There are a few plants that make great companions for eggplant, but there are also some that should be avoided.
In this article, we’ll tell you about the best and worst neighbors for eggplant.
Good Companion Plants for Eggplant
It’s important to choose the right companions for your eggplants. Not all plants are good for it. In fact, some can actually stunt their growth or attract pests.
Here’s what to plant next to eggplant:
- Oregano: This herb is great for deterring certain pests like aphids and spider mites.
- Nasturtiums: These flowers not only add color to your garden, but they are also hated by beetles and other pests.
- Tomatoes share similar growing requirements.
- Marigolds are known to repel many pests like aphids, flea beetles, and whiteflies. They also make the surroundings look pretty!
- Borage attracts pollinators like bumblebees and other helpful insects; it is also a great friend for eggplants.
- Basil naturally repels certain pests like whiteflies, hornworms, and thrips.
- Chives are effective against many insect pests, including aphids and flea beetles.
- Rosemary is a natural deterrent to stink bugs and other pests.
- Dill is also an excellent eggplant companion herb, as it helps keep away spider mites and aphids.
- Cucumber and eggplant also grow well together, plus they both love the sun.
Other great companions include carrots, garlic, spinach, peas, petunias, celery, peppers, mint, beans, and thyme. Eggplant also grows well alongside Swiss chard, onions, lettuce, broccoli, radish, potatoes, amaranth, and cabbage.
What Not to Plant with Eggplant
Below are bad companion plants for eggplants.
- Fennel might stunt the growth of your eggplants.
- Corn might take away nutrients from the soil.
- Geraniums might make certain diseases take over your eggplants.
- Zucchini will compete for soil nutrients.
- Other bad neighbors include pumpkins, Brussels sprouts, and melons.
How to Grow
Eggplant thrives in warmth , so it is best to grow it in sunny and well-drained areas.
Start the seeds inside six to eight weeks before the last spring frost. Also, avoid planting eggplant transplants in the garden until after the last frost threat has passed.
The plants might tilt when they are loaded with fruits, so you might want to tie them to stakes. Also, water the soil well but ensure it remains moist and not soggy.
The best soil for eggplant growth is sandy loam or loam soil with a high level of organic matter.
Therefore, mix compost or well-aged manure into the soil about a week prior to planting. You can also use a general fertilizer, such as 5-10-5.
Common garden pests that affect eggplants include armyworms, thrips, flea beetles, potato beetles, whiteflies, cutworms, and tomato pinworm.
The best way to deal with these pests is to use a physical barrier like floating row covers or other protective material.
You can also encourage beneficial predatory insects like parasitic wasps, ladybugs, and lacewings to deal with some of these pests.
Additionally, neem oil is an all-rounder to get rid of many insect pests that might be infesting your plants.
Eggplant is also susceptible to a range of plant diseases, including bacterial wilt and verticillium wilt. Both of these diseases cause the plant to wilt and die.
Other conditions that might pose a problem include anthracnose fruit rot, blossom-end rot, early blight, and damping off . However, there are many organic treatments for plant diseases that you can look into.
How and When to Harvest
When the time comes to harvest the eggplant, it’s important to know when the right time is. Too early and they won’t be ripe enough, and too late and they’ll be overripe.
When the fruit is just ripe, use a sharp knife to remove it from the plant. The fruit will get damaged if you try to yank it off.
The best way to tell if your eggplants are ready is to gently press the skin with your thumb. If it easily dents, then it’s ready. Also, an eggplant is ready when its skin appears a little shiny.
Another way to check is to cut a small piece off with a knife or pruner. If the flesh has a slight green hue, then you should go ahead and pick them.
If the flesh is light in color, it’s probably not yet ripe, so you can wait a few more days before harvesting the rest of your crop.
How to Store Eggplant
Eggplants don’t like the cold, so do not store them in the fridge if you want them to last a while. Instead, try to keep them in a cool, dry place, like a pantry or cupboard.
Take note that eggplants can last for up to two weeks when stored properly, so if you’re not planning on cooking them right away, make sure they’ve been stowed away properly in order to get the most out of your harvest!
Where to Buy Seeds
Once you’ve figured out which plants you’d like to grow with your eggplant, it’s time to start shopping for seeds.
One option is to find a local nursery or garden center that carries seeds. If you don’t have a trusted shop in your area, then there are plenty of great online retailers like SeedsNow that offer a wide selection of organic seeds.
You can also find seeds at farmers’ markets, seed swaps, or even check your local library for free seed catalogs. This is a great way to get varieties of plants not commonly found in stores and nurseries.
Before you plant your eggplant, be sure to do your research on plants that will help it thrive.
As you can see, there are plenty of plants that are good to grow alongside eggplant, so you’ll have no trouble finding one that complements your garden.
Remember, though, that just as there are plants that make your eggplants flourish, there are also plants that are bad for them. Be sure to avoid planting eggplants near these plants, or you could risk harming your plants.