When Is Eggplant Ripe And Ready To Harvest? Tell When To Pick

When are eggplants ready to harvest in your garden? There’s really a bit of a challenge in identifying ripe eggplants (Solanum melangona) when they are just the right time to pick.

Picking a young, tender, and slightly immature eggplant is better than selecting one that is too old and bitter.

When the fruit is firm and glossy, eggplant is ready for harvesting. You should be able to feel the smoothness of the skin and see the green color of the stem. Use a sharp knife or pruning shears to cut the stem of your eggplant.

You will be able to harvest eggplants without splinters if you wear gloves when harvesting them.

The eggplant will keep for up to two weeks in the refrigerator if you store it similarly to peppers. When stored with apples or tomatoes, eggplants will turn brown and decay as they are exposed to ethylene (a naturally occurring plant hormone).

Remove the fruit from the plastic bag (perforated) and rinse it thoroughly. Refrigerate, but don’t let the temperature drop below 50°F (10°C).

Keeping eggplants with apples or tomatoes will cause them to rot and brown because those fruits emit ethylene (a natural plant hormone).

It is, however, worth investigating some of the information behind this. Keep reading.

Factors Affecting Eggplant Ripening Process

The ripening process of eggplants can be affected by several factors. There are several factors to consider, one of which is the eggplant variety. The maturity of some varieties varies from variety to variety. Growing conditions are another factor to consider.

A lack of water, heat, or other stress can cause plants to produce fewer fruits or take longer to ripen. Ripening can also be affected by the time of year. A summer-grown eggplant usually ripens faster than one grown in a cooler climate.

A variety of shapes, colors, and sizes are available in eggplant fruit. There is no way to judge eggplants by their size or shape since it can depend on the variety you grow, the plant hardiness zone they are grown in, the weather conditions they have matured in, as well as a bunch of other factors like the eggplant variety you chose.

In ideal conditions, eggplant seeds take between 100 and 120 days to mature when planted as seeds (about 15 days less if they are planted as seedlings) – but the time period varies depending on how they grow and what hardiness zone they are planted in.

Over Ripe Eggplants Are Bitter: Pick Earlier Not Later

Additionally, it is important to pick them at the right time because when overripe and bitter, their flesh and seeds are bitter and not very pleasant. Dark and hard seeds are also characteristic of bitter overripe eggplant.

Methods To Use Bitter Eggplants

Over-ripe eggplants can still be used in some traditional ways, such as treating the flesh with salt after removing the skin, but you’ve got so many more options if you harvest them at the right time. If you prefer a firmer variety, you can put them in stir fries or make ratatouille, caponata, or lasagna for an Italian-inspired dish.

Tips To Identify When To Harvest Eggplant When Ripe And Ready

When it’s time to pick eggplants at their peak, there are a few tips you can follow. Purple eggplants are the most common variety of eggplant among the different colors and varieties. Purple eggplants turn from having a deep purple color to having a light purple or brownish color as they ripen.

Unfortunately, it becomes bitter when even slightly overripe. In order to avoid ripening too much, you should pick purple eggplant as large as it grows but before it gets too ripe. The deep purple is only slightly lightening and the top is only just beginning to turn yellow. Those are other signs that they haven’t become over-ripe yet.

The best way to avoid buying overripe and bitter eggplants is to reject them if you see them in the supermarket. The prime time of an eggplant has already passed when it is fully ripe. As eggplants ripen, they tend to become lighter, which may seem counterintuitive to most fruits and vegetables.

When Is Japanese Variety Eggplant Ready To Pick

In the case of Japanese eggplant, the basic principles are the same as for regular eggplant. You should pick your eggplants before they turn yellow or light brown if they are fully white or have white stripes when they are immature.

The only way to know for sure that a Japanese eggplant is ready for harvest is to harvest it. A small, pale, and tightly packed seed should have a smooth, glossy skin and a firm interior. Japanese eggplants with overripe seeds may have darker seeds, and the flesh around mature seeds may be looser.

A Cautious Approach To Picking Eggplant In Their Prime

It would be best to pick the fruit when it’s still somewhat immature if you want to be extra careful. It is better to pick eggplants a little immature than fully mature if you want the best flavor and texture. In order to avoid eggplant roulette with the potential bitterness, it’s better to sacrifice a little on the eggplant’s size.

In spite of their bitterness, eggplant seeds are best when immature and as such are best when immature. You should pick them early rather than too late rather than wait for them to grow as big as they can.

Some Basic Tips On Growing Eggplant

The good news about eggplant is that it’s easy to grow in a pot or garden bed if you’re interested in growing it like a pro. You should ensure that the soil outside is at least 55-60F before transplanting eggplant outside, because eggplant prefers a warm climate and well-drained soil. Frost also affects homegrown eggplants. Their growth will be stunted, they will turn yellow, and they will be slow to bear if the soil is too cold.

Water your eggplant regularly and plant it in a sunny area. A second reason to avoid overwatering or underwatering eggplant is that it is a very delicate plant. The plant will rot if it gets too much water, while it will taste bitter if it gets too little water. Last but not least, be gentle when harvesting eggplants. Bringing eggplants from the garden to the kitchen can cause them to bruise easily. Fresh eggplant can be enjoyed all season long with a little care!

The plants should be planted in a hot, sunny location and covered with plastic jugs until the leaves begin to poke through. Plant nutrients will be channeled into the remaining fruits if new blossoms are pinched back with frost approaches.

The plants should be placed in an area that gets the most sun, and jugs (with the bottoms cut out and the caps off) should be placed over them until leaves begin to poke through. The plant nutrients will be channeled into the remaining fruits if blossoms are pinched back as frost approaches.


You shouldn’t wait too long before harvesting eggplant or it will turn brown. When eggplant is ready for picking, it becomes glossy.

Knives or pruning shears are best for harvesting.


I’ve been around farming all of my life. Farmers Life Blog is a way I can share my passion for all things farming and gardening and hopefully share some of my knowledge and experience through the process. Shootin' the breeze doesn't have to be confined to the front porch anymore, now there's a whole world to share my deep and abiding love with.

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