I am hoping to get some help with some eggplant "issues" I have been having. First eggplant (Louisiana Long Green) - looks healthy, lots of blossoms, one beautiful eggplant. Unfortunately all the blossoms keep falling off (except the one - so I know it can produce!). Based on research I did via google I thought the issue might be overwatering so I cut back, but the blossoms keep falling off - and this morning I lost the second tiny eggplant that formed. WHY??????
Second eggplant (Rosa Bianca)- again leaves look great, but is just now forming its first blossom. This could be a patience issue since it is living under the exact same conditions as the one that has been blooming for a month.
Living conditions: in containers on my balcony, 6 hours of sunlight, watered when they look dry, fertilized every two weeks with organic fish emulsion/kelp blend. Based on the post about tomato plant production I started seeing if i could pollinate them myself by touching the buds, but that doesnt seem the help. I have hyper-producing tomato plant and bell pepper plants next to the eggplants, and from what i understand they like similar growing conditions. I live in Charleston, SC - it has been hot!
Any advice?? I am so sad every morning when I go out and see that more blossoms are down!
If you don't suspect blossom end rot, it could be the heat. When a plant is stressed, the blossoms will react. Make sure you are watering deeply. I would let the water run out at the bottom...but don't let the plant sit in water. Also, did you read the label carefully on your bottle of fish emulsion? You may be overfertilizing. Every 3 - 4 weeks is best. Finally, is your pot big enough? At least 12 inches is best for good root development.
Good Luck! I love eggplants....
The bottle says every 2 to 3 weeks; I'll go to three weeks and see if that helps. I will also adjust my watering schedule - other research says water twice a week very deeply - not sure if this applies to container plants or not?
What would blossom end rot look like? The flowers are still white and pretty when they fall. The pot is either 12 or 14 inches, i cannot remember.
It keeps producing lots of buds so there is still hope I can make adjustments and get a decent crop!
Well, the only eggplant the plant produced was tiny. Did you notice a timy black spot on the fruit on the bottom? It looks like this:
I really think it's because of the heat and underwatering....although you don't want to drown the plant. But it's good to know about blossom end rot anyway.
Here's a quote from the AZ University Master Gardners Journal:
"Eggplants prefer consistent soil moisture, but once established can tolerate dry spells. Although the majority of water- and nutrient-absorbing roots are found in the top 18 inches of soil, roots can reach a depth of 4 feet. To avoid flower and fruit drop, water deeply and regularly, especially during long, dry periods."
Oh, you're wellcome! When I need information about something I'm not sure about I always go to University Extension Departments in sates that are most like where I live. For me it's Massachusetts. It;s also a good idea to know what horticultural zone you live in. That tells you which plants will do well in your area.. I wish you well with your gardening. It's such a satisfying and rewarding endeavor.