Egg Plant(Solanum melongena): Definition, Characteristics, Origin, Varieties, and Pest control


Eggplant (Solanum melongena L.), commonly known as Aubergine, Brinjal, or Guinea squash, is a non-tuberous nightshade species. Solanum melongena L. cultivars have a wide range of fruit shapes and colours, ranging from oval or egg-shaped to long club-shaped, and from white, yellow, green, purple pigmentation, and virtually black pigmentation. It is cultivated in various warm temperate regions of the Mediterranean and South America, as well as Asia, Africa, and the sub-tropics (India, Central America). Eggplant fruits are well-known for their low-calorie content and mineral composition, both of which are good for human health. Potassium, magnesium, calcium, and iron are all abundant in them. Aside from these, it includes 34 mg of beta-carotene, 0.05 mg of riboflavin, 0.05 mg of thiamine, 0.5 mg of niacin, and 0.9 mg of ascorbic acid per 100 g of fruit. Eggplant fruits are well-known for their low-calorie content and mineral composition, both of which are good for human health. Potassium, magnesium, calcium, and iron are all abundant in them.

Egg Plant


1. Eggplant (Solanum melongena L.) is a perennial herb in the Solanaceae family with a limited life span. It is a heat-loving plant.

2. It is an annual plant that is one of the most often consumed fruit vegetables in tropical Africa, ranking third after tomato and onion and ahead of okra (Grubben and Denton, 2004).

3. The plant is highly adapted to both wet and dry season culture, although heavy rainfall inhibits both vegetative development and flower creation.

4. The eggplant fruits are eaten fresh, cooked or fried in stews with spices, or dried and pound as seasonings in West Africa.

5. The eggplant (Solanum melongena L.) is a valuable commercial vegetable. It is extensively grown in both tropical and temperate climates. Depending on the country and continent, several varieties of eggplant are produced.

6. The eggplant fruit is defined as a non-climacteric berry that can grow to different sizes, shapes, and colours according to the genotype.

7. The colour of the fruit can range from white to black, with hints of purple, yellow, and green. Fruit shapes (round, egg-shaped, oblong, pear-shaped, long and curved) and sizes are other varied characteristics for eggplants.

8. Small oblong or rounded fruit varieties are stuffed or preserved in Turkey, long cylindrical fruit varieties are grilled, fried, or stuffed, and large round or longish oblong fruit varieties are stewed or fried.

9. Brinjal is also prized for its therapeutic characteristics, and it has a decholestrolizing effect due to the high concentration of polyunsaturated fatty acids (linoleic and lenolenic) in the flesh and seeds (65.1 per cent).

10. Fruits have a de-cholestrolizing effect due to the presence of magnesium and potassium salt. Brinjal has been used to treat liver illnesses, allergic cough, rheumatism, colilithiasis, leucorrhea, and intestinal worms in traditional medicine.

 Site Selection and Planting

Eggplant grows on a well-drained loam or sandy soil with supplemental irrigation for optimal results. It is strongly advised to rotate out of other solanceous crops (tobacco, tomato, pepper, and potato) for three years. Because this crop thrives in warm soil and warm air temperatures, it should not be transplanted until the threat of frost has passed. Staking eggplants prevents late-forming fruit from dragging the branches to the ground. Per acre, approximately 4,000 to 6,000 plants are required.

The usage of black plastic mulch and drip watering on eggplant is beneficial. When using this plasticulture system, make sure to keep an eye on the moisture levels beneath the plastic. While employing black plastic increases production costs, the increased earnings resulting from higher yields, fruit quality, and earliness, especially with a warm-season crop like eggplant, more than offsets these expenditures.

Egg Plant Field

Origin and Distribution

Brinjal comes from the Indo-Burma region (Vavliov, 1926). South and Southeast Asia, southern Europe, China, and Japan are among the countries where the crop is grown. India, behind China, is the world’s second-largest producer of brinjal, with 83.47 lakh tonnes produced on a 5.02 lakh-hectare farm. Brindavan cultivation is most common in Orissa, West Bengal, and Bihar, but it is also found in nearly every state.

Pollination and Flower Biology

Brinjal has been observed to cross-pollinate to variable degrees, despite being a self-pollinated crop. Honey bees and bumblebees are the primary pollinators, thanks to the heteromorphic floral structure. Four types of flowers – heterostyly – are available depending on the length of the style concerning the position of the anthers. The stigma is considerably above the anthers and has a long style. Stigma and anthers are at the same level in this medium style. Short-styled — this is a short-styled hairstyle. Pseudoshort fashioned – primitive style


Fruit set varies between 60 and 70% in long-styled flowers and 12.5 to 55.6 per cent in medium styled flowers. There is no fruit on short and pseudoshort fashioned blooms, and they act as male flowers. The opening of the flower and the dehiscence of the anthers occur practically simultaneously in the summer (about 6-7.30 a.m.) and the winter (around 11 a.m.). Flowering is influenced by climatic variables, with high morning temperatures and humidity hastening flower opening and anther dehiscence. Flower initiation and development are influenced by soil fertility levels in addition to environmental considerations.


Brinjal is a warm-season, day-neutral plant that can be damaged by strong frost. It thrives in a long, warm growing season with temperatures ranging from 21 to 270 degrees Celsius. The chilly winter temperatures in North India hurt the crop. Late cultivars, on average, can endure lower temperatures than early cultivars. Plants grow lushly and produce abundantly during the rainy season in Kerala’s warm, humid climate.


Brinjal is a resilient crop that may be grown in a variety of soil types. The crop prefers a well-drained and healthy soil because it is a long-duration, high-yielding crop. Crops produced in sandy soils produce earlier, while those planted in clayey soils produce later. For crop cultivation, a pH of 5.5-6.6 is ideal.


India grows a huge array of cultivars and improved varieties of fruits with varying sizes, shapes, and colours. Because consumer preferences vary by location and district, careful variety selection is critical to brinjal production success. Local cultivars such as Banaras Giant, Wayanad Giant, Mukthakeshi, and Manjiri Gota are grown in significant quantities in specific places. Because of the presence of glycolalkaloids such as solanin, the fruits of some native varieties are bitter. In most cultivars, the glycol-alkaloid concentration ranges from 0.37 to 4.83 mg/100g. Glycol alkaloids (20 mg/100g fresh weight) give a harsh and off-flavouring taste. Polyphenol oxidase level varies between varieties, which causes brown discolouration when the fruits are cut open.


Brinjal is planted in April and sowed in March on the highlands. Brinjal can be grown in three seasons in the Lains.

Autumn-winter crop

In June, the crop is planted, and in July, it is harvested. Crops grown in the spring and summer: Early November is when the crop is sown, and January-February is when it’s transplanted. Seedlings require 6 to 8 weeks to reach normal size for transplanting due to the cold climate, and nursery beds must be kept frost-free.

Crop for the Rainy season

Seeds are planted in April-May after being seeded in March-April. Rainy season crops are the most cost-effective in many areas since they are low-cost vegetables.


Seeds are planted in a nursery bed and transported to the main field after four weeks in the summer and seven to eight weeks in the winter, when the plants are eight to ten centimetres tall. For one hectare, 300 to 3:500 g seeds are required, depending on the growth of the variety and the season of cultivation. Because brinjal seedlings grow quickly, it’s important to spread seeds as thinly or loosely as possible. Hardened seedlings are more resistant to transplant shock and establish more quickly in the main field.

Preparation and Planting of the main field

For brinjal to grow, proper drainage is required. Four to six ploughings should be done to achieve a beautiful tilth. During the final ploughing, FYM should be absorbed into the soil. Seedlings are sown in levelled land in irrigated areas of a manageable size. During the wet season, it can be cultivated in raised beds/ridges. Small trenches are dug at the place of planting and seedlings are sown in undulating land to prevent soil erosion. Variety, season, and soil richness all influence plant spacing. A 75-90cm x 60-75cm spacing is recommended for long-lasting spreading kinds, whereas a 45-60cm spacing is recommended for bushy and non-spreading species. Because of the ease of harvesting and other cultural activities, paired row planting is beneficial for early and less spreading cultivars.

Manures and fertilizers

Brinjal is a high-yielding, long-lasting crop. When a crop is cultivated in poor fertility circumstances, flower and fruit yield will suffer. 25 tonnes of FYM/ha may be integrated into the soil during final ploughing, depending on availability. During the rainy season, a common method in Kerala is to apply wet cow dung as a band 10 -12 cm away from the plant, followed by earthing up every two weeks. Crop fertiliser needs differ according to variety, season, and soil type.


Although brinjal cannot tolerate standing water, timely irrigation is critical for fruit set and development. Irrigation is required in the plains every third or fourth day during the summer, and every 10-15 days during the winter. To reduce crop loss due to frost harm during the winter, make sure the soil is kept moist. Because this is a row-planted crop, drip irrigation is more efficient, using only 24.47 cm of water compared to 69.18 cm when using the furrow method.

Brinjal is mostly grown as a rainfed crop in high rainfall areas such as Kerala, where seedlings are transplanted immediately before the start of the South-West monsoon. For initial establishing, transplanted seedlings should also receive one or two live irrigations.


Brinjal fruits are plucked when they are still juvenile before they reach full size and lose their shiny beauty. Dull fruit implies that it has reached the end of its useful life. Fruits are usually plucked with their stalks by hand, twisting them slightly. Fruits, fleshy calyx, and a piece of the fruit stem are sometimes harvested using a sharp knife in some kinds. Fruits are sorted and stored in baskets or loose gunny bags after harvesting. Fruits infected with Phomopsis blight should be removed with caution.

Pest control

The Colorado potato beetle is a major pest in this crop. Flea beetles, aphids, and mites are among the other insects that might harm transplants. To keep flea beetles away from eggplant seedlings, many gardeners use a row cover (Reemay) instead of an insecticide until the plants are large enough to withstand the insect’s pressure. Scouting for population monitoring can aid the grower in determining when and how often insecticides should be used. In moist, poorly drained soils, Phytophthora blight, which attacks stems and fruit, can be an issue. Crop losses are also caused by Phomopsis blight, early blight, Verticillium wilt, and tomato spotted wilt virus. Crop rotation, cleanliness, planting in raised beds, and the use of disease-fighting fungicides are all part of disease management. Other than the tobacco mosaic virus, few eggplant varieties are disease resistant (TMV). They turn a rich, glossy purple-black colour that is consistent. Speciality eggplants should be harvested under the cultivar’s instructions. Overripe fruit turns pithy and bitter, lowering its market value. The calyx is left intact when the fruit is hand-cut from the plant. For increased yields, eggplant is plucked regularly. During a season, a crop may be harvested at least five to six times (at seven- to 10- day intervals). Because the fruit is delicate and easily bruised, it must be handled with extreme caution. Fruit should be cleaned or washed after harvesting and stored between 45 to 50 degrees F and 90 to 95 per cent relative humidity to enhance shelf life. Even in optimal conditions, the eggplant should be consumed within 14 days.

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