How to cultivate and harvest white eggplants is the topic of today’s article. White eggplants, in contrast to their purple counterparts, are available in white or ivory hues.
Anyone unfamiliar with this cultivar would be interested in learning how to produce and harvest it. Both are similar to inspecting purple eggplants in terms of how they are inspected. They’re ripe if their skin, texture, and color match your expectations. Read on to get a better sense of what I mean.
What is white eggplant?
Eggplant varieties that have ivory, cream, or white skin are known as “white” eggplants. They’re a popular crop all around the world, just like their purple-skinned siblings. Ornamental cultivars are also available for their cultivation.
To cultivate your own white eggplant, there are a variety of options available.
There are two primary varieties of white eggplant, and it’s important to keep this in mind when purchasing seeds for “Easter egg plants.”
- Solanum melongena: this is the eggplant we’re all familiar with and the one most often used in food preparation. From Asian eggplants to European varieties, they are all the result of crossbreeding from this species.
- Ornamental eggplant Solanum ovigerum, often known as the “egg tree.” Small, round fruits that resemble eggs are produced by this plant, which is cultivated for food in Africa. Even so, there’s a lot of disagreement about whether or not the Easter egg plant is safe for consumption. Even if all food experts agreed that you could eat it, the fruit is small, crunchy, and bitter, so even if you did, it wouldn’t make a particularly tasty dinner.
If you want to cultivate some unusual white eggplants in your yard, go no further.
You’ll want to keep an eye out for these varieties:
- There is an Italian hybrid variety known as Clara that produces an eggplant that looks and tastes a lot like the conventional purple kind, but is white instead of purple.
- It’s Clara’s little sister, Paloma, and she has a milder taste and a more delicate texture.
- Casper: yields meaty, long-stemmed fruit up to 15 centimeters (6 inches) in length.
- Sweet, long-stemmed Japanese white eggplant known as White Comet, which can grow up to 10 inches (25 centimeters) in length.
- Like White Comet in appearance, Ghostbuster is just around 7 inches long (18cm) and has a very creamy feel; it is smaller than White Comet.
- EGGplant hybrids from Thailand have produced a somewhat bitter 3-inch-wide ball-shaped white eggplant, which is ideal for use in curries.
Do white and purple eggplants have a distinct flavor or appearance? Even while color is the most obvious way to distinguish one from another, the differences between them go well beyond what can be seen with the naked eye. Because white eggplants have a thicker skin, peeling them before cooking is recommended. In addition, they have a gentler, less bitter, and acidic taste, as well as more seeds.
How to grow white eggplant
There is nothing difficult about growing white eggplants. There is a good chance that you’ve already got tomatoes and peppers growing in your yard. It is possible to produce eggplants in the same way as tomatoes are grown.
Just in case, here are the fundamentals:
- Warm-season white eggplants mature in 3 to 4 months;
- There must be plenty of sunlight, water, and nutrients in order to produce a large crop.
- The weight of the fruit is supported by staking the plants.
- White eggplants can be grown in the garden as well as in a variety of pots.
Find out how to grow white eggplants in the following section of this article.
Growing eggplant outdoors
When temperatures continuously rise over 50°F (10°C) in the spring, it is the ideal time to plant white eggplants. Seeds can be directly sown in the garden if the winters are mild where you live. Start them indoors at least a month in advance if possible.
Know that white eggplants take a long time to ripen, which is the most important thing to remember. As a result, starting plants from seed indoors allows you to benefit from an earlier start and a longer growing season.
White eggplant seeds should be germinated indoors about six or eight weeks before the weather is warm enough to transplant them outside. There is no need for the seeds to be soaked in preparation because they are little and easy to germinate.
Compostable seedling pots with a diameter of around 2 inches (5 cm) are ideal. Each pot should be filled with a rich soil mix, one seed per pot, and a thin layer of dirt should be placed on top.
To germinate, white eggplant seeds require temperatures of at least 75°F (24°C). Use a hand pump to moisten the soil in the seedling pots regularly.
After 5 to 7 days, the seedlings should begin to appear. Plants and soil should be kept warm and moist. A larger container can be used if the plants develop too large. Taking the plants outside for a few hours each day until the risk of frost has passed is a good way to begin hardening them off.
– Location and Soil
It’s time to get your garden soil ready while your eggplants are growing inside. At least six hours of sunlight a day are required for white eggplants to thrive.
Light, loamy, nutrient-rich, and well-draining soil is ideal for growing eggplants, and the ideal pH ranges from 6.0 to 7.0. It’s important to add a lot of compost to the soil, which will provide nutrients to the plants and improve drainage.
– Spacing and watering
Plant your young white eggplants in the soil at a distance of around 25 inches (63 cm). They should be spaced out at this distance. Keep the soil around them moist throughout the season by watering them often. In order to prevent root rot in white eggplants, you must give them plenty of water, although they are particularly vulnerable. A well-drained soil and regular irrigation are the keys to a successful fruit harvest.
A typical white eggplant can reach a maximum height and width of 3 ft (90 cm) and a width of 3 ft (90 cm). Between 3 ounces (85 g) to 1 pound (340 g) of fruit can be found depending on the variety (450 g). White eggplants should be staked as they grow to assist sustain their weight and prevent them from tipping over.
– Ideal conditions for growing eggplants
Are white eggplants that aren’t bitter easy to grow?
A few things to keep in mind, as outlined below:
- White eggplants prefer temperatures between 70°F and 85°F (21°C and 29°C). If the temperature is too hot or too low, the fruit won’t ripen or will have an off flavor.
- White eggplants don’t get along with shade. It’s possible for your plants to become stunted and bitter if they’re getting less than six hours of direct sunlight per day or if they’re growing in partial shade.
- Make sure your white eggplants get enough of water once they start producing fruit. Mulch around the roots of the plants will assist them retain moisture. Inadequate watering can cause stress in the eggplants, which results in undersized and bitter fruits.
- Fertilizer: Apply an organic liquid fertilizer solution to your white eggplants as soon as you notice the fruits. During the fruiting season, feed them every month.
When grown from seeds, most white eggplant cultivars require between 100 and 120 days to mature, or 75 days after being transplanted. If the weather is mild, eggplants can be collected from mid-summer through mid-autumn, depending on when they were planted in your garden. Each cultivar has a somewhat different shape and size, although the fruit is typically between 4 and 7 inches (10 and 18 cm).
White eggplants should be harvested as soon as the skin begins to turn yellow, if at all possible. Firm but not hard, the skin of a ripe eggplant should be white and glossy. A dull sound might also be a sign that the eggplant is ripe and ready to be picked by lightly tapping it. This is a warning that the eggplant is over-ripe and may taste harsh if it leaves a dimple-like mark after a light press.
When white eggplants are either overripe or underripe, they can be bitter. You can let them ripen a little more if you select them too early by storing them in a paper bag at room temperature for a couple of days. You can soak overripe eggplants in saline water before cooking them. However, the bitter flavor and soft texture will not be improved in this way.
The stems of white eggplants are covered in tiny spikes. Avoid irritating your skin by wearing gardening gloves while harvesting them. Cut the eggplant off the vine with gardening scissors. The fruit will keep longer if you leave approximately 1 inch (2.5 cm) of stem connected to it after it’s been picked.
Cooking white eggplants as soon as possible after harvesting them is recommended. Within a day or two, they should be consumed. For up to five days, put them in the vegetable drawer after wrapping them in paper towels and covering them loosely with plastic wrap. The delicate nature of these plants should be kept in mind.
The skin can become soft, damaged, and bitter if it is stored for too long.
Annual plants, white eggplants are not hardy enough to survive the winter. To begin again the next year, cut them down and place them in your compost bin when the harvesting season is through.
Cooking with white eggplants is a breeze, and the fruity flavor it adds to a variety of dishes is unbeatable. A somewhat sweet and nutty flavor characterizes them. In contrast to purple eggplants, the skin on these should be peeled before to cooking because it can be quite thick.
They go well with just about any cheese, basil, garlic, chile, or tomato you can think of. They can be baked, grilled, sautéed, or added to curries, soups, and stews; they can even be used as a meat alternative in vegetarian dishes as a result.
Preparing the Soil
The maturation period for white eggplants is between two and two and a half and three months. When the temperature rises to a comfortable 68 degrees Fahrenheit in the spring, it’s time to plant white eggplants.
Planting robust white eggplants in good soil is essential. Compost or manure can be added to the soil and then distributed over the garden bed or containers as a layer of organic material. Before planting your white eggplant seeds, soften the soil by tilling it.
Sowing and Caring for Seeds
White eggplants can be grown from seeds or from cuttings. White eggplants can’t be purchased from nurseries, unlike purple eggplants. In most cases, you can purchase seeds directly from seed producers.
Seeds should be started indoors six to eight weeks prior to planting them in the garden. A quarter-inch deep in the soil, plant the white eggplant seeds. Soil temperatures between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit are ideal for growing white eggplants.
You can use a seed heating pad to keep your soil at the right temperature if you reside in a colder climate area. Your white eggplant seeds normally germinate in approximately two weeks.
In order for seeds and seedlings to grow well, it is essential that the soil be damp but not waterlogged. When the seedlings are at least six inches tall, you can transplant them into your garden bed.
How to Identify Ripe White Eggplants
Picking white eggplants before they’ve fully ripened is the finest time to do it. You’ll get bitter, spongy eggplants if you don’t pluck them when they’re fully mature.
Sweeter, tastier, and more sensitive than older eggplants, young white ones are best. You can tell who they are by looking at the color of their skin. They mature into glossy, firm-skinned eggplants with a white or cream tint. Simply press it with your finger to determine if it is stiff enough. It’s ready to be harvested if it leaves a dent.
Pick a white eggplant and cut it open if you want to be more certain. Ideally, they should be a shade of ivory or white. Over-ripeness is indicated by darker seeds and fading skin.
How to Pick White Eggplants
After determining that your eggplants are mature, begin harvesting. Your gardening gloves and shears will come in handy.
Cut the stem above the white eggplant with your shears while holding it in one hand. The skin of your eggplant will turn brown if you do not keep a portion of the stem attached to the fruit. Keep an eye out for ripe eggplants and pick them whenever necessary. New growth is stimulated throughout the eggplant season as a result of this approach
Why Plant Your White Eggplants in a Mini Greenhouse?
White eggplants can be grown in a little greenhouse for a variety of reasons. Greenhouse gardening has the following advantages for home gardeners:
Protection from insects and pests
White eggplants, like other fragile crops, attract a wide range of pests, including flea beetles, spider mites, and green peach aphids, all of which can be detrimental. Fruits, foliage, and young plants can be infested by these pests, which can also harm them. To avoid attracting these hazardous insects, it is best to keep them in an enclosed environment. Keep an eye out for symptoms of infestation even when your plants are in their greenhouse.
Shield your plants from bad weather conditions
Garden beds can be destroyed by storms, strong rain, blizzards, and high winds. Bad weather can erase months of hard effort in a matter of minutes. If you live in a region where the weather might change at any time, a greenhouse is the best method to keep your plants safe. No matter what the weather is like outside, they’ll be able to thrive.
Place them anywhere
Gardeners with limited room can benefit from little greenhouses. A six-foot-square greenhouse is the most common, but smaller versions are available. Greenhouse kits can be set up on a variety of surfaces, such a patio, a deck, or even a tabletops.
Start your growing season early
White eggplants can be grown year-round in a small greenhouse. Even before the cold weather arrives, you can begin growing a variety of fruits and vegetables. Once the weather warms up, you can put your white eggplants in the garden if you choose.
Growing Season and Soil Preperation
75 to 95 days at temperatures between 62 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit are required for harvesting white eggplants. The ideal temperature range for plant growth is between 68 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit. White eggplants can be started in the spring as soon as nighttime temperatures reach 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Soil preparation is the first step in getting your seedlings off to a fast start. The soil should be enriched with organic matter, such as seasoned compost or manure, or a 10-10-10 fertilizer. For every 50 square feet, apply a 2- to 4-inch layer of organic matter; for every 50 square feet of the garden, apply 1/2 to 1 pound of fertilizer; Incorporate soil amendments into the garden bed’s top 8 to 12 inches. Soil is also prepared for planting by digging in additives.
Seeds and Starts Planting and Care
Starting from seed or cuttings is the most common method for growing eggplants. Purple eggplant seedlings can normally be found at nurseries or markets, but white eggplants can usually only be found in seed catalogs. Six to eight weeks before planting in the garden, start seeds in seed flats indoors. Plant the eggplant seeds at a depth of about a quarter inch. When the soil temperature is regularly between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit, the seeds germinate more frequently. The temperature of the soil can be controlled with a seed heating pad. Eggplant seeds germinate between seven to 14 days. Seeds and seedlings need a steady supply of water to keep the soil moist but not saturated. Plants should be spaced 18 to 24 inches apart when they are transplanted into the garden. The greatest transplants are those that are 6 to 8 inches tall.
Growing Season Care
In order to develop healthy eggplants, the plants must be exposed to at least six hours of sunlight each day, as well as continuous moisture. During dry weather, water deeply and slowly to keep the soil moist. If the soil is dry and the weather is scorching, provide more water to your eggplant plants. You won’t have to feed your eggplants extra fertilizer if you altered the soil before to planting. Remove weed seedlings as soon as they appear by hand pulling large weeds or by using a hoe or another shallow weeder. Avoid using instruments that penetrate deeply into the soil because eggplants have shallow roots that might be injured by deep cultivation. When they reach a diameter of 2 to 6 inches, white eggplants are ready to be picked.
Pests and Pest Management
White eggplant plants, like other fragile crops, are vulnerable to a wide range of common insects. Myzus persicae and Tetranychus spp. spider mites can infest eggplants. Plants that are young are more susceptible to flea beetles (Chrysomelidae), which bore little round holes in the leaves. Regularly check the plants with a magnifying lens to see whether insects have gathered behind the leaves, which is where they tend to congregate. Insect infestations can be controlled using horticultural oils and soap sprays. Always read and heed the warnings and guidelines on the label of any pesticide you intend to use.
White Eggplant Cultivars and Ornamental Varieties
Try Albino, White Beauty, Casper, Easter Egg, Cloud Nine, Tango, and Ghostbuster if you want to grow white eggplants. A separate species of white eggplant (Solanum ovigerum) is found in the same genus as the edible variety. The white, egg-shaped fruits it produces are stunning, but they are unpalatable. The same care must be given to ornamental white eggplants as to other eggplant species.
Final Thoughts on How to Grow and Pick White Eggplants
The secret to a pleasant and sensitive harvest is knowing how to produce and pick white eggplants. Don’t wait till your white eggplants are totally mature, as previously said. Compared to older eggplants, young eggplants are more flavorful. As a bonus, you’ll be able to cultivate white eggplants year-round if you utilize a little greenhouse.