One of the most popular vegetables in India, brinjals are fun to grow! Learn How to Grow Brinjal in pots and enjoy them fresh all year round!
Brinjals (Solanum melongena)
- Common Indian Names; Baingan, Badnekai, vange, Vankaya, Begun, Vangi, Kattiri, Vaingan, Waangum, Vazhuthananga
Brinjal or Eggplant is a vegetable native to the southern part of India but has become a popular vegetable worldwide. It is a tropical plant that is perennial. Indian food has a variety of dishes made with brinjals; Baingan ka bharta and vankaya sambhar being the most popular ones. Dishes like these complete Indian Cuisine, so having fresh brinjal is always welcome! Learn How to Grow Brinjal in pots easily in this article!
Growing Brinjals in Pots
You can grow Brinjal in Pots in two ways. The first way is to use the seeds to grow the plant from scratch. The other way is to buy seedlings from a nursery. Buying seedlings is best for beginners as it makes it easy and hasslefree process. You can easily find the seeds or seedlings of any variety that you wish to grow in the nearby nurseries.
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Usually, the spring season is the best time for planting this vegetable in your gardens; after the winters have passed. But when you are growing it in pots, you can plant it throughout the year despite any season, as you can move the plant according to the changing weather. Growing Brinjals in India is possible even in winters as the climate of India is subtropical, and winters are not very cold except for the Himalayan states.
Propagating Brinjals from Seeds
Growing Brinjals in India is easy as the general climate of the country is appropriate for the growth of them. The temperature above 20°C is ideal for the germination of brinjals. You can propagate the seeds in small pots to allow the germination process. Once the seeds germinate and have up to four leaves, the saplings are ready to be transplanted into bigger pots, where they can grow well.
Choosing a Container
Take good care while choosing the pot for growing this veggie. As different varieties of brinjal will need a different size of containers, large varieties will require larger pots to grow. So at the very least, choose a pot that is 12 inches deep and has proper drainage holes.
Requirements for Growing Brinjals in Pots
You need to take care of the following requirements to grow brinjals in pots.
Position your plants on a spot where they get plenty of sun as they require a lot of warmth and sunlight while growing. A good circulation of air is also necessary for the best growth of plants.
Brinjals grow best in a sandy-loam soil, which is neutral to slightly acidic in pH. They require soil that is rich in nutrients, can hold a sufficient amount of moisture, and is well-draining at the same time. You can also add cow dung manure or compost to the soil to improve its water retention and add nutrients.
Watering and Fertilizing
These plants require evenly moist soil, so provide regular watering every day in summers and every 2 or 3 days in winters or rainy season. Make sure the pot has drainage holes so that the plant does not rot due to the soggy soil. As for the fertilizer, brinjal plants are heavy feeders and need proper doses of fertilizer. Prepare a soil mix with 1/4 of compost and the same amount of rotted cow manure (gobar ki khaad) or chicken manure. Also, provide a handful of manure during the mid-growth. You can also provide your plants with tomato fertilizer if they do not pick growth with organic manures.
India mostly has a tropical or subtropical kind of climate and the plant being native to India, is adapted to the climate in the country. So you don’t have to worry much about the temperature conditions of Brinjal plants. They easily survive and thrive in the home climate.
Brinjal Plant Care
- You can improve the productivity of your brinjal plant by pruning them. Look out for any yellowing leaves or suckers in your plant and remove them. Also, prune the stems that are getting tall as they restrict the plant growth.
- Tie your plants to provide them with enough support. As the plants can get tall with heavy fruits and they can make the plants heavy. So, tie your plants to the railings of your balcony, or you can also support the plant by tying them around a bamboo stick by placing it in the center of the pot.
- Protecting the plants from various kinds of pests and diseases is also necessary. The black flea beetle, aphids, cutworms are some common pests in brinjal. You can remove these pests easily by using homemade pesticides like neem oil or by simply putting a few drops of dishwashing soap on them.
The plants generally take two to three months to reach maturity from the day of planting. It depends mostly on the climate of the place and the kind of variety that you choose to grow. These plants start producing fruits by this time.
To harvest, simply cut it few centimeters above the cap of fruit with a pruner or knife. Harvest it, preferably at the time of cooking to preserve the freshness or store it in the fridge until you use it.