In the past I've had eggplant in my garden but my parents had always taken care of harvesting them since I don't eat it. This year I'm growing a couple for them and have some fairly large fruit on the plants. The problem though is they look the same now as when they first came out on the plants. How do you tell when an eggplant is ripe and ready to be picked? The variety I'm growing is Listada de Gandia if it helps.

3 Answers 3


Usual way of testing for ripe eggplant is to try to dent it with the end of your thumb. If it gives way with as much pressure as you would dint a tomato then it's ready. I've grown that variety, very nice flesh and no bitterness. The white streaks will also go a bit off white. I can't locate my flickr page, which has a nice photo of those eggplants just about ready.

  • Picked the first of these over the weekend and you're right on the flavor. I've never liked eggplant but these just might convert me. Commented Aug 27, 2012 at 18:23

I usually go by size when picking eggplant. Once the fruit gets to be about the size it is supposed to be and still has lovely shiny skin, I pick it. I see your variety is supposed to get to 7" long. It won't hurt to pick them a little early - they'll still be good to use - so if it is somewhere in the 5-7 inch range, I'd go ahead and pick it and try it. You'll know you've waited too long when the skin becomes dull.

  • I was going to mention that is should sound and feel "right" when you thump it. But now that I think about it, that pretty much correlates to the size.
    – uncle brad
    Commented Aug 23, 2012 at 14:18

Bit of a late response, but you can harvest them whenever you like. Generally the larger the fruit the better the value (ie it takes less then twice the time to grow a fruit twice as large). We grew eggplants commercially, and sold very small ones as gourmet at a high premium - from the same plants we sold larger-then-normal fruit !

I've little doubt it depends on the exact cultivar, but generally the older the fruit the more likely to be bitter.

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