Shriveling Eggplants - Knowledgebase Question

Costa Mesa, CA
Avatar for dione
Question by dione
August 24, 1999
I have been growing Japanese Eggplant all summer andd have had great success. Just in the last couple days I have noticed that my eggplants are becoming soft and slightly shriveled at the top. Could this be caused by not enough water or be due to a heat wave we have been experiencing this past week?

Answer from NGA
August 24, 1999
Poor-quality eggplant fruit are generally associated with low moisture and high temperature conditions. Also, overmature eggplant fruit will become dull colored and often develop a bronze appearance. For maximum production, remove the eggplant fruit before they are fully mature to allow additional fruit to develop.

The eggplant, a member of the nightshade family, is grown for its edible fruit. Fruits are most commonly purple in color but may also be white or green and are produced on vigorous growing plants that often are four feet tall. The fruit of most varieties are three to five inches in diameter and seven to nine inches long. Some of the newer varieties produce fruit that are slender and eight to ten inches long.

The eggplant is a solanaceous plant like tomato and responds to the same basic cultural care. Plants should be set in the garden in early spring after all danger of frost. Maintain the plants in a vigorous state of growth with adequate fertilizer and moisture. Drought stress will result in the development of bitter flavor.

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