Aubergines

How to grow aubergines

All you need to know about growing delicious aubergines, in our detailed Grow Guide.

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Sow
Sow

Do Sow in January

Do Sow in February

Do Sow in March

Do Sow in April

Do not Sow in May

Do not Sow in June

Do not Sow in July

Do not Sow in August

Do not Sow in September

Do not Sow in October

Do not Sow in November

Do not Sow in December

Plant
Plant

Do not Plant in January

Do not Plant in February

Do not Plant in March

Do not Plant in April

Do Plant in May

Do Plant in June

Do not Plant in July

Do not Plant in August

Do not Plant in September

Do not Plant in October

Do not Plant in November

Do not Plant in December

Harvest
Harvest

Do not Harvest in January

Do not Harvest in February

Do not Harvest in March

Do not Harvest in April

Do not Harvest in May

Do not Harvest in June

Do Harvest in July

Do Harvest in August

Do Harvest in September

Do not Harvest in October

Do not Harvest in November

Do not Harvest in December

  • Average Yield

    Six fruits per plant for larger varieties and 10 for smaller varieties

  • Spacing

    40cm apart

Aubergines are a delicious Mediterranean used in a number of dishes such as parmigiana, fritters, curries and baba ganoush. Aubergines can also be grilled, roasted and stuffed.

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In the same family as tomatoes, peppers and chillies, aubergines can be easy to grow if you give them the right conditions. They need a good, rich, moisture-retentive soil, plenty of sun and warm conditions. A sunny greenhouse or windowsill is perfect for them.

How to grow aubergines

Aubergines need a warm, sunny spot for the best results. Ideally, grow them in a greenhouse or raise them in pots on a south-facing patio or windowsill. Aubergines need a long season to grow, so it’s best to sow seed as early as January in moist, peat-free multi-purpose compost, and keep in a heated propagator under a growing light, to prevent seedlings going leggy (sow seed in March if you don’t have a heated propagator). Pot on into individual pots when the first true leaves appear. Keep potting on if growing in pots or plant out into the greenhouse when night temperatures exceed 10ºC – ensure the soil or compost is free-draining. Feed weekly with a high potash fertiliser once plants have started flowering, and harvest aubergines as and when they appear.

More on growing aubergines:


How to grow aubergines from seed

How to grow aubergines - sowing aubergine seeds
How to grow aubergines – sowing aubergine seeds

Sow aubergine seed indoors as early as January if you have a heated propagator, or from March if you don’t. Transplant seedlings into individual 7.5cm pots, when the first true leaves appear. Eventually, plant into the ground or individually in 30cm pots of peat-free, multi-purpose compost. If growing aubergines outside, wait until all risk of frost has passed before moving them to their final growing positions.


How to care for aubergine plants

How to grow aubergines - how to care for aubergines
How to grow aubergines – how to care for aubergines

Aubergines need reliable temperatures of around 20°C to thrive.

To encourage plants to fruit, you can either gently tap or shake the flowers with water to help release the pollen, or grow pollinator plants nearby to entice pollinators (this may be an issue in a closed greenhouse).

Pinch out the growing tips of the main stems of your aubergine plants when 30cm high to encourage side shoots to develop. Once plants have started to flower, feed weekly with a high-potash fertiliser or tomato feed, and mist with water to encourage the fruits to set. When you have five to six fruits remove any other small fruiting shoots. Taller varieties may need staking, particularly when fruits are ripening. Keep plants well watered and mulched.


How to harvest aubergines

How to grow aubergines - harvesting aubergines
How to grow aubergines – harvesting aubergines

The general rule of harvesting aubergines is to pick fruits before the skin loses its gloss. This can be a symptom of over-ripeness, but check the habit of the variety you are growing as some aubergines have less shiny skins.


Storing aubergines

Aubergines are best picked fresh and cooked immediately. Some varieties need slicing and salting before cooking to remove any bitterness.

See some of the tasty recipes using aubergines, from our friends at Olive Magazine.


Growing aubergines: problem solving

How to grow aubergines - pest damage to aubergine leaves
How to grow aubergines – pest damage to aubergine leaves

If you’re growing aubergines in a greenhouse, plants may be affected by aphids, red spider mite, whitefly and thrips. Aubergines can also be affected by blossom end rot.


Five aubergine varieties to try

How to grow aubergines - aubergine 'Melanzana Violetta di Firenze'
How to grow aubergines – aubergine ‘Melanzana Violetta di Firenze’
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