How To Container Grow Eggplants: A Beginner’s Guide
Growing eggplants indoors is not difficult. However, it does require some effort and patience.
If you are new to growing eggplants or have never grown them before, then this guide will give you a good idea of what to expect when starting out with your own indoor garden.
Eggplants need plenty of room to grow. They do well in pots but they don’t like being confined.
You will want to make sure that there is enough space around your plants so that they aren’t crowded together and getting suffocated. Also, you will want to provide adequate light for your plant(s). Some growers prefer using fluorescent tubes while others use fluorescent bulbs or even LED lights. There are many different types of lighting available. You can read more about the pros and cons of each type here.
There are several things you will need to get started with your eggplant project. These items include:
A pot (or tub) that is large enough to hold all the soil and water needed for your plants. If possible, try to buy a pot that has drainage holes in it so that you won’t have to dig them yourself later on.
The bigger the pot, the better. Also, try to get one with a wide base so that it won’t tip over when there is water in it.
At least two different sized containers for holding water (make sure they have drainage holes in the bottom). You can also use buckets or anything else that you would find suitable.
It is important that they are clear else you won’t be able to monitor the water levels from the outside. You want to be able to see at a glance how much water is available.
Good quality potting soil.
A package of seeds (you can also start the process with cuttings or seedlings if you like).
Seeds are relatively cheap and widely available from a variety of sources. They can be easily found at most stores that carry gardening supplies and can even be ordered online.
It is important that you get the freshest seeds possible. Check the expiration date before buying.
Sunshine (ha ha). Most eggplant varieties need at least 8 hours of direct sunlight in order to thrive.
You can either start your project during the time of year when the sun is shining the most or, if you’re a little more ambitious, you might want to build yourself a grow light setup. This can get pretty expensive especially if you try to do it on the cheap. It might be best to invest in a cheaper grow light setup if you think you’ll be doing a lot of gardening projects in the future.
Plant hormones – eggplants, like most other plants, like to grow nice big flowers before making their fruits. The use of plant hormones, like bonemeal and grow tabs helps to encourage the development of bigger flowers and, as a result, bigger fruits.
Fertilizer – Eggplants are heavy feeding plants. They need a steady supply of nutrients to produce large fruits. Regular doses of fertilizer help promote plant growth and will result in heavier yield.
Containers to carry extra water (a 5-gallon water can is perfect for this)
You can find a lot of the items you need at Home Depot, a local nursery or even your local Walmart. If you have trouble finding them, try looking online.
Amazon usually has everything you could possibly need.
Step 2: Prepare Your Grow Area
Before you start bringing your Eggplants inside, you will need to prepare the area where they will be planted. Find a nice sunny spot in your house (minimum of 8 hours of direct sunlight) and then prepare the soil.
Make sure the area is well watered. If you have loose soil, mix in some potting soil as this will help hold moisture and keep the plant healthy.
Sources & references used in this article:
The influence of water deficit on vegetative growth, physiology, fruit yield and quality in eggplants by H Kirnak, C Kaya, I Tas, D Higgs – Bulg. J. Plant Physiol, 2001 – pdfs.semanticscholar.org
Effects of mechanical stress or abscisic acid on growth, water status and leaf abscisic acid content of eggplant seedlings by JG Latimer, CA Mitchell – Scientia horticulturae, 1988 – Elsevier
Production of eggplant from seedlings produced in different environments, containers and substrates by E Costa, LGY Durante, A Santos, CR Ferreira – Horticultura Brasileira, 2013 – SciELO Brasil