Solanum melongema esculentum 'Blackbell', Solanum melongema esculentum 'Ichiban', Solanum tuberosum 'Norgold Russet', Solanum tuberosum 'Red Lasoda'