UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA
University of California
UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA


Garden Help > Vegetables

UC Links

How to grow: Eggplant

Pest management: Eggplant cultural tips, pests, and diseases

The Basics

When to plant

  • Transplant: May–June
  • For best results, wait until daytime temperatures are regularly over 75 degrees
  • Start in pots for transplants: February–April; ready to transplant in 8 weeks

Harvest window: August-October, two to three months after transplanting, depending on variety.

Care overview

  • Eggplants require warm to hot weather throughout the season for good production. Hot caps or row covers can be used to elevate temperatures. Planting in a container will also help in absorbing heat.
  • Hand-pollinate by shaking the flowers to improve the fruit set.
  • Stake plants to prevent branches from breaking due to fruit production and to keep the fruit off the soil.
  • Harvest when the flesh is glossy and gives slightly under thumb pressure. Use a pruning shears or knife to clip the stem.
  • Don't leave mature fruit on the plants because it will suppress new fruit production.

Recommended Varieties for Santa Clara County*

Kauai White Creamy, sweet, smooth
Pandora Striped Rose  Creamy, nutty, spicy
Green Giant Early Sweet, smooth
Patio Mohican Hybrid Fruity, sweet
Dusky Meaty, sweet
Violetta Lunga  Meaty, creamy
Florida High Bush Nutty, mild

Other recommended varieties: Black Beauty, Casper, Ichiban, Neon, Violette di Firenze

* Many other varieties may also do well here in Santa Clara County. This list is based on UC Master Gardener trials, taste tests, and feedback from local growers.

Webmaster Email: webmaster-mgsantaclara@ucanr.edu