eggplant from seed

ianna(Z5b)March 27, 2009

Hi All,

I'm growing asian eggplants from seeds and it's been slow growing so far.. Slow in germinating and once germinated, they seem to be slow in producing their first true leaves. Looks rather stuck at the moment.. And it's been a nearly a month now...

Can you give me tips? Is this normal?


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grandad_2003(9A/sunset 28)

Ianna, my experience with eggplant is that it does best when the temperature is warmer and when it gets lots of light. If one of the above is not the case it typically does as you have noted in your post. I've not had much luck with early plantings of eggplant plants. So I try to time the seed starting so that morning low temperatures are no lower than 60 degrees when the plants are ready to be set out. In my area this is usually the second half of April.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 3:19PM
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It's grown under grow lights but I think you've given me a clue of what's wrong. Heat. I don't apply bottom heat.

I live in Ontario Canada. Over here I won't be able to set anything out until late May or early June.


    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 5:01PM
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In my area (border of zones 7 & 8) Now day temperatures are in 60s and 70s(65F-75F) and night at 40's and 50s 45F-55F).

Is it possible just grow them outside now?
I want o plant them in trays and put them in sunny spots in the garden. How long will it take to germinate?
The seed package that I bough from Asian market has no English information writen on it . It is either in chines or Korean, whic I cannot even tell the difference.
Most eggplant seeds that I have seen in the past were black but the ones that I just mentioned, are kind of yellow-white. They look very much like pepper seeds.

nyone here who can help me?

    Bookmark   April 10, 2009 at 12:56AM
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grandad_2003(9A/sunset 28)


Our morning low temps have been in the 55 to 65 degree range with tonight's prediced 48 deg low being abnormally low. So I will wait until Sunday, April 19 before setting eggplant plants in the garden. In years past, I have planted in the garden when temperatures were as you described but the outcome was not much plant growth until after the temperatures warmed.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2009 at 4:28PM
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I wait until at least two weeks AFTER last frost date to put out eggplants. Earlier plantings don't do any better, sometimes worse. It's ground temp that matters the most. Here we get many warm, sometimes VERY warm, days in early spring, interspersed with chilly to cold weather. This keeps ground temp lower. We may be getting 70 to 75 degree days but the soil is still cool because it doesn't STAY in that range until a couple weeks after average last frost
BTW the date commonly quoted as "average last frost date" is the date at which you've got a 50/50 chance of having another frost, it's better to wait until there's only about a 10% chance of frost with warm weather plants like eggplants and peppers

Here is a link that might be useful: State by state charts of average last frost @ 10%, 50%, 90%

    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 11:49PM
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Thanks again for your advice.

I have been trying in vain, to grow eggplants, too too early. But according to your experience, now we are about to grow eggplants. Our lows are getting close to 60F and days highs in low 80s. But not to worry. WE have a long growing season in North Atl/GA area.
Of course, I could buy established plants from garden centers, but this year I am determined to grow my own, no matter what. Growing eggplant is my last challenge so far. my tomatoes paeppers, basils,squash, etc. are doing great.

Happy Gardening!

    Bookmark   April 25, 2009 at 5:15AM
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georgew79(Z5-6 MO.)

I love the long Asian variety over the stardard Black Beauty type which is makes a big blocky fruit If you can call them that. I always use bottem heat, and they pop right up after that I keep them under lights with the surounding tempature of about 75F. I don't set mine out untill the night temps stay above 45F. so that they will keep growing any colder than that will make them stop growing, none are frost hardy, but some varieties will grow better than others in a northern climet. Baker's Creek Heirloom Seeds. has quite a few very nice varieties from Asia and some that you can only find in their catalog. I really like the ones that produce small egg size fruit thy are very good grilled or even pickled, although I like them grilled the best.
I think that they ship to Canada, although I'm not sure if they do or not.
George W.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2009 at 9:44PM
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Thought I'd chime in and say that all the eggplant varieties I've tried grow slower than other seeds. But this is only my first year.

I'd say start eggplants 2 weeks before peppers, and that is 2 weeks before tomatoes. Then again, the eggplants and peppers are supposed to go out 2 weeks later.

My swallow eggplants, which are supposedly Asian hybrids, are growing the slowest. But the seed is 1 year old.

It's getting pretty hard to keep up with watering all these seedlings...


    Bookmark   May 3, 2009 at 5:54PM
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It did take a while for my eggplants to get going, but it finally did. I have several little plants already and have started to harden them off. In our area, May 18 is the traditional day to set out tender annuals. I think I'll even wait a couple of days after to set out my plants. Boy, I'm excited.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2009 at 9:34PM
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Ianna, just a bit of encouragement:

I spent a couple or three years unsuccessfully trying to grow Japanese eggplant (nasu) from seed outside in late May, and by October most were still inches high, a few maybe approaching a foot. No fruiting, of course.

I finally did some research, and THIS year, I started the seeds indoors the 1st week of March, with a grow light and heated mats.

They are still indoors (I'll wait another week or two before planting outside, weather has been chilly here recently), but they are all already 1 ft+ tall.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2009 at 8:13AM
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Brenda K Spevak(10 Los Angeles)

Hi there,

IÂm brand-new to GardenWeb, and now three seasons into the learning curve with Japanese eggplants. I lived in Tokyo for many years and brought a couple packets of two different types of nasu seeds back to California with me.

The first experiment involved planting them in a container on my balcony when we first moved here in late 2004, and after taking forever to germinate, my cat ate the seedlings, so that was a total wipe-out.

The second venture took place last May when I started up another container garden in wine barrels and hand-sprouted a few Japanese eggplant seeds in starter capsules. After a long wait, these germinated and lived, and I transferred them to a ceramic sink that I filled with potting soil. The plants survived, even in their over-crowded conditions, and produced several nice eggplants.

The end of last year we moved to a place where I could finally have a "real" garden in the ground, so I started another round of eggplants and chillis and a few other things around mid-April, but due to various reasons they did not receive very good care, and most either didnÂt come up at all or the ones that did germinate (after an interminable period of time) have died. However, one die-hard little eggplant seedling has survived, and is still a teeny little thing waiting to grow enough leaves to put in the ground. The amazing thing is that the eggplants that did germinate are from seeds at least 5 years old!!

Another unexpected thing happened in the meantime: I had taken out all the plants in the sink from last year, as they were looking quite done, but one of them that I had cut off earlier to remove later sent up new shoots, started flowering and has since grown up into a beautiful, robust-looking second-year plant about to start producing!! I am delighted that we will have eggplants sooner than expected.

However, I would like to take it out of the sink and put it in the ground. Can anyone advise me on how to do this without causing unnecessary harm to the plant, as I would really hate to lose this one?



    Bookmark   June 2, 2009 at 4:54PM
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