Eggplant

(Question)

Good morning,

I started a garden (on my deck) for the first time and don’t know how to solve pest problems or where to buy them. I live in Etobicoke and will be very grateful if you can help me with my problem.

I bought the plant from Home Depot when the plants had few flowers, imagine how happy I was when the flowers turned to eggplants, any way lately well in the past 2 weeks they stopped growing and the leaves turned yellow and I noticed there a faint white spots on the leaves. I hope you can help me and direct me to solve and save the plants. It would be very appreciated.

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(Answer)

Thank you for contacting Toronto Master Gardeners.

I see you plant in containers which is a good idea. You may need a larger 5 gallon pot with a draining hole and this should be full of fertile soil. This pot can house one eggplant which will have one foot of space to grow successfully. Place your plants in a warm, sheltered, sunny spot.

To encourage fewer, larger fruit, pinch off the first flower as it appears, and thin fruits to three to four per plant.

Water plants more regularly as the temperatures rise and fruit appear, and feed every week with a high-potash organic tomato fertilizer. In your case, it seems you have a nutritional emergency, you may use a liquid organic fertilizer in the form of a foliar spray such as a fish emulsion. The plant can absorb nutrients through its leaves very quickly.

All fertilizers have three numbers with letters on the front of the package – for example, a 20-20-20 or a 5-10-5. The first number tells you the percentage of nitrogen (N), the second number the percentage of phosphorus (P), and the third the percentage of potassium (K) in the mix. Fertilizers with higher phosphorus and potassium promote flowering and fruiting (like 5-10-10).

After fruiting discard all plant debris, including used compost from pots.

Good luck.