How and When to Harvest Japanese Eggplant

The Japanese eggplant is long and thin, its shape is different from the traditional eggplant. If you are growing Japanese eggplant for the first time, you may have concerns about how and when to harvest Japanese eggplant. The most common varieties of Japanese eggplant are Orient Express and Millionaire.

As mentioned earlier, Japanese eggplants are longer and thinner than traditional eggplant varieties. These eggplants have a slightly sweeter flavor and can be grown in smaller spaces. Continue reading to learn how and when to harvest Japanese eggplant correctly.

When to Harvest Japanese Eggplant

When to Harvest Japanese Eggplant? There is a wide variety of Japanese eggplants, but normally the fruits take 60 to 85 days to ripen depending on the species. Below is a table with information for you to know when to harvest Japanese eggplant:

Japanese Eggplant VarietyDays to Maturity
Japanese Pickling75 – 85
Ichiban55 – 60
Japanese White Egg60 – 65
Early Black Egg60 – 65
Black Shine (Hybrid)65 – 70
Shikou (Hybrid)70 – 80
Millionaire Eggplant (Hybrid)55 – 65
Yasakanaga (Hybrid)60 – 65
Senryu Ni Gou (Hybrid)60 – 65
Dewako One Bite (Hybrid)60 – 65
Kurume Eggplant60 – 65
Kyoto Egg (Hybrid)60 – 65
Shoya Long (Hybrid)60 – 65
Money Maker Eggplant (Hybrid)60 – 70

As you can see, the number of days it takes to ripen the fruits of Japanese eggplant varies slightly depending on the variety chosen for cultivation. But it is not only important to count the number of ripening days to know when to harvest Japanese eggplant.

It is also important to observe the dimensions of the Japanese eggplant fruit to know when to harvest it correctly. For example, the Ichiban variety of Japanese eggplant has fruit between 6” and 8” (15 to 20 cm) long. The Japanese White Eggplant variety has fruit 2” to 3” (5 to 8 cm) long, one of the smallest varieties. Note the dimensions of the eggplant variety you have chosen to know the correct harvest time.

Finally, to know when to harvest Japanese eggplant, look at the skin of the eggplant, it must have a bright color to be harvested. To the touch, the eggplant should be firm, if you press the eggplant with your hand there should not be any marks. If you see a yellow eggplant on the plant, it is overripe and should not be consumed.

when to harvest japanese eggplant
When to Pick Japanese Eggplant? Depending on the variety of Japanese eggplant, you can harvest them 60 to 85 days after planting.

How to Harvest Japanese Eggplant

How to Harvest Japanese Eggplant? Harvesting Japanese eggplant is not difficult at all, you only need a knife or pruning shears. Before using the tools to harvest Japanese eggplant, disinfect them. Not all eggplants on the plant will ripen at the same time, look at Japanese eggplants and only select the ripe ones.

Leave a small stem on the Japanese eggplant so that it keeps better for longer. The University of Georgia recommends never twisting the fruit to avoid damaging the plant, that is why you should use sharp and disinfected tools to make a perfect cut on the eggplant plant.

Japanese eggplant will continue to produce fruit throughout the summer until autumn when the first frosts begin. Observe your eggplant plant daily to harvest the Japanese eggplants that are ripening day by day.

After harvesting Japanese eggplant, it is best to consume the fruit as soon as possible. Japanese eggplant can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week. In the crisper drawer of the refrigerator, you can store Japanese eggplant in a perforated plastic or paper bag for up to one week.

how to harvest japanese eggplant
Always use sharp and disinfected tools to avoid damaging the Japanese eggplant plant when picking.

How to Grow Japanese Eggplant

How to Grow Japanese Eggplant? To grow Japanese eggplant at home, you will need seeds of any variety of Japanese eggplant, soil, and a seedbed or pots. Start growing Japanese eggplant indoors about six weeks before the last frost date, depending on your region.

  1. Fill your pots or seedbed with soil.
  2. Place the Japanese eggplant seeds on the surface of the soil and cover them with a thin layer of soil. Then water gently so that the seeds do not sink.
  3. In a place with good lighting, place the pots or seedbed to start the germination process. It usually takes two weeks for Japanese eggplant sprouts to appear.
  4. While the Japanese eggplant seeds are germinating, select a spot in the garden where you will plant the Japanese eggplant. Eggplants grow in nutrient-rich, well-drained soils where they receive several hours of sunlight.
  5. Once the Japanese eggplant seedlings are bigger and there is no risk of frost, plant them in the garden. Use mulch to allow the plants to retain moisture and prevent weeds.

These are the basic steps to grow Japanese eggplant, if you want to know more, we recommend our article about how to grow eggplants. Once the eggplant fruits have grown and ripened, you only need to apply what you have learned in this article on how and when to harvest Japanese eggplant.

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Final Conclusions

There are many varieties of Japanese eggplants, but almost all ripen in the same amount of time. Remember to observe the brightness and size of the fruits to know when to harvest Japanese eggplant.

I hope this article about how and when to harvest Japanese eggplant will be useful, and you will have an excellent harvest. I recommend our other articles about how and when to harvest eggplant black beauty and how and when to harvest fairy tale eggplant.

About Henry Morgan

We are the Morgans, Henry, and Julia, both agronomists from the University of Michigan, where we met. We are experts in putting our hands in the soil and developing organic foods and improving production processes for decades. Likewise, we have worked for companies such as Mondelez International, BASF, Monsanto, etc. currently in our role as science writers for as well as advisors in promoting large scale food growing in urbanized areas. In this website, we share what we are most passionate about, gardening and farming. Enjoy and see real photos on our website.