Wednesday, September 15, 2010

First Eggplant Fruit! Finally!

First Eggplant Fruit From Hydro-to-Dirt Transplant

I never thought I was going to get a fruit. So many dropped flowers and no eggplants. One day I noticed a clusters of flowers and it looked like there were two different types of flowers, males and females. I did the research and some people said that they are self pollinating (which looks to be true b/c some flowers have both parts).  I've tried all types of pollination methods with the eggplant flowers, but all failed. Until the 'male' flowers appeared. 


These 'male' flowers have a skinner stem and  only contain anthers and not a stigma in the center of the flower. The female flower had a thick stem and a flower with both an anther and stigma. It seems that there is much debate on the male & female flowers on the eggplant. But in my experience with the 'Black Beauty' variety from Ferry Morse, the ONLY way I got my eggplant to fruit was to remove a male flower and rub it into a female flower. I'm sure natural methods (bugs/insects/bees) of pollination would have worked outside of the greenhouse as well.

When I rubbed the male flower against the female flower, I saw noticeable pollen from the male flower that was flying off. I've never seen any this from the female flower during all my pollination attempts.

In conclusion, maybe I pollinated the two flowers at the right place, at the right time. But after all my previous attempts, all of the flowers I pollinated with the male flowers are finally setting fruit. It's possible that although the female flowers supports anthers, they don't always produce enough pollen. But I'm no expert, so if you have the answer, please comment to give me some insight :)

**Update** 9/24/2010

2 comments:

  1. Congrats on your first eggplant. You must be delighted. I always thought eggplant flowers were yellow...am I wrong in my thinking? Is this an unusual vareity?

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  2. Thanks Susan.

    I now have 3 total eggplants developing. This variety is the 'Black Beauty', so their flowers are light purplish. I'm no expert, but I've never seen any yellow eggplant flowers. Lots of other vegetables have yellow flowers though - tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, etc.

    I grew this plant from hydro to give it a fast, healthy start and transplanted it to soil. After the week or so transition, it doesn't seem to be doing bad, in this still intense sun.

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