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Often called eggplant because of the shape of earlier varieties, this is a lush, tropical plant whose fruits have become popular with our more adventurous changes in diet. In a warm season, plants can be very productive, especially under glass, outdoors they are sensitive to cold winds and heavy rain, and are best grown in large pots which can be moved under glass, if necessary. Pinch out growing tips when 30cm (12in) high to encourage branching, and stop fruiting sideshoots when five to six fruits have set. Pick fruits before the skin loses its gloss, a symptom of over-ripeness.
Cultivar: Long Purple
Plant type: Fruit
Foliage colour: Mid-green
Sun exposure: Full sun
Skill level: Experienced
Time to plant seeds: February to March
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