How to Prune Eggplants for Super Harvest

Sheri Dorn is a versatile homesteader and culinary artist with a strong focus on organic and heirloom gardening. Holding a Master's degree in Culinary Arts, she combines her love for cooking and gardening in a unique way. Sheri is an active contributor to online gardening communities and enjoys quality outdoor time with her family and pets.
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Learn How to Prune Eggplants for Super Harvest in simple tips and tricks! This will ensure you get large-sized fruits!

How to Prune Eggplants for Super Harvest

If you want to enjoy an abundant yield for your entire family, it is important to know how to maintain your vegetable plants. Here are some cool tips on how to Prune Eggplants for a Super Harvest!

Check out the best eggplants to grow 

Growing Eggplants

Eggplants come from the nightshade family and have qualities similar to those of tomatoes and peppers. Growing them requires some effort, but maintenance is not difficult—stake the plant for support.

However, pruning is important in keeping them healthy and producing more. Let’s have a look at it in detail below.

Learn how to grow eggplant in a pot 

Should You Prune Eggplants?

Should You Prune Eggplants

The straight and simple answer to this question is YES! Pruning eggplants is helpful for bumper fruit growth and is similar to pruning tomatoes or peppers.

How to Prune Eggplants for Super Harvest?

1. Pinch Off the First Set of Flowers

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Once your eggplant begins to flower, pinch the first batch gently with fingers where they connect to the stem. It will promote the plant to divert its energy into growing strong stems and deep roots.

Once the plant grows strong, it will again grow a new set of flowers, and they will result in healthy fruits.

2. Take Off Old Leaves from the Lower Section of the Plant

Take Off Old Leaves from the Lower Section of the Plant

Discard leaves from the lower portion of the plant. It will help the plant to divert its energy into growing bigger and strong. This also ensures proper light and air exposure, which promotes stronger stems and large fruits.

3. Pinch New Blooms 4-5 Weeks Before the First Frost

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Pinching new flowers before the winter promotes the plant to ripen existing fruits, rather than putting energy into new growth. Simply pinch off new blooms and watch it make the fruits bigger and better!

4. Thin Out Leaves to Lower the Risk of Fungal Diseases

Thin Out Leaves to Lower the Risk of Fungal Diseases

If the plant is too crowded or dense with leaves, then it will trap excess moisture and this will also prevent the sunlight from reaching all the parts, which will result in higher chances of fungal infections.

Keep the plant trimmed by keeping 2-4 main stalks. Thin out the leaves from the center area as they take the most energy to grow.

5. Discard Flowers and Leaves that Show the Signs of Pest Infestation

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Fungal and insects are common issues with eggplants, so keep an eye on them. Whenever you notice pests on fruit, leaf, or flower pinch off them immediately. The signs of infection are:

  • Yellowing of the foliage.
  • Tiny or large black-yellow spots on the leaves.
  • Small holes in blossoms or leaves.
  • Visible rot or mold on plant fruits.
  • Yellow masses of eggs on the undersides of the foliage.

6. Keep 5-6 Fruits Per Plant for Large Varieties

Keep 5-6 Fruits Per Plant for Large Varieties

Varieties like Classic, Ichiban, and Black Beauty grow large fruits, and it is best that you maintain not more than 5-6 of them per plant.

Remove any extra flowers till the fruits are ready for harvest. Restricting the number of fruits on each plant ensures the quality and size of the fruits are maintained at their best!

Note: For smaller varieties like little fingers and Indian eggplants, you can keep up to a dozen fruits per plant.

7. Do Not Forget the Suckers

Eggplants, like many other members of the nightshade family, produce suckers or side shoots that emerge from the base of the plant or where the stem joins a branch.

These suckers can grow quickly and may take away valuable resources from the main stem, resulting in reduced fruit production, poor-quality fruit, or weak plants.

When pruning, use clean, sharp pruning shears, and remove the suckers while they are still small and pliable. This will prevent damage to the main stem and ensure that the plant remains strong and healthy throughout the growing season.

Quick and Important Takeaways

Quick and Important Takeaways

  • Don’t forget to disinfect the gardening tools before pruning.
  • Use well-draining soil for the best growth.
  • Ensure that the plant gets a minimum of 4-5 hours of direct sun every day.

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