To grow eggplant in pots you don’t need to learn any gardening skills. Because it is a simple and easy process. All you need to do is get all the necessary things before starting.
I prefer containers to grow eggplants because you can save lots of space in your garden with this technique. Moreover, eggplants are made for containers, they grow healthy and delicious in pots.
It is easy to care for a container growing plant.
Eggplant is from the family of tomatoes and this vegetable is native to south and east Asia.
Nowadays they are consumed all over the world because of their health benefits and taste. Eggplant needs plenty of sunlight and warm weather.
So, make sure there is enough sunlight in your area. Where you are planning to grow your plants. If you don’t have such a place indoors or in your garden.
Then you can use grow lights they are made for vegetables indoors. Below is the complete guide on growing eggplants in pots.
Why grow eggplants in pots?
There are few vegetables that are perfect for growing in containers and eggplant is one of them. Moreover, by using pots you can save lots of space in your garden to grow other vegetables that are not suitable for pots.
You can also move the eggplant pots indoors when the outside temperature dropdown.
Let’s say if one container plant gets infected by disease or pests then you can move it away from other healthy plants.
I always use containers to grow a maximum of vegetables. This way I always have some free space in my yard.
How to start growing eggplants?
They come in a large variety so choose according to your taste. If you are new to growing eggplants in pots.
I suggest you start growing them from seedlings instead of seeds. You can buy seedlings from your local garden store or from your friend who is a vegetable gardener.
If you only know the germination process then go for eggplant seeds.
Growing from seeds
Here is the complete process of germination from seeds. Sow seeds in a seedlings tray and place them in a warm location away from direct sunlight.
Eggplant needs a hot temperature to grow and you really need a warm temperature for fast and effective germination.
These are not like tomatoes so do not start them outdoors. Let the eggplants grow indoors so that they can get the perfect warmth and temperature to grow.
Maintain temperature above then the 68F for juicy and fresh fruits. When seeing the tiny leaves, it’s time to transfer them outdoors.
Choosing a pot or a container
Eggplants need big containers; you need a container of at least more than 3 gallons. These plants produce big size fruit but stay short in length.
While buying the container for eggplants you should measure it from the base to the top. It should be 12 inches deep. In the winter season, it is best to grow them in plastic containers.
Plastic pots give extra warmth to eggplant roots.
How to care for eggplants at home?
Eggplants need direct sunlight to grow. So, choose the place where the plants can get direct sunlight for more than 7 hours per day.
They are light-loving warm season crops. In low light, your plant becomes stretchy and does not produce fruit from flowers.
If you can’t find a sunny place for the eggplant pots. Then you should use grow lights. They are specially designed to full the light needs of plants.
In greenhouses, gardeners use these lights to grow different types of food plants.
Grow lights are not costly they are cost-effective and consume less energy for example LED grow lights. The best part is that after harvesting eggplants you can use the same light for growing other vegetable plants.
This is an important step, eggplant needs mineral-rich soil. They like the moisture in the soil, keep in mind you need soil that has the capabilities of retaining moisture for a long time.
Fill the container with high-quality potting soil and add some general-purpose vegetable fertilizer.
I like to add 4-4-4 organic vegetable fertilizer. This ratio of NPK is perfect for S. melongena.
You can also use pre-fertilized soil. Just make sure the soil has all the essential ingredients. And the manufacturer of soil uses vegetable-specific fertilizer.
I do not recommend you to use garden soil. Because before use you need to sterilize it and also amend it with 50% compost or manure to increase its nutritional values.
Keep the pH of the soil between 5.4 to 7.3. This is a wide range and is easy to maintain.
They love to grow in moisture-rich soil. Therefore, maintaining a good level of water in the soil is the best care practice.
Avoid excess use of water to prevent root rot.
To save your plants from accidental overwatering you must use containers with drain holes.
They are designed to drain the extra water out of the pot in a few seconds.
Also, the water must be clean and free from diseases and heavy minerals. If the tap water in your area is safe for drinking, then you can use it for watering eggplants.
Otherwise, I prefer clean filtered water or rainwater.
Temperature and Fertilizers
After transplanting the seedlings to the main pot. You must place your pot at a warm temperature. The ideal temperature is 50 to 57degrees F.
If you are growing eggplants in pots in the summer season then you do not need to worry about the environmental temperature.
Phosphorous is the main nutrient that eggplants need all the time. Therefore, you should use a fertilizer with an NPK ratio of 5-10-5.
These heavy feeder plants need lots of fertilizers to grow Juicy and are big in size.
As you know eggplants produce 10 to 12 fruits per plant. Also, the fruit is heavy and big in size. Therefore, you need to give support to your growing plants to stand straight in the pots.
You can use a tomato cage to support the structure of the plants or tie your eggplant stems and use a moss pole or strong bamboo stick to support their weight.
If you want to grow eggplants multiple times in a year. Then you should propagate them from the mother plants. Stem cutting is the best option for propagating eggplants.
This way to don’t need to spend a single penny for getting new plants.
You should do this process once you finish harvesting.
Below are the complete steps
Cut a healthy stem that is 5 to 6 inches long
Remove the bottom leaves from the stem
Now take a glass of water and place the cutting in it. You should place the glass away from direct sunlight. A warm room with indirect light will be the best location for propagation
Within two weeks you will see the new roots. This is the time to transplant it to the container
Add potting mix to a 1-gallon size container and plant the rooted stem in it. Spray water to keep the soil moist
Place it in a warm location and in spring when the temperature gets warm you should move the pot to an outdoor garden.
Pests and Diseases
Growing Eggplants in pots often face some common problems. All of them are discussed below.
The black flea beetle feeds on its leaves. To prevent them from damaging your plant you must keep the surroundings clean.
But if your plants are strong plants then beetles will not do any harm.
Cutworm is another pest that can kill your plant by cutting the roots slowly. Keep them away by using methods like cutworm collars.
We do not recommend the use of pesticides on eatable fruits and vegetables. The use of these pest-killing chemicals is harmful to us.
To prevent pest infestation, use a neem oil spray. Buy a spray bottle and neem oil. Then follow the instruction on the neem oil bottle and make the neem oil spray solution.
Blossom end rot is the only disease that is common with eggplants. It is caused by a lack of calcium.
Disturbance in the pH of the soil stops the absorption of calcium. Therefore, keep eye on the pH of the potting soil.
It must be between 5.3 to 7.3 pH for maximum absorption of calcium along with other important nutrients.
As mentioned above eggplant is the vegetable of the warm season. Mid-summer to late summer is the best time for harvesting eggplants.
For best taste, you should harvest young eggplants. They are juicy and after cooking they give brilliant taste.
If you are starting the journey from seedlings then your eggplants will take 60 to 80 days to get fully matured depending upon the variety.
On the other hand, if you are using seeds to grow eggplants. Then you need to wait a little bit more for the harvest. Plants growing from seeds will take 100 to 115 days to get matured.
Just give plenty of light and warm weather to your growing plants. To harvest plenty of healthy fresh and juicy brinjals.
Use fertilizers rich in phosphorous once in 30 days. Eggplant is a heavy feeder and it needs a good amount of nutrients to produce big-size brinjals.
For quick harvest start from seedlings because plants growing from seeds take extra time to mature.
I hope now it is clear that you can easily grow eggplants in pots. For more queries contact us.