Skip to content.

Some features of this website require Javascript to be enabled for best usibility. Please enable Javascript to run.


Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

specialty eggplant

Other Common Names Include:

Aubergine, Brinjal

Latin Name: Solanum melongena

Plant Family: Solanaceae

Close Relatives: Tomatillo, goji, pepper, potato, and tomato.

Uses and Markets: Culinary (e.g. cooked and used alone, in salads or in main dishes). Uses vary considerably between different countries and regions depending on the variety grown. Primarily used in Mediterranean, African, Middle Eastern, and south and east Asian cuisines.

Different types of eggplant: Indian (long), Thai (round), Filipino (small), European (right)Asian purple eggplant on the plant Eggplant benefits from being grown on plastic mulch Cold temperature damage to eggplant fruit
Production Life Cycle in Ontario


Hardiness Zone


Special Notes

Agronomic requirements of Asian eggplants are similar to those of European varieties. For general agronomic requirements for eggplant consult the OMAFRA vegetable guides.

Propagation method

Transplants from seed.

Greenhouse Seeding/Propagation Dates

5-7 weeks before transplanting.

Field Seeding Date:


Field Transplanting Dates

Late spring, after risk of frost.

In-row spacing

45-60 cm

Between row spacing

90-120 cm

Optimal Soil temperature at planting



Apply up to 70kg N/ha. Broadcast 35 kg N/ha and all the required phosphate and potash before planting. The remainder of the nitrogen should be side-dressed 3-4 weeks after transplanting.  Click here for phosphorus and potassium application guidelines and for more information on specialty crop fertility.

Soil type

Well-drained soils; sandy loam soils with relatively high organic matter.

Soil pH


Special requirements for growth habit

Plastic mulch is beneficial.

Optimal Temperature Range


Temperature sensitivity

Frost sensitive; Cold sensitive (fruit below 8°C).

Irrigation requirements

Irrigation beneficial under normal Ontario conditions.

Days to harvest

55-80 days

Specialized equipment:


Harvest Scheduling

Multiple harvests from the same planting.

Hand harvest or machine harvest

Hand harvest

Quality parameters/grades

No established grades. Quality is determined by the market. Different markets prefer different size/maturity of eggplant. Market research is essential prior to growing specialty eggplant.

Additional Harvest Notes

Harvest during cooler parts of the day to reduce moisture loss and cooling costs. Remove field heat as soon as possible after harvest.

Post harvest
Special handling/curing


Storage Conditions

Relative humidity (RH): 90-95% (fresh leaves)

Temperature: 8-12°C

Air Exchange: N/A

Duration: 7 days

Specific pests observed on this crop in Ontario (observations based on limited experience with this crop)

Insects and Invertebrates: Colorado potato beetle, cutworms, tarnished plant bug, wireworms, aphids, flea beetles

Diseases: Verticillium wilt, Damping-off and root rots, anthracnose, early blight and Phomopsis blight.

Other Potential Pests: The following pests have not been observed on this crop in Ontario. However, they are either significant concerns for closely related plants in Ontario, or are reported on this crop in other production areas. This is not a comprehensive list of all potential pests. Not all of these pests will necessarily survive Ontario’s climate, but could potentially survive in a protected environment (e.g. greenhouse, storage facility).

Insects and Invertebrates: Sap beetles.

Diseases: Bacterial soft rot, bacterial wilt, aster yellows, tobacco mosaic virus.


To date the following pests have been the most significant in Ontario: Colorado potato beetle and Verticillium wilt.  Specialty eggplant is susceptible to many of the same pests as conventional varieties of eggplant.  Specialty eggplants in the species Solanum melongena are in Crop Groups 8 and  8-09: Fruiting Vegetables (except Cucurbits) and subgroups 8-09B: Pepper/Eggplant and  8-09C: Nonbell Pepper/Eggplant.  For more information on Crop Groups, refer to the Pest section.  Always refer to product labels, and follow all directions specified on the label, before applying any pest control product.  For more information, consult an OMAFRA specialist. Pest control products registered on eggplant, Solanum melongena, can be applied to this crop.  For pest control products registered on eggplant, Solanum melongena, refer to OMAFRA Publication 838 Vegetable Crop Protection Guide.

Colorado potato beetles are the most significant pest of eggplant An egg mass of Colorado potato beetles. Colorado potato beetle larvae defoliating eggplant Verticillium wilt symptoms on eggplant leaves A Japanese beetle on eggplant
Additional Notes


Ontario Research Projects Used to Create This Profile
  1. Bilal, A. and M. Brownbridge. 2010-2012. World crops project. Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, unpublished.
  2. Elford, E., Filotas, M., Todd, J., and S. Westerveld. 2009. Non-traditional crops demonstration garden. OMAFRA Simcoe Resource Centre, unpublished.
  3. Elford, E., Filotas, M., Todd, J., Westerveld, S., Bilal, A., and M. Brownbridge. 2010. World crops variety trials and demonstration. Vineland Research and Innovation Centre/OMAFRA Simcoe Resource Centre, unpublished.
  1. Howard, R.J., Garland, J.A., and W.L. Seaman (eds.). 1994.  Diseases and pests of vegetable crops in Canada: an illustrated compendium.  Canadian Phytopathological Society and the Entomological Society of Canada.
  2. Munro, D.B., and E. Small. 1997. Vegetables of Canada. NRC Research Press, Ottawa.
  3. Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. 2010. Vegetable production recommendations. Publication 363, Queen’s Printer for Ontario, Toronto.
  4. Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. 2012. Vegetable Crop Protection Guide. Publication 838, Queen’s Printer for Ontario, Toronto.