Many people love to grow eggplant varieties thanks to the versatile culinary uses of its fruit, yet they soon realize that the planting process is really a nightmare.
Indeed, they report encountering many growing eggplant problems and don’t know how to solve them.
Understanding this confusion, this article will list 8 common issues and feasible remedies so you can better prepare for worse scenarios. I also present some caring tips for this tree, hoping to help you. Stay tuned!
About The Eggplant
The eggplant, or many people call it baingan or aubergine, belongs to the Solanaceae nightshade family. It appears almost everywhere on this Earth, and its fruits are edible.
They are quite special with dark purple rinds, which look very mysterious.
An eggplant could be eaten raw, yet you should cut it into slices and cook them to ensure the best hygiene. Besides, it is a common ingredient in numerous recipes, helping enhance the food’s flavor.
The plants are up to 36 inches tall in optimal environmental conditions. It is a tropical perennial plant, often cultivated in temperate regions.
The eggplant has a spiny stem on which green leaves grow exuberantly.
Apart from the purple fruit, its flowers are also impressive, with diverse hues of color, ranging from white to purple. They have a five-lobed corolla, along with yellow stamens in the center.
When the summer comes, you can smell a pleasant scent from its blossoms, creating much comfort.
8 Common Growing Eggplant Problems And How To Solve Them?
When growing the eggplant, you are most likely to plant it in the wrong soil or during an inappropriate season. Additionally, misjudging the temperatures is another mistake that numerous gardeners make.
These hinder the tree’s growth greatly and reduce its productivity.
For better preparation before growing the eggplant, this section will present 8 eggplant growing problems you should notice closely. Let’s check them out!
Planting Your Eggplant During The Wrong Time Or In The Bad Place
Numerous gardeners grow their eggplants in the winter with a gust of strong winds. This is not suitable for a tender tree, like aubergine.
So when you plant it outdoors, with oncoming cold winds or frosts, it won’t likely survive and develop. You can notice several signs of damage via its root systems and fruit sets.
The wrong planting site is another problem. Suppose the soil does not drain water well; eggplant roots will be soaked in water, resulting in root rot and affecting their ability to absorb nutrients.
In these cases, the best solution is to grow eggplant seeds in a mixing pot. This protects it from cold temperatures and other potential dangers, like frost.
Make sure that the soil is well-drained and moist enough.
Judging Wrong Eggplant Growing Temperatures
As mentioned earlier, the eggplant does not like cold weather. But at what point is the temperature determined as low?
Remember that the daytime temperature should be from 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit, creating optimal conditions for its growth.
Therefore, if the temperature is lower than 60°F, your plant suffers from the cold, as shown by tilted leaves or frosted branches.
Apart from that, you’d better pay close attention to the soil temperature. The ground should be warm enough for roots to develop as normal.
To address this issue, you could apply some methods, like providing organic mulch and suppressing weeds.
Not Watering The Eggplant Properly
Sometimes, you forget to give your eggplant water frequently, yet this mistake could lead to its death in the long run.
According to numerous experts, aubergine fruits require approximately 90% water to nurture their flesh and support the grind’s formation.
If you don’t water it regularly, dehydration is conducive to plant stress, causing blossoms to drop and fruit production to fail.
On the other hand, over-watering should also be avoided at all costs. This makes the soil waterlogged, soaking roots in full water and damaging their properties.
For these reasons, you must pay close attention to this matter. Pouring an inch of water over the plant per week is advisable.
On some hot days or dry spells, you can give it more water, yet the extra amount needs to be sensible.
Forgetting To Support The Fully Grown Eggplant Plant
Forgetting your aubergine support is one of the biggest blunders many people disregard. When it grows larger, blossoms will start to turn into fruits.
To some species, fruits are so big that tender branches cannot support them fully.
After a long time, eggplant fruits will fall on the ground, while branches break apart, causing your plant to die.
Using a garden border, a raised bed, or a large container to support the tree’s branches and stems would be best.
In addition, you could make a framework of poles that derive from wood or strong metal. Then, sink the stakes about an inch from the tree’s base.
Always monitor its growth to adjust the location of the framework and stakes.
Ignoring The Threats Of Pests And Diseases
All gardeners fear the invasion of pests and diseases because they are the main culprits behind the crop’s reduced productivity.
And if you don’t take prompt measures to solve them, your plant will likely be susceptible to stunted growth and even death.
For an eggplant, its main predator is red spider mites. They usually web on the green foliage, eating leaves and absorbing their nutrition.
Aphids are another alarming threat. They often make a nest and lay eggs on the undersides of leaves by making several holes.
You are advised to use an insecticidal soap or organic spray to get rid of these menaces. These products don’t contain harmful chemicals, which benefit the surrounding environment.
Harvesting Eggplants At The Wrong Time Or In The Wrong Way
Various people report that they are unclear about the eggplant’s harvesting time, so they just pick berries off the stem when they are big enough.
This misconception is quite common and threatens the tree’s capacity to bear fruits next time.
When you remove the under-ripe fruits from the tree, they no longer receive any nutrients to feed, and what you receive is a bitter taste and rough texture of eggplants.
Besides, you should not use much force when picking them off, as the stem can be damaged.
For this problem, you must consult the advice of experts or search the Internet for further information about the ideal harvesting time.
When you harvest fruits, gently remove them instead of pressing five fingers into their skin.
Applying An Imbalanced Fertilizer Or Over-Fertilizing Your Plant
Fertilizer plays an important role in plant growth. However, it seems counterproductive when using an imbalanced fertilizer wrongly.
For example, if the soil is profusely rich in nitrogen and lacks potassium, it is definitely a silly decision to use nitrogen-rich fertilizer, which only exacerbates the problem.
Over-fertilizing is another concern. This practice jeopardizes not only your plant’s development but also consumer’s health due to extra toxicity.
When you eat this eggplant, you indirectly absorb these toxic components left from fertilizer.
Under this circumstance, testing the soil is strongly recommended so you are able to choose a suitable product.
Don’t forget to apply sufficient fertilizer to your tree if you don’t want to get harmed by its toxicity.
Skipping The Mulch
It is a common mistake to disregard the importance of mulch. Distributing the mulch helps reduce the amount of water evaporating from the well-drained soil.
In other words, it helps retain the water content and moisture within the ground, greatly decreasing the problem of your plant’s dehydration.
So when you don’t add mulch to your soil, the air and water don’t flow smoothly down the soil surface, affecting its ability to hold water.
To avoid this mistake, all you have to do is apply organic and black plastic mulch frequently. However, the frequency of mulch application should be based on the soil quality and moisture.
What Are Other Eggplant Problems?
Below are other problems that you might encounter when growing eggplants plants.
Difficulty In Pollinating
Your aubergine tree could have trouble pollinating due to the lack of wind, or your area does not attract many bees and birds.
Don’t worry; you could spread pollen by using a paintbrush or tapping its flowers on the plants.
Eggplant Leaves Turn Yellow
The yellowing of foliage is no stranger to numerous gardeners. The underlying root of this problem lies in maintenance issues, such as nitrogen deficiency in the warm soil or irregular watering.
In this case, applying about 2 to 4 inches of organic mulch, such as coconut mulch would be best to improve the soil’s ability to retain water, combined with a moderate amount of nitrogen-rich fertilizer.
Cercospora Leaf Spot
This fungal disease has repercussions for the development of eggplant stems and leaves. Several signs include small yellow lesions on the foliage, defoliation, or reduced fruit size.
To address the matter, you’d better mulch a new seedling with straw.
As its name suggests, this fungus wreaks havoc on the root by stunting its growth. Besides, it can create several lesions and blurred-looking spots in the seeds.
The best remedy to this matter is using an organic fungicide. You should apply it about twice per year, and the duration between the two times should be long enough.
Anthracnose Fruit Rot
You will not likely notice this fungus until the eggplant fruiting is in season. It will form large gray spots on the fruits and even ruin their flesh, greatly reducing the crop’s productivity.
When seeing some berries with the same conditions, throw them away immediately so as not to affect nearby trees.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Does My Eggplant Not Produce Fruits?
Suppose your aubergine plant does not bear fruits; several factors are responsible for this problem.
But the most common ones are poor soil health, improper overhead watering, a wrong assessment of sowing time, or too cold temperatures.
The threat from pests, such as spider mites and aphids, should not be overlooked. You are advised to prune the tree and apply fertilizer before the blooming season comes.
What Happens If You Leave Crops On Eggplants For Too Long?
Leaving crops for a long time makes the fruits over-ripe, which doesn’t ensure the best quality.
And when you harvest eggplant plants at the wrong time, I’m sure nobody is willing to purchase them due to their spongy texture and plain taste.
The Bottom Line
There are 8 common growing eggplant problems you are apt to encounter; luckily, they all come with viable solutions. But it’s best to take care of your plants properly to keep these issues at bay.
Remember to carefully notice the plant’s soil conditions, growing site, temperatures, and fertilizer application if you crave a bumper crop.