Learn How to Prune Eggplants for Super Harvest in simple tips and tricks! This will ensure you get large-sized fruits!
If you want to enjoy a bountiful yield for your entire family, then It is important to know how to maintain your vegetable plants. Here are some cool tips on How to Prune Eggplants for Super Harvest!
Eggplants come from the nightshade family and have similar qualities to tomatoes and peppers. Growing them requires some effort while maintenance is not difficult—stake the plant for support.
However, pruning plays an important role to keep them healthy and producing more. Let’s have a look at it in detail below.
Should You Prune Eggplants?
The straight and simple answer to this question is a big YES! Pruning eggplants is advantageous for bumper fruit growth, and it is similar to pruning tomatoes or pepper.
How to Prune Eggplants for Super Harvest?
1. Pinch Off the First Set of Flowers
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
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
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
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
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
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
- Don’t forget to disinfect the gardening tools before pruning.
- Use well-draining soil for best growth.
- Ensure that the plant gets a minimum of 4-5 hours of direct sun every day.